Capable of carrying 1,350 passengers, the Balmoral is the largest ship in Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet
- Ship in Detail
- Deck Plans
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has been refining the cruise experience for over a century and a half. As a family-operated company, they are justly proud of their heritage as much as their success. Time-honoured customs have their place, for this is a cruise experience that’s more Nöel Coward than Nöel Gallagher. Unashamedly British, the entertainment takes its cue from the West End; the currency is the familiar pound; and announcements are made in English. Another definable difference is the personable and long-standing crew who are adept at creating a ‘home-away-from-home’ camaraderie of agreeable companions.
With its classic lines, the 1,340-passenger Balmoral belies its 1988 vintage as it underwent a major transformation before joining the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines as the largest ship in the fleet in 2008. The well-appointed cabins and suites are in 21 grades. There are a good number of single accommodations including 15 Inside cabins; 39 Outside cabins; and three balcony suites. Apart from the single cabins, all have either twin or double beds.
The traditional Ballindalloch Restaurant stretches the width of the ship; there are also two smaller, attractive restaurants, the Avon and the Spey which have extensive views from floor-to-ceiling windows. All three serve formal dinner in two seatings and have open-seating for breakfast and lunch. Sumptuous five-course à la carte dinners are manicured affairs that allow the chefs to demonstrate their culinary prowess. The buffet-style Palms Café has open-seating for all meals as well as a supper club around midnight.
The Neptune Lounge features lavishly-costumed revues of West End musical favourites, as well as guest stars from the small screen and big stage. Special ‘Theme Nights’ – such as British Night; 60’s and 70’s Night; Black and White Ball; Ladies Night and Tropical Night bring their own magic – none more so than the Crew Show. Named after Fred. Olsen’s first ship, the Morning Light Pub has a vibe more in common with an ‘All Bar One’ than the ‘Rovers Return’, but popular entertainment is provided by a guitarist and comedians. Probably the most serene room on board is the Observatory Lounge where a pianist enhances the ambiance during cocktail hour as well as after dinner. In the Card Room passengers can enjoy bridge tournaments and social games. There’s also a well-stocked library.
We like the ‘Guest Speakers’ programme which adds a rewarding element to these cruises. Recent experts have included TV gardening presenter, Chris Beardshaw; and former editor of the Daily Express, Christopher Ward whose most recent book ‘And The Band Played On’ is the untold story of what happened after the Titanic sank.
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Shore Excursion Office
Morning Light Pub
Beauty Treatments for Men
Food and Drink
outsideThis cabin is approximately 200 square feet in size and can be found on Lido Deck. Slightly larger than a B grade, these cabins have picture windows and a bathroom with bath and/or shower. Facilities include an interactive television.
balconyThis cabin is approximately 190 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck.Slightly larger than a Balcony Cabin, this cabin has a balcony, bathroom with shower or bath and shower, and an interactive television.
suiteThis suite is approximately 200 square feet in size and can be found on Highland, Bridge and Lido Decks. This suite has a bedroom with a large sitting area and french doors leading onto a veranda. There is an en-suite bathroom with bath and/or shower. Facilities include an interactive television, DVD and CD player, mini-bar and/or refrigerator.
insideThis cabin is approximately 160 square feet in size and can be found on Lido, Bridge and Main decks. These cabins have a bathroom with bath and/or shower, and an interactive television. Cabins 9048, 9056 and 9095 on Bridge Deck have been adapted for use by disabled passengers.
Year Entered Service 01/01/1988
Refurbished Date 01/06/2008
Ship Width 93
Total Passengers 1350
Total Crew 471
Ship Depth 23
Total Decks 10
Total Lifts 4
Cruising Speed 20