Fred Olsen Balmoral

Former name: Crown Odyssey

Fred Olsen Balmoral current position

Fred Olsen Balmoral current location is at North East Atlantic Ocean (coordinates 38.37302 N / -12.46783 W) cruising at speed of 18 kn (33 km/h | 21 mph) en route to Southampton. The AIS position was reported 38 minutes ago.

All Itineraries Current Position

Current itinerary of Fred Olsen Balmoral

Fred Olsen Balmoral current cruise is 78 days, one-way from Portsmouth UK to Southampton. The itinerary starts on 05 Jan, 2023 and ends on 24 Mar, 2023.

Specifications of Fred Olsen Balmoral

Year of build1988  /  Age: 35
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Building costUSD 180 million
Engines (power)MAK-Caterpillar (21.3 MW / 28564 hp)
Speed23 kn / 43 km/h / 26 mph
Length (LOA)218 m / 715 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage43537 gt
Passengers1350 - 1420
Passengers-to-space ratio29
Decks with cabins7
Last Refurbishment2019
Former namesCrown Odyssey
OwnerBalmoral Cruise Ltd
OperatorFred Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd

Fred Olsen Balmoral Itineraries

DateItineraryDeparture PortPrice from
2023 Jan 05 78 days, one-way from Portsmouth UK to Southampton Portsmouth UK
2023 Feb 27 25 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Southampton Buenos Aires $3458
2023 Mar 24 13 days, round-trip Escape to the Canaries Southampton $1912
2023 Apr 06 5 days, round-trip Easter on the River Seine Southampton $955
2023 Apr 11 8 days, round-trip Cities of Germany via the Kiel Canal Southampton $1254
2023 Apr 19 9 days, round-trip French Rivers of Normandy and Bordeaux Southampton $1434
2023 Apr 28 5 days, round-trip Bank Holiday Escape to the Netherlands Southampton $716
2023 May 03 9 days, round-trip Scenic Isles of Scotland Southampton $1314
2023 May 12 14 days, round-trip Cultural Capitals, Kiel Canal Stockholm Archipelago Southampton $2032
2023 May 26 5 days, round-trip Bank Holiday Escape to Cornwall and Scilly Isles Southampton $955
2023 Jun 02 13 days, round-trip Medieval Old Towns the Stockholm Archipelago Leith-Edinburgh $2152
2023 Jun 15 7 days, round-trip Scenic Isles of Scotland Leith-Edinburgh $1314
2023 Jun 22 10 days, round-trip German Cities with Kiel Week Regatta Leith-Edinburgh $1793
2023 Jul 02 17 days, round-trip Experience the Traditions of Spain Portugal Leith-Edinburgh $2630
2023 Jul 19 15 days, round-trip Rugged Remote Spitsbergen with the Midnight Sun Leith-Edinburgh $2630
2023 Aug 03 5 days, round-trip Summertime Norwegian Fjords in Five Leith-Edinburgh $1195
2023 Aug 08 8 days, round-trip Highlights Hidden Gems of the Norwegian Fjords Leith-Edinburgh $1553
2023 Aug 16 9 days, round-trip Discovering Scandinavias Viking Heritage Leith-Edinburgh $1553
2023 Aug 26 5 days, round-trip Norwegian Fjords Bank Holiday Escape Newcastle upon Tyne $955
2023 Aug 31 11 days, round-trip Scenic Waterways Archipelagos of Sweden Newcastle upon Tyne $1912
2023 Sep 11 2 days, one-way from Newcastle upon Tyne to Southampton Newcastle upon Tyne
2023 Sep 13 13 days, round-trip Whales, Waterfalls Geysers of Iceland Southampton $2391
2023 Sep 26 34 days, round-trip American Waterways Canada in the Fall Southampton $6578
2023 Oct 30 15 days, round-trip The Canary Islands with the fleet in Funchal Southampton $2511
2023 Nov 14 16 days, round-trip Discovering the Ancient Mediterranean Southampton $2391
2023 Nov 30 13 days, round-trip Winter Warmth in the Canaries Southampton $1553
2023 Dec 13 8 days, round-trip European Christmas Markets Southampton $1314
2023 Dec 21 14 days, round-trip In Search of the Northern Lights Southampton $3228
2024 Jan 04 14 days, round-trip New Year Escape to the Canaries Southampton $2152
2024 Jan 18 14 days, round-trip Discovering Cultural Morocco Southampton $2152
2024 Feb 01 13 days, round-trip Winter Warmth in the Canaries Southampton $2032
2024 Feb 14 14 days, round-trip In Search of the Northern Lights Southampton $2511
2024 Feb 28 2 days, one-way from Southampton to Newcastle upon Tyne Southampton
2024 Mar 01 9 days, round-trip In Search of the Northern Lights Newcastle upon Tyne $1673
2024 Mar 10 9 days, round-trip In Search of the Northern Lights Newcastle upon Tyne $1673
2024 Mar 19 9 days, round-trip In Search of the Northern Lights Newcastle upon Tyne $1673
2024 Mar 28 5 days, round-trip Scandinavian Easter City Break Newcastle upon Tyne $836
2024 Apr 02 15 days, round-trip Springtime Canary Islands and Portugal Newcastle upon Tyne $2391
2024 Apr 17 9 days, round-trip Natural Wonders of Iceland Newcastle upon Tyne $1673
2024 Apr 26 7 days, round-trip Mighty Waterfalls Norwegian Fjords Newcastle upon Tyne $1314
2024 May 03 5 days, round-trip Springtime Norwegian Fjords in Five Newcastle upon Tyne $955

