Balmoral

Balmoral cruise ship
Rating:

Cruise line
Fred Olsen

Current itinerary:
46 days, Rio Carnival & River Plate
19 Jan, 2016 - 05 Mar, 2016

  Current position

Balmoral Review and Specifications

Special features

Passengers Capacity1340
Crew Capacity500
Dining rooms1
CasinoYes
LibraryYes
SpaYes
Fitness centerYes
Lifts (elevators)4
Pools1
Jacuzzis2

Technical Specifications

BuilderMEYER WERFT GMBH
IMO number8506294
Year built1988
Speed22.5
Flagflag Bahamas
Length187.71
Draught7.251
Tonnage43537
Balmoral deck plans deck icon

Review of Balmoral

Launched in 1988 as Crown Odyssey, Balmoral is the biggest of the Fred Olsen ships, with fleetmates Boudicca, Braemar and Black Watch. The ship cost US $180 million to build and was last refurbished in 2014.

History - construction & ownership

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is a Norwegian-owned, UK-based cruise shipping line with four ships, part of the Fred. Olsen Group. The headquarters of the company are in Ipswich, Suffolk, the UK, and it is owned by Bonheur and Ganger Rolf. The company of Fred Olsen originated in 1848 in Hvitsten, a little town on Oslofjord, Norway, by three Olsen brothers, Petter, Andras and Fredrik Christian, who bought their first ships and established an international shipping company. Today the line is into the 5th generation of the family and operates companies skilled within cruise and passenger shipping trade, ships' crewing, ship building, aviation and offshore industries. 

The 43,537-ton, 1,340-passenger cruise ship Balmoral offers a mix of old and new that is fresh and satisfying. If cruisers seek for a well-run vessel which provides peace and cosiness while also featuring a nice range of amusement, friendly service, solid cuisine, interesting routes and competitive rates, Balmoral is a good choice.

The ship debuted in 1988 as Crown Odyssey, built for Royal Cruise Line. Since then, Balmoral has changed her name to Norwegian Crown (for NCL) and Crown Odyssey (for Orient Lines). MS Balmoral debuted for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines after a major refit and refurbishment in 2007-2008 which added a 30-meter midsection. The inaugural cruise of the ship started on February 13, 2008.

Cruise itinerary program

Balmoral itinerary program is based on World Cruise deals out of UK and regular round-trip voyages from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia, Russia and the Norwegian Fjords.

Cabins

Most Balmoral staterooms are 165-200-sq.foot Oceanview rooms (340). There are a total of 710 staterooms in 21 categories. 9 are the wheelchair accessible cabins. The largest aboard Balmoral are the Premier Suites (430 ft2).

Dining options - Food & Drinks

Dining on Balmoral is resolutely classic. The vessel's one main dining venue and two satellites all offer set-seating, set-tablemates evening scenarios.

Follows the complete list of Balmoral restaurants and food bars.

  • Ballindalloch Restaurant (main dining room; hosts the formal Gala Dinner; dining times are the same in all 3 dining rooms –  with 2 fixed dinner seatings at 6:15 pm and 8:30 pm, open-seating buffet-style Breakfast 8:00 - 10:00 am and Lunch 12:00 - 2:30 pm)
  • Spey Restaurant (ship’s 2nd largest dining room, with the same menu as the Ballindalloch’s; features floor-ceiling windows and intimate design)
  • Avon Restaurant (ship’s 3rd dining room with floor-ceiling windows; offers the same menu as the other two restaurants)
  • Palms Cafe (alternative buffet-style restaurant, open-seating; offers Breakfast 7:00 - 9:30 am, Brunch 10:30 - 11:30 am, Lunch 12:30 - 2:30 pm, Afternoon Tea 3:30 - 4:30 pm, Dinner 6:30 - 9 pm and Supper Club 11:30 pm - 12:30 am; also features a 24-hour open tea-coffee station)
  • Marquee Bar (casual restaurant for lunch; al-fresco dining, with large, floor-ceiling panoramic windows; serves the pool area with alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks).

Entertainment options - Fun & Sport

MS Balmoral offers a variety of amenities while also presenting a cosy ambience. There are lots of places to sit, relax, read and nap without feeling pressure to buy drinks or merchandise. Some aspects of the cruise ship, such as the inflexible bed setups (that offer either a double or 2 twins that can not be converted into the reverse), found in older rooms, might feel a bit dated. Balmoral also features a high-tech, in-cabin interactive TV, and Spa and fitness amenities with state-of-the-art equipment and services.

