Braemar Caribbean Islands & Gardens Cruise
Gardeners World Magazine

Caribbean Islands & Gardens

with David Hurrion

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line – Braemar – 18 February – 4 March 2021 

from £2699pp

With no fewer than nine beautiful islands on the itinerary, plus a sailing past mountainous Montserrat at sunset, this quintessential Caribbean escape is full to the brim with horticultural highlights, expertly guided by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine associate editor, David Hurrion

David Hurrion

“The gardens we’re visiting will be full of vivid colour and foliage. I particularly love Hunte’s Gardens, which is one of the most exuberant and exotic gardens I’ve ever seen.” David Hurrion

Exclusive Horticultural Highlights

The Dr Rafael Maria Moscoso Botanic Gardenthe largest in the Caribbean with a diverse range of flora to be explored

The Botanical Gardens of Nevis – A tranquil oasis, full of tropical flowers, orchid terraces and water lily ponds.

Hyde Park Tropical Gardens – One of Grenada’s finest gardens

Palm Tree Garden – amazing variety of plants in a beautiful setting and rich in history

GemRose Eden Garden – a warm welcome awaits at this hillside gem of a garden

Hunte’s Gardens – ‘the most enchanting place on earth’

Andromeda Botanic Gardens – featured on BBC Gardeners World and described as ‘world-famous’

Your Garden Cruise Itinerary

18 February – 4 March – 14 nights

Caribbean Islands

Arrive Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Fly Manchester or *London Gatwick to Santo Domingo. Transfer to port to embark Braemar. Settle in and enjoy your evening with dinner and entertainment.

Discovered by Columbus in 1496, Santo Domingo is the New World’s oldest colonial city. A beautiful place to simply walk around, the cobbled streets of Santo Domingo are lined with 15th & 16th century buildings that remind you of the city’s unique history.

Santo Domingo

We visit our first garden this morning, the The Dr Rafael María Moscoso Botanic Garden. Enjoy a picturesque drive through the city of Santo Domingo, before embarking on a tour of the largest botanical garden in the Caribbean.

Covering over 200 acres, this park is the largest of its kind in the Caribbean. It is also considered to be one of the finest in the world with more than 300 varieties of orchids, palms, exotic plants.

The garden is located within a protected area dedicated to the observation and study of nature. Stroll through the many trails and pathways, and don’t forget to marvel at what was once the largest floral clock in the New World.

Cruising

A day at sea, cruising and time for you to do as much or as little as you wish with a variety of experiences, events, classes and much more to enjoy on board. Plus join your host, David for his illustrated talk on ‘Creating an Exotic Garden in the UK’ with plenty of time for questions.

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

An enthralling and staggeringly beautiful city, Cartagena is one of Colombia’s true gems bursting with Spanish heritage. Dominated by the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, the captivating city of Cartagena is also home to the wonderful Santo Domingo Plaza, Palacio de la Inquisicion and its 16th century cathedral.

Taking time out to relax at one of Cartagena’s many open-air cafés is a popular pastime; perfect for watching the parade of horse-drawn carriages, fashionable locals and romantic street life. From one of its many beaches, many take the opportunity to mingle with the sea life on a Cartegena snorkelling trip, passing San Jose and San Ferna en route.

Cruising

Join David for his gardeners’ get-together with question time and quiz.

Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles

UNESCO-protected Willemstad on Curaçao has narrow-gabled, 18th century houses in cool pastel shades, juxtaposed with intense yellows and royal blues. It’s akin to a carbon copy of Amsterdam, but with the gorgeous Caribbean climate thrown in.The town has a number of intriguing museums worth visiting: the Curaçao Museum, the Maritime Museum and Kura Hulanda, which tells the history of the local slave trade. At Scharlooweg 77 is the house known as the ‘Wedding Cake’, a near perfect example of Dutch colonial architecture.Willemstad is actually divided into two sections, Otrobanda and Punda, and both boast a rich, cultural heritage. They are connected by the Queen Emma Bridge, also known as the Swinging Old Lady, a floating, pontoon bridge powered by diesel, which swings open daily to allow ships in and out of the harbour.Situated not far from the waterfront, the crowded streets of Punda are packed with smart galleries and shops, while nearby Pietermaai is alive with cool restaurants, bars and clubs. The island’s fantastic beaches are a true delight, with Santa Barbara Beach probably the pick of them all.