Fred Olsen Balmoral Review

Review of Fred Olsen Balmoral

The 1988-built (as "Crown Odyssey") cruise ship MS Balmoral is currently the oldest in the Fred Olsen fleet, with fleetmates Braemar, Bolette and Borealis. The shipbuilding cost was USD 180 million. The vessel was last refurbished in 2019 December.

The vessel (IMO number 8506294) is currently Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 308785000) and registered in Nassau.

History - construction and ownership

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd is a Norwegian-owned and UK-based cruise shipping company, part of the Fred Olsen Group (Fred Olsen & Co / shipowner, headquartered in Oslo, Norway). The company is headquartered in Ipswich (Suffolk England) and is owned by Bonheur and Ganger Rolf. The company was founded in 1848 (in Hvitsten, Norway) by the three Olsen brothers (Petter, Andras, Fredrik Christian) who bought their first ships and established an international shipping company. Today Fred Olsen Group is into its 5th family generation and operates subsidiary companies specializing in cruise passenger shipping, trade, shipbuilding, aviation, offshore industries.

MS Balmoral cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

Fred Olsen Group wholly owns the companies Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd, Fred Olsen Travel Ltd (worldwide tours and vacations via independent operators), Fred Olsen Marine Services AS (shipowner and vessel management), First Olsen Ltd (tanker ships), Dolphin Drilling Holdings Ltd (offshore drilling rigs), Fred Olsen Express (Canary Islands-based fast ferries / catamarans), Fred Olsen Freight Ltd (cargo shipping and air freight), Fred Olsen Windcarrier AS (transport and installation of offshore wind turbines), Fred Olsen Production AS (offshore petroleum production), Fred Olsen Renewables AS, SeaRoc Group Ltd (offshore and marine consultancy and contracting services), ZephIR Lidar UK (wind measurement devices), Ganger Rolf ASA (energy and shipping). Also part of Fred Olsen Group, the company Bonheur ASA manages several fully-owned companies, among which are NHST Media Group AS (newspapers and online media) and the real estate companies Stavenes Byggeselskap, Koksa Eiendom, Fred Olsens gate 2. Part of Fred Olsen Group is also Timex Group BV - parent of several watchmaking companies, including the subsidiaries in the USA, India and Philippines).

The 1340-passenger 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 coziness 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.

In November-October 2007, MV Balmoral (under Fred Olsen's ownership) was stretched by inserting a 99 ft / 30 m long prefabricated middle-section. The refit resulted in an increased gross tonnage (from 34,242 to 43,537) and passenger capacity (from 1230 to 1780). During the ship's stretching (reconstruction was done in Germany, Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg) were built new cruise cabins (186, including 60 balconies), restaurants, bars, and lounges.

The list of other stretched (elongated) cruise ships includes the fleet mates Balmoral, Boudicca, and Braemar, also the MSC Cruises ships Armonia, Lirica, Opera, the Phoenix Reisen's Albatros and the Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of The Seas.

Decks and Cabins

MS Balmoral staterooms (710 total, in 21 grades) include 68x Suites, 94x Balcony cabins, 340x Outside and 123x Inside cabins. Most staterooms are sized 165-200 ft2 Oceanviews. The wheelchair-accessible cabins are 9. The largest accommodation is the Premier Suite (430 ft2).

The Fred Olsen ship Balmoral has a total of 64 Studios (single-occupancy cabins for solo travellers).

