On 18 March 2016 I will be boarding Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' 43,537 GT Balmoral in Southampton. Joining me on board will be our Non-Executive Director, Gavin Pamment. This will be our third cruise with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, but at 7 nights will also be our longest cruise yet. As many of you will know from our previous cruises, we generally tend to do shorter cruises.
This will be Gavin's first time on board Balmoral, where as I have previously visited the ship so know what to expect a little more. The ship was originally built in 1988 as Crown Odyssey but has since sailed with a number of different cruise lines. In 2008 Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines brought the ship and re-named her Balmoral. The ship was extensively refurbished and was also lengthen by 30 meters. She is by no means the largest or most impressive cruise ship afloat, but is a more traditionally styled, medium sized cruise ship, carrying a maximum of around 1,350 passengers.
This 7 night cruise offers a slightly different and interesting itinerary. Entitled 'River, Canals & City Overnight' the cruise will take us to some of Europe's finest cities, visiting three beautiful countries: Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Two of the three ports of call are also overnight stays, meaning we will have plenty of time in port and to go ashore and explore. We've got one sea day, but there's also plenty of time cruising the scenic canals and rivers as we sail into and out of port, particularly Amsterdam as we cruise along the busy North Sea Canal.
I am really very excited about this cruise, especially as it will be my longest yet, but both Gavin and I are thrilled to be cruising with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines again, which in my opinion is one of the friendliest cruise lines. As always upon our return we will be posting a full cruise review and photos, but you will also be able to follow along on our Facebook and Twitter pages too whilst we are aboard!
Harry Cotterill set up his blog when he was just 16-years old, making him one of the youngest cruise bloggers in the world. In later years he became known across the world for his amazing talent of drawing cruise ships!