Kralendijk, Bonaire Netherlands

Kralendijk, the lively, Dutch-controlled capital of Bonaire, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and fantastic Caribbean climate.

This colourful town is characterised by its many beaches dotted with quaint stucco houses in pastel shades of pink, green and blue. Surrounded by the protected Marine Park, the island’s waters are home to large numbers of tropical fauna, rare seabirds and sea life, including turtles, tuna, Blue Marlin and sailfish.

Washington Slagbaai National Park is a great place to spot flamingos, iguanas and giant cacti, while sun-worshippers intent on pure relaxation can enjoy the gorgeous white-sand beach on the nearby uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire.In Kralendijk itself, interesting shops sell jewellery, wood and leather products hand-crafted by the locals. There are plenty of restaurants selling an enticing mixture of cuisine, from Creole dishes, such as grilled spicy fish, goat stew and cactus soup to local versions of Dutch foods, such as smoked meat and excellent cheese. The locally brewed beer is also worth trying, as is the creamy hot chocolate.

Cruising

Time to join your fellow gardeners’ for David’s illustrated talk on ‘Economic Plants of the Caribbean’.

Philipsburg, St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles

Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch half of St. Maarten, a Caribbean island amicably shared between Holland and France for centuries. The town is known as a shopper’s paradise, while its charming sandy beach, studded with colourful clapboard restaurants and outdoor cafés, is accessible via water taxi.

Front Street, Philipsburg’s long main street, is festooned with shops, but the alleys and courtyards down to Back Street are also worth exploring. There are some stylish restaurants, but the Lo-Lo huts, which sell grilled chicken, fish and cakes from home-made barbecues, are great for a cheap snack of authentic Caribbean food.

This tiny island was divided between the Dutch and French in the 1600s, as a bastion against the Spanish. This melting pot of rich cultures and old-world charm was supposedly divided up by someone from each country walking round the coastline in opposite directions until they met up again.

Two historic forts reflect the island’s colonial past: Fort Amsterdam, built in 1631 and soon after captured by the Spanish, offers fine views over Philipsburg from the original walls, and Fort Willem, built by the British during the Napoleonic War.

Basseterre, St Kitts

With some of the oldest colonial buildings in the Caribbean, the elegant St. Kitts & Nevis capital of Basseterre is a beautiful town bursting with history. 

We discover the sister island of St Kitts, the isle of Nevis today where we will visit the Botanical Gardens of Nevis. Our journey starts with a short boat ride to Charlestown. Continuing, travel through several sleepy villages before your arrival at the Botanical Gardens of Nevis. The gardens offer eight acres of the most diversified planted tropical landscape to be found in the islands. Collected from tropical locations around the world, these magnificent plants provide both serene beauty and education to the visitor. Enjoy a guided tour.

St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

A sunbather’s haven, St John’s is the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda, an island often referred to as the crown jewels of the Caribbean. With its large selection of beaches, typically hot climate and an array of cool seaside bars, the city of St John’s is a sun worshipper’s paradise.

In the city itself, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has exhibits on island history and St. John’s Cathedral, a 19th-century Anglican Church, sits sweetly on a hill near the 17th century Government House. The city’s vibrant red and yellow colonial buildings reflect the personality and warm welcome from locals, while a monument to the nation’s founder, V.C. Bird, is next to the colourful street market which sells flowers, fruit and handicrafts.

St. George’s fascinating history is brought to life on the stunning English Harbour and celebrated Nelson’s Dockyard. Also known as Britain’s West Indies naval base, it has now been restored to its 18th century glory.