The boat has 11 decks, of which 9 are passenger-accessible and 7 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and 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.

MS Balmoral cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

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).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

MS Balmoral offers a variety of amenities while also presenting a cozy ambiance. 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.

MS Balmoral cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

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 lounge/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); Cafe Venus
  • 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).


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

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the ship was passed for 2+ years (March 2020 through May 2022), restarting on May 2nd (16-night roundtrip from Newcastle England to the Canaries and Madeira).

In 2023, Fred Olsen with Balmoral offers the "North American Waterways and Canadian Fall" itinerary (UK roundtrip) that includes the company's maiden cruise on Hudson River (USA's New York state). The 34-night / 35-day voyage (booking code L2323 ) starts from Southampton on September 26, 2023. Prices start from GBP 5300 (EUR 5860 / USD 6940) per person, double occupancy cabin rates. Bookings made by September 30, 2020, received up to GBP 300 pp in OBC (onboard credit).

The special itinerary's call ports include St John's Newfoundland (overnight), Sydney NS, Halifax NS (overnight), Saint John NB, Portland ME, Boston MA, Cape Cod Canal, passing by NYC's Statue of Liberty, NYC New York (2-night stay), Hudson River, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Baltimore MD (overnight), Transatlantic crossing, Hamilton Bermuda, Ponta Delgada Azores, La Coruna Spain.

Fred Olsen Balmoral - user reviews and comments

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Fred Olsen Balmoral Wiki

Launched as "Crown Odyssey" in 1988, MS Balmoral was constructed originally for the Royal Cruise Line and operated by NCL Norwegian Cruise Lines and Orient Lines before being bought (2007) by Fred Olsen. After a major drydock refit (during which a 30 m / 99 ft long midship section was added to the vessel's center) in January 2008 mv Balmoral joined BoudiccaBraemar and Black Watch as the fleet's largest ship. The inaugural cruise started on Feb 13, 2008. Currently, Balmoral is the largest ship operated by Fred Olsen.

The vessel (Meyer Neptun yard/hull number 616) is powered by MAK marine diesel engines (model 8M601/AK6M35) with total power output 21,3 MW.

An interesting fact about MS Balmoral is that in 2012 "Miles Morgan Travel" chartered the cruise ship to follow the RMS Titanic original route honoring the 100th anniversary of Titanic's sinking. Balmoral stated her "Titanic Cruise" on April 8 departing Southampton with last stop – the site of the wreck of the famous (infamous) ocean liner.

MS Balmoral attracts a loyal base of mature customers (almost all British), who prefer to travel only with the Fred Olsen company. The ship has some single-occupancy cabins and offers regular meetings for solo travelers. Dance hosts are available. This is the ideal ex-UK boat for people who travel alone. Throughout the voyage, guests will find ballroom dance classes and a program of exercise, plus the first jazz dance classes at sea.

Fred Olsen offers an all-inclusive cruise package upgrade (additional fixed price PP per day) and UK fly-cruise deals to the Canary Islands (year-round discounted airfare from Southampton, England).

In 2018-2019, MS Balmoral offers roundtrip departures out of Edinburgh (Rosyth) Scotland for the first time ever. There were a total of 9 cruises scheduled (May through July), including 5-night Norwegian Fjords, 14-night Scandinavia and Russia (St Petersburg), 9-night "German Waterways".

Grand Voyage 2025 (Discovering Asia with the Holi Festival)

In March 2023 was announced Balmoral's 82-night Grand Voyage 2025 themed "Discovering Asia with the Holi Festival".

Departing roundtrip from Southampton (on January 18th), Grand Voyage 2025 visits Gibraltar UK, Malta (Valletta), Egypt (Alexandria, Sharm el-Sheikh, Safaga), Saudi Arabia (Jeddah), Sri Lanka (Colombo, Hambantota), Malaysia (Klang/Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu), Brunei (Muara), Vietnam (Saigon), Cambodia (Sihanoukville), Singapore, Burma (Yangon), India (Chennai, Cochin, Mumbai), Oman (Muscat, Salalah), Jordan (Aqaba/Petra), Israel (Asdod, Haifa), Crete Greece (Heraklion), Sicily Italy (Catania), Spain (Cartagena), and Portugal (Lisbon).