Follows the complete list of Balmoral lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • Arts & Crafts Room; Art Gallery 
  • Atrium (2-deck high, with glass and chrome design elements; has a spacious seating area)
  • Port Shop (duty-paid, sells essentials, hats, swimwear, toiletries, beachwear, sweets, books, snacks)
  • Photo Gallery & Shop (offers digital images printing/transferring; personal video making; sells photo and video equipment at duty-free prices)
  • Neptune Lounge (ship’s theater & main entertainment venue for grand-style show productions in the evenings at 8:45 pm and 10:45 pm; during the day serves the Fred Olsen enrichment program, with various lectures and seminars, multimedia presentations, dance classes, workshops, bridge lectures, cards playing tournaments)
  • Boutique Shops (duty-free luxury gifts, perfumes, cosmetics, fashion clothing, watches, fine jewelry, Fred Olsen logo merchandise)
  • Card Room; Library; Internet Room 
  • Bookmark Cafe (a la carte priced patisserie; offers luxury chocolates, specialty coffees, hand-made chocolates)
  • Braemar Lounge (relaxation place with large windows)
  • Morning Light Pub (features stand-up comedy acts, live music performances)
  • Deck 7 pool area (swimming pool, 2 whirlpools, sunbathing area)
  • Lido Lounge (hosts daily bingo games and trivia quizzes; evening entertainment includes cabarets, resident music trio and Big Band Show)
  • Lido Bar (live-music program)
  • Casino corner
  • The Wellness Centre (Atlantis Spa & Fitness; has treatment rooms for massages, Sauna, gym; the Fitness Centre hosts exercise classes Yoga/Pilates/aerobics/meditation/dancing classes)
  • Beauty Salon (part of the Wellness Centre; offers hairdresser/barber services, facial/body treatments, manicure/pedicure, massages)
  • Observatory Lounge (indoor observation lounge with piano, glass dancefloor, panoramic windows for 270-degree views; serves Afternoon Tea and transforms into a disco in the late hours)
  • Sun Deck’s pool area (with one heated swimming pool, 2 whirlpools, sunbathing area)
  • Golf Net; Deck Games area (shuffleboard, quoits).

Source: CruiseShipDeckPlan.com

Photos of Balmoral


Other Fred Olsen cruise ships

Balmoral Itineraries 2016

The below listed Balmoral cruise prices on 2016 itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Fred Olsen fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

Departure Itinerary ports Prices
19 January
46-days round-trip Rio Carnival & River Plate
Departing from Southampton - 19 Jan

