The beautiful Balmoral is the largest and newest ship in the Fred Olsen fleet. Taking her name from the Scottish home of the Royal Family, Balmoral offers her passengers a traditional cruise experience in modern surroundings. Accommodating 1,350 guests, Balmoral is a large ship by Fred Olsen standards, but still a small vessel in modern shipping terms; its smaller ship status allows Balmoral to negotiate waterways and enter ports that larger cruise ships cannot, taking you straight to the heart of your destination.
» Capacity: 1,350 guests
» Six restaurants
» Five lounges and bars
» Two show lounges
» Two swimming pools and four jacuzzis
December 2014 saw Balmoral refreshed throughout, leaving her ready to continue impressing on voyage after voyage. With itineraries ranging from 3-night European and British Isles mini cruises; to 64-night World Cruises, and everything in between, Balmoral is the perfect cruise ship for those looking for a holiday which combines varied itineraries, stunning destinations and homely surroundings.
With facilities as impressive as the itineraries, a cruise holiday with Fred Olsen promises sea days that are just as exciting as shore days. Sailing between destinations is the perfect time to experience something new, throwing yourself into those things you always wanted to try at home but just never had the time. Perfect your swing at the golf nets; try your hand at bridge in the card room; or let your creative juices flow in the arts and crafts room on Deck 3 – you’re handmade creations make the perfect souvenirs to take home. If you’ve often fancied giving yoga or Pilates a try, the ocean backdrop is the perfect place to give it a go; located on Deck 10, Balmoral’s Fitness Centre not only offers state-of-the-art fitness equipment but regular and varied fitness classes too. They’re suitable for all ages and abilities, and the best way to make room for a little more desert at dinner!
Soak up the rays in one of the Balmoral’s two swimming pools, both of which are flanked by bubbling whirlpools. With spectacular views of the ship’s wake, the pool located at the aft of the ship’s Lounge Deck is a popular spot to relax with a cocktail from the adjacent Palms Café. The ship’s second pool is located midships on Marquee Deck 11, and like the aft pool it too is surrounded with ample loungers on which to pass an afternoon between soaks and swims.
Nirvana can be found at Balmoral’s Atlantis Spa, where tranquil surroundings and expertly qualified therapists await. Open from 8am until 8pm both on sea days and when the ship is in port, the Atlantis Spa is the perfect place to escape and indulge. Take a look at the Daily Times each day with special offers for the spa appearing regularly; a £60 package with manicure, shampoo, blow dry-set and 30 minute purity facial is a worthy indulgence for formal night.
Balmoral promises her guests sparkling entertainment and great company, with an abundance of lounges and bars on board.
Home to the ‘Balmoral Show Company’, Neptune Lounge is Balmoral’s largest entertainment venue and pulses with activity all night long. Spend your days in acting and dancing classes, or attending informative lectures, before enjoying evenings of bright lights and big performances. The Balmoral Show Company stage large scale productions in Neptune Lounge, while the Lido Bar hosts popular quizzes, cabaret, tribute acts and the resident Balmoral Band.
Afternoon tea in the Observatory Lounge is a must, with mini pastries, freshly baked scones and speciality teas served with spectacular views. Huge windows surround the Observatory Lounge, along with binoculars for longer distance sightings, making it the perfect place to take in the scenery whatever time of day or night; come evening, classics played on a grand piano provide the soundtrack to ballroom dances and cocktail soirees. A more relaxed evening can be had at the Morning Light Pub; a distinctly Scottish watering hole. Much like a night at your local, you’ll meet familiar faces, enjoy a pint of real ale and be entertained by a pub quiz, live band or cheeky comedian.
If you’re looking to take your evening entertainment into the wee hours, head to Balmoral’s casino, where you can take on Lady Luck in blackjack and poker tournaments, or take a chance on the roulette wheel.
Fred Olsen dishes up a great combination of gourmet dinners, traditional British fayre and internationally-inspired dishes. Located on Deck 6, the stylish Ballindalloch Restaurant is the ship’s main dining room, hosting five-course dinners and gala nights in elegant surroundings. Choose from first or second sitting, dining at 6.30pm or 8.30pm accordingly, with table sizes ranging from 2 right up to 8; enjoy an intimate meal for two or join a larger table and make friendships to last long after the cruise ends.
The Spey Restaurant and the Avon Restaurant offer guests the same impeccable service and a la carte menu as the Ballindalloch Restaurant, within more intimate surroundings. Both restaurants feature panoramic windows and sophisticated décor, and there are fewer better places to enjoy gourmet cuisine and a glass of excellent wine.
For delicious food throughout the day, Balmoral offers her guests the Palms Café. This buffet restaurant provides a more relaxed dining venue for those who would rather eschew the formalities of the main dining rooms, though the quality of the cuisine remains exceptionally high. Located on deck 7, Palms Café attracts a steady flow of guests looking for delicious food, whether it may be freshly cooked omelettes at breakfast or an evening variety of foods inspired by the day’s port of call. Palms Café is a popular spot at lunch, especially for those who want to grab a quick bite between activities. Those who prefer to dine al fresco should head to the Marquee Bar on Deck 11, where grill dishes are served alongside an impressive drinks list and (hopefully!) under sunny skies.
Café Venus was recently introduced to Balmoral, following great success on other ships in the Fred Olsen fleet. Here, guests can enjoy a good cuppa or fresh coffee, accompanied by devilishly delicious chocolate truffles. Located within the library area, the café is the perfect place to curl up with a hot drink and a great book between ports.
Fred Olsen’s daily newspaper will be delivered to your cabin on Balmoral each day, giving details of the dress code for the evening – formal, informal or elegant casual. Daytimes are spent enjoying your holiday rather than worrying about dress codes, with the usual holiday wear of shorts, t-shirts and lightweight trousers suiting just fine.