There is shopping and speciality restaurants to be found in Heritage Quay and, of course, no visit would be complete without a spell on one of the island’s 365 stunning beaches – one for each day of the year say the Antiguans.

Cruising by Montserrat, Antigua

Previously considered dormant, the volcanic island of Montserrat was devastated by huge eruptions in 1995 and volcanic activity has occurred here ever since. Sadly large portions of the island’s lush vegetation and a number of settlements – including Plymouth, the capital – have been destroyed, but what remains is simply stunning. 

Cruising by the island is the best way to admire the incredible scenery here, which combines pockets of tropical beauty and breathtaking volcanic ruins. Your glide by the island will be even more special however, with the rising or setting sun providing a glorious backdrop. 

Castries, St. Lucia

Castries, the capital of the island nation of St. Lucia, is known for its palm-lined, soft, white Vigie Beach. Like St. Lucia itself, the city combines heritage and culture with peace, relaxation and tranquillity, and Castries is a gateway to St. Lucia’s wealth of national parks with vast forests, native plants and wildlife. 

The city’s streets are easy to navigate. Leafy Derek Walcott Square – named after a native noble laureate – is home to a 400-year-old Samaan tree and the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception built in 1897. The nearby market in Jeremie Street, sells a wide range of items including fresh local fruit.

Overlooking the town is Morne Fortune, which provides some splendid views alongside Royal Navy history. Here the original French colonists built La Toc Battery, but was taken by the British in 1796, replacing it with a new fort built in 1888 to protect the harbour.

St George’s, Grenada

The popular destination of St. George’s is the capital of Grenada, a tiny Caribbean island with a long history of British and French rule. The town is a gateway to a volcanic island, with a jaw-dropping landscape of crater lakes, rainforests, coral reefs and white-sand beaches.

It’s gardens galore again today with visits to three gardens where you will be greeted by the owners and given guided tours. Hyde Park Tropical Garden with its abundance and variety of palms, cycads, heliconias, bougainvillea and other tropical plants. The owners, Fay and her husband John will greet you and whilst Fay starts by giving you the history of Hyde Park, John will then take over and personally guide you on your visit. Back at the house, you’ll be invited to join them on the veranda where you’ll be served to fresh lime juice and have a chance to ask Fay any questions.

Set across 2 acres of impeccably groomed land, Palm Tree Gardens overlooks the stunning south-east coast of Grenada. You’ll be met by the owner Laurie Lambert who will host your visit. Two acres of botanical gardens and over 300 plant species including 40 palm varieties, anthuriums, bromeliads and orchids plus don’t forget to take a peek at the red-footed tortoises.  And finally enjoy GemRose Eden, a hidden private garden where you will be met by the owner, Mrs Gemma Flemming whose enthusiasm for her plants is infectious!

Bridgetown, Barbados

This very British Caribbean island is a favourite with tourists; the city’s streets are lined with shops, boutiques, street vendors, bars and places to eat – there is always something to do. Broad Street, the main street of Bridgetown is often packed with welcoming locals. It’s easy to see why Barbados is known as Little England given Bridgetown’s Georgian houses, the horse-racing track, Parliament Square, and a statue of Nelson.

A double horticultural treat awaits today as you take in the refreshing island breezes, tropical blooms and towering trees which will greet you at Andromeda Botanic Gardens, the only RHS Partner Garden in the West Indies. It was created by the queen of horticulture, Iris Bannochie, as a private botanical garden. She won multiple Chelsea Show medals, received the Veitch Memorial Medal and is, undoubtedly, their most influential gardener. The manager and head gardener, Sharon Cooke will meet you and provide a guided tour of these gardens comprising of a Palm Garden, Succulent Garden, White Garden, Arum Garden, Bougainvillea Garden and Heliconia Walk.