The itinerary's pinnacle was the call at Port Mumbai. The visit (on March 14th) was scheduled to coincide with India's Holi Festival (aka Festival of Colours/Spring/Love) which is one of the most popular and significant Hindu festivals celebrating the eternal love of the goddess Radha/Radhika and god Krishna. Holi is an annual festival celebrated on the last full-moon day of the luni-solar calendar month marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The Holi's date varies with the lunar cycle but typically falls in March (sometimes in late February).

Prices started from GBP 9000 (EUR 10120 / USD 10680) per person with double occupancy.

Early bookings received up to GBP 500 per person in OBC/onboard credit, free door-to-door transfers (within 250 mi/UK mainland) to Southampton.

South America and the Antarctic Cruise (2023)

Next table shows Fred Olsen's 78-night "Exploration of South America and the Antarctic Cruise" (booking code L2301) on MS Balmoral. The UK roundtrip visited signature/once-in-a-lifetime destinations like the Antarctic Peninsula (from Ushuaia), Chile's Patagonian Fjords, and Cape Horn on Hornos Island (South America's southern tip, in Tierra del Fuego Chile).

Date / TimePort
05 JanDeparting from Portsmouth UK, England
09 JanPonta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores Portugal
10 JanHorta, Faial Island, Azores Portugal
15 JanKings Wharf, Bermuda
18 JanNassau, Bahamas
22 JanColon, Panama
23 JanPanama Canal
26 JanGuayaquil, Ecuador
29 Jan - 30 Jan (overnight)Callao-Lima, Peru
01 FebMatarani, Peru
02 FebArica, Chile
06 FebValparaiso-Santiago, Chile
09 FebCastro, Chiloe Island, Chile
10 FebPuerto Chacabuco, Chile
13 FebPunta Arenas, Chile Antarctica
15 FebUshuaia, Argentina
22 FebPort Stanley, East Falkland Island
26 FebMontevideo, Uruguay
27 Feb - 28 Feb (overnight)Buenos Aires, Argentina
03 MarItajai, Brazil
04 MarIlhabela, Brazil
05 Mar - 06 Mar (overnight)Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
09 MarSalvador de Bahia, Brazil
11 MarRecife, Brazil
16 MarMindelo, Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde
19 MarSanta Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
24 MarArriving in Southampton, England

Prices started from GBP 7625 / USD 9220 per person.

Mardi Gras Cruise (2018)

In 2017, Fred Olsen (for the first time ever) scheduled "Mardi Gras Cruise" combining the Caribbean with North and Central America. Leaving roundtrip from the UK (Southampton), the Balmoral's voyage was adults-only and visited 18 ports. The highlight were the 3 full days plus 2 overnights in New Orleans (Louisiana USA) for the fun and festivities at the annual Mardi Gras Carnival. This unique themed voyage (46-night itinerary, booking code L1703, theme "Central America and the Mardi Gras") left Southampton on February 4, 2017.

Prices started from GBP 3450 pp (based on double occupancy/twin-bed Superior Interior cabin). Pricing included accommodation, all onboard meals, and entertainment, plus port taxes.

The itinerary's call ports included: Southampton, Funchal Madeira, Bridgetown Barbados, Castries St Lucia, St John’s Antigua, Road Town (Tortola BVI), Falmouth Jamaica, Trujillo Honduras, Belize City, Cozumel Mexico, NOLA/New Orleans LA (2-nights), Florida USA (Tampa, Key West, Miami, Port Canaveral/Orlando, Jacksonville, Charleston SC USA, Hamilton Bermuda, Ponta Delgada Azores, Southampton.

The 2-night stay in Port NOLA allowed Fred Olsen's cruise tourists to enjoy the festivities at this extravagant festival. Passengers were also provided with the opportunity to attend the "Orpheuscapade Black Tie Ball" in New Orleans - something rarely experienced by tourists. This formal event was held in the city's Convention Centre, featuring live music, dancing and the chance to get up close to the gigantic carnival floats, as a local celebrity leads the parade directly through downtown.

Fred Olsen Balmoral refurbishments review

On December 9, 2014, the ship underwent a 10-day drydock refurbishment for engineering works, interior and exterior painting works. The Library area was redesigned, a new patisserie (Cafe Venus) was added on Lounge Deck (deck 7).

Balmoral ship's drydock 2019 (December 10-19 at Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg Germany) was for general maintenance and engineering works, interior renovations (public areas) and cabin refurbishments. The USD 18 million drydocking project also included adding the new Tea Room (China-themed lounge) and Photo Gallery.

The next video shows the cruise ship's refit (time-lapse of the vessel's extension/lengthening) done at Blohm+Voss Shipyard (Hamburg).


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