Funchal - 23 Jan

Tenerife - 24 Jan

Praia - 27 Jan

Fortaleza - 31 Jan

Maceio - 02 Feb

Salvador De Bahia - 03 Feb

Rio de Janeiro - 06 Feb

Rio de Janeiro - 07 Feb

Rio de Janeiro - 08 Feb

Ilha Grande - 08 Feb

Montevideo - 11 Feb

Buenos Aires - 12 Feb

Buenos Aires - 13 Feb

Punta del Este - 14 Feb

Rio Grande - 15 Feb

Ilheus - 19 Feb

Recife - 21 Feb

Mindelo - 26 Feb

Gran Canaria - 29 Feb

Lisbon - 02 Mar

Arriving in Southampton - 05 Mar

05 March
13-days round-trip Norway Winter
Departing from Southampton - 05 Mar

Molde - 08 Mar

Tromso - 10 Mar

Yalta - 11 Mar

Yalta - 12 Mar

Bergen - 15 Mar

Stavanger - 16 Mar

Arriving in Southampton - 18 Mar

18 March
7-days round-trip Rivers, Canals & City Overnights
Departing from Southampton - 18 Mar

Antwerp - 19 Mar

Hamburg - 21 Mar

Hamburg - 22 Mar

Kiel Canal - 23 Mar

Amsterdam - 23 Mar

Amsterdam - 24 Mar

Kiel Canal - 24 Mar

Arriving in Southampton - 25 Mar

25 March
2-days round-trip France Mini Cruise
Departing from Southampton - 25 Mar

Boulogne Sur Mer, France - 26 Mar

Arriving in Southampton - 27 Mar

27 March
7-days round-trip Gaelic Myths & Legends
Departing from Southampton - 27 Mar

Belfast - 29 Mar

Dublin - 30 Mar

Dublin - 31 Mar

Cork - 01 Apr

Arriving in Southampton - 03 Apr

03 April
13-days round-trip Canaries & Madeira in the Spring
Departing from Southampton - 03 Apr

Lisbon - 06 Apr

Arrecife - 08 Apr

Tenerife - 09 Apr

Funchal - 10 Apr

Funchal - 11 Apr

Ferrol - 14 Apr

Arriving in Southampton - 16 Apr

16 April
34-days round-trip Old England to New England
Departing from Southampton - 16 Apr

Ponta Delgada - 20 Apr

Hamilton Island - 26 Apr

St Georges - 27 Apr

Norfolk - 29 Apr

Baltimore - 30 Apr

Baltimore - 01 May

New York City - 03 May

New York City - 04 May

Newport - 05 May

Boston - 06 May

Boston - 07 May

Gloucester - 08 May

Portland - 09 May

Halifax - 11 May

St Johns - 13 May

Cork - 18 May

Arriving in Southampton - 20 May

21 May
5-days round-trip Five-Night Fjords
Departing from Newcastle - 21 May

Bergen - 23 May

Eidfjord - 24 May

Arriving in Newcastle - 26 May

26 May
5-days round-trip Norwegian Festival & Fjords
Departing from Newcastle - 26 May

Bergen - 28 May

Eidfjord - 29 May

Arriving in Newcastle - 31 May

31 May
11-days round-trip Icelandic Wildlife, Falls & Hot Springs
Departing from Newcastle - 31 May

Reykjavik - 03 Jun

Reykjavik - 04 Jun

Isafjordur - 05 Jun

Akureyri - 06 Jun

Akureyri - 07 Jun

Seydisfjordur, Iceland - 08 Jun

Klaksvik - 09 Jun

Arriving in Newcastle - 11 Jun

11 June
7-days round-trip Fred.'s Favourite Fjords
Departing from Newcastle - 11 Jun

Bergen - 13 Jun

Geiranger - 14 Jun

Geiranger - 14 Jun

Hellesylt - 14 Jun

Olden - 15 Jun

Skjolden - 16 Jun

Arriving in Newcastle - 18 Jun

18 June
10-days round-trip Britain's Historic Sites & Scenic Delights
Departing from Newcastle - 18 Jun

Dover - 20 Jun

Guernsey - 21 Jun

Falmouth - 22 Jun

Dublin - 23 Jun

Holyhead - 24 Jun

Invergordon - 26 Jun

Edinburgh - 27 Jun

Arriving in Newcastle - 28 Jun

28 June
11-days round-trip Spain, Portugal & Guernsey
Departing from Newcastle - 28 Jun

Guernsey - 30 Jun

Lisbon - 03 Jul

Portovenere - 04 Jul

Vigo - 05 Jul

Ferrol - 06 Jul

Arriving in Newcastle - 09 Jul

09 July
14-days round-trip The Wonders of Spitsbergen
Departing from Newcastle - 09 Jul

Alesund - 11 Jul

Tromso - 13 Jul

Honningsvag - 14 Jul

Pyramiden, Spitzbergen - 16 Jul

Longyearbyen - 16 Jul

Longyearbyen - 17 Jul

Barentsburg - 17 Jul

Trondheim - 20 Jul

Geiranger - 21 Jul

Geiranger - 21 Jul

Arriving in Newcastle - 23 Jul

23 July
7-days round-trip Fred.'s Favourite Fjords
Departing from Newcastle - 23 Jul

Bergen - 25 Jul

Skjolden - 26 Jul

Olden - 27 Jul

Hellesylt - 28 Jul

Geiranger - 28 Jul

Geiranger - 28 Jul

Arriving in Newcastle - 30 Jul

30 July
13-days round-trip Baltic Capitals & Stockholm Archipelago
Departing from Newcastle - 30 Jul

Stockholm - 02 Aug

Stockholm - 03 Aug

Tallinn - 04 Aug

St Petersburg, Russia - 05 Aug

St Petersburg, Russia - 06 Aug

Riga - 08 Aug

Copenhagen - 10 Aug

Arriving in Newcastle - 12 Aug

12 August
15-days round-trip Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands
Departing from Newcastle - 12 Aug

La Coruna - 15 Aug

Portovenere - 16 Aug

Funchal - 18 Aug

Tenerife - 19 Aug

Gran Canaria - 20 Aug

Arrecife - 21 Aug

Lisbon - 23 Aug

Arriving in Newcastle - 27 Aug

27 August
7-days round-trip The Phenomenal Fjords of Scenic Norway
Departing from Newcastle - 27 Aug

Flam - 29 Aug

Olden - 30 Aug

Molde - 31 Aug

Bergen - 01 Sep

Arriving in Newcastle - 03 Sep

04 September
8-days round-trip Mountains, Glaciers & Fjords
Departing from Dover - 04 Sep

Eidfjord - 07 Sep

Flam - 08 Sep

Olden - 09 Sep

Bergen - 10 Sep

Arriving in Dover - 12 Sep

12 September
15-days round-trip Portuguese Islands & Cities
Departing from Dover - 12 Sep

Praia Da Vitoria - 16 Sep

Horta - 17 Sep

Ponta Delgada - 18 Sep

Funchal - 20 Sep

Funchal - 21 Sep

Lisbon - 23 Sep

Portovenere - 24 Sep

Arriving in Dover - 27 Sep

27 September
10-days round-trip Discovering Spain & Portugal
Departing from Dover - 27 Sep

La Coruna - 29 Sep

Vigo - 30 Sep

Cadiz - 02 Oct

Lisbon - 03 Oct

Portovenere - 04 Oct

Arriving in Dover - 07 Oct

07 October
14-days round-trip Mysterious Morocco & Seductive Spain
Departing from Southampton - 07 Oct

Cadiz - 11 Oct

Malaga - 12 Oct

Cartagena - 13 Oct

Melilla, Spanish Morocco - 14 Oct

Gibraltar - 15 Oct

Casablanca - 16 Oct

Lisbon - 18 Oct

Arriving in Southampton - 21 Oct

21 October
2-days round-trip France Mini Cruise
Departing from Southampton - 21 Oct

Honfleur - 22 Oct

Arriving in Southampton - 23 Oct

23 October
7-days round-trip Spanish Autumn Break
Departing from Southampton - 23 Oct

La Coruna - 25 Oct

Bilbao - 26 Oct

Bilbao - 27 Oct

La Rochelle - 28 Oct

Arriving in Southampton - 30 Oct

30 October
13-days round-trip Madeira, Lisbon & the Canaries
Departing from Southampton - 30 Oct

Funchal - 03 Nov

St Cruz De La Palma - 04 Nov

Tenerife - 05 Nov

Gran Canaria - 06 Nov

Arrecife - 07 Nov

Lisbon - 09 Nov

Arriving in Southampton - 12 Nov

12 November
32-days round-trip A Caribbean Discovery
Departing from Southampton - 12 Nov

Funchal - 16 Nov

Bridgetown - 23 Nov

Bridgetown - 24 Nov

St Georges - 25 Nov

Saint Lucia/Castries - 26 Nov

Basseterre - 27 Nov

Tortola - 28 Nov

St Thomas, US Virgin Islands - 29 Nov

San Juan - 30 Nov

Philipsburg/Saint Maarten - 01 Dec

St Johns - 02 Dec

Ponta Delgada - 09 Dec

Ponta Delgada - 10 Dec

Arriving in Southampton - 14 Dec

14 December
5-days round-trip Irish Christmas Markets
Departing from Southampton - 14 Dec

Falmouth - 15 Dec

Cork - 16 Dec

Dublin - 17 Dec

Arriving in Southampton - 19 Dec

20 December
18-days round-trip Canaries Christmas & New Year
Departing from Southampton - 20 Dec

Casablanca - 24 Dec

Arrecife - 26 Dec

Puerto del Rosario - 26 Dec

Puerto del Rosario - 27 Dec

Gran Canaria - 28 Dec

St Cruz De La Palma - 29 Dec

La Gomera - 30 Dec

Tenerife - 31 Dec

Funchal - 02 Jan

Lisbon - 04 Jan

Arriving in Southampton - 07 Jan

Balmoral Itineraries 2017

The below listed Balmoral cruise prices on 2017 itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Fred Olsen fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

Departure Itinerary ports Prices
07 January
13-days round-trip Canaries & Madeira Winter Warmth
Departing from Southampton - 07 Jan

Funchal - 11 Jan

St Cruz De La Palma - 12 Jan

Tenerife - 13 Jan

Gran Canaria - 14 Jan

Arrecife - 15 Jan

Lisbon - 17 Jan

Arriving in Southampton - 20 Jan

20 January
15-days round-trip Norway Winter
Departing from Southampton - 20 Jan

Alesund - 23 Jan

Harstad - 25 Jan

Yalta - 26 Jan

Yalta - 27 Jan

Tromso - 28 Jan

Tromso - 29 Jan

Molde - 31 Jan

Bergen - 01 Feb

Arriving in Southampton - 04 Feb

04 February
46-days round-trip Central America & the Mardi Gras
Departing from Southampton - 04 Feb

Funchal - 08 Feb

Bridgetown - 15 Feb

Saint Lucia/Castries - 16 Feb

St Johns - 17 Feb

Tortola - 18 Feb

Falmouth - 21 Feb

Trujillo - 23 Feb

Belize City - 24 Feb

Cozumel - 25 Feb

New Orleans - 27 Feb

New Orleans - 28 Feb

New Orleans - 01 Mar

Tampa - 03 Mar

Key West - 05 Mar

Miami - 06 Mar

Port Canaveral - 07 Mar

Jacksonville - 08 Mar

Charleston - 09 Mar

Hamilton Island - 12 Mar

Ponta Delgada - 18 Mar

Arriving in Southampton - 22 Mar