Be sure to have your cameras at the ready for Hunte’s Gardens. Created by legendary horticulturist, Anthony Hunte who has combined vibrant colours and textures of rare exotic plants with statues and antiques. Relax and wander through these beautifully landscaped gardens whilst classical musical serenades your visit.

Port Image

Bridgetown, Barbados

Breakfast and farewells before your transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

What’s Included in your Cruise

  • Comfortable, stylish rooms and suites equipped with a Smart TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and individually controlled air conditioning
  • A tempting choice of cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast and lunch buffets, late-night snacks and much more
  • Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee available 24hrs at selected venues, complimentary afternoon tea and in-room sandwiches and snacks
  • Exclusive on board Gardeners’ Programme, including two formal illustrated talks, Gardeners’ Quiz & Question Time, Plant Clinic, welcome get-together and drinks party
  • 4 Garden Tours to include 7 garden visits all hosted.
  • A full programme of evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, comedy, dancing and live music
  • Full use of on board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym
  • *Flights and connecting transfers to/from your ship, as arranged and confirmed as part of a fly-cruise holiday
  • Formal welcome Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet

BRAEMAR – elegant Braemar is the shortest of Fred. Olsen’s four smaller, friendly ocean-going cruise ships, Like the rest of the fleet, Braemar assumes the welcoming feel and intimacy of a country house hotel, and a sense of timeless style and elegance flows through the ship’s comfortable bars and lounges, restaurants and spacious accommodation for up to 929 guests.

To Book your place on our Gardeners’ Cruise call now on 07885 774694 quoting Gardeners’ World.

Terms and Conditions This group departure is organised by Victoria Travel Club for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.  Victoria Travel Club is operated as an independent, GoCruise franchise. GoCruise is a trading name of Fred Olsen Travel Ltd, ATOL 0944, ABTA J5035. *This departure is based on Manchester flights from the UK. London Gatwick flights are available at a £100pp supplement. Please note all tours and places of interest mentioned, apart from the 4 Included tours, are not included in the cruise fare and may be visited on optional tours. The experts hosting any of our cruises are subject to personal circumstances permitting. We plan to visit the gardens and ports mentioned in the itinerary however we reserve the right to change a visit should circumstances become necessary.

Important –  Dominican Republic. Please note that a tourism entry tax of (10USD) per person is required for travel to the Dominican Republic and this will automatically be added to your holiday cost and paid on your behalf.  E&OE 

Booking Reassurance Guarantee

We understand and appreciate that some of our guests might be worried about booking a cruise or travelling right now.

That’s why, when you book a cruise aboard the Braemar for 2021 before May 5th 2020 your booking will be covered with the “Fred Olsen Booking Reassurance Guarantee”. So, if you decide nearer the time of travelling that you want to change your plans due to concern about the COVID-19 virus, we guarantee that you can cancel your booking with no penalty and move any money paid to a different cruise (within the same year).

For cruises departing in 2021 you just need to let us know no later than 90 days before you are due to travel .

What are the details/terms and conditions?

  • To be covered with this guarantee, the booking must be made between 4th March and 5th May 2020 and applies to all cruises on sale.
  • For guests with a booking departing in 2021 notification must be received by us no later than 90 days prior to departure if they want to move their booking.
  • The replacement 2021 cruise must be at least 75% of the value of the original cruise. No admin fee will be charged for these bookings.
  • Guests can move their cruise once only.
  • The lead guest on the new booking must be identical to the original booking.
  • All cruises are subject to availability at time of booking

Rooms & Prices

* Prices correct at time of publication. Please call 07885 774694 for availability & prices.

BS - Balcony Suite

These suites are approximately 225 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck 7 and Lido Deck 6.

They have a sitting area, picture windows, a balcony, bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.

From £4,599

SS - Superior Suite

This suite is approximately 300 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck 7.

This suite has a seating area and a balcony.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.

From £4,999

BA - Superior Balcony Room

These rooms are approximately 190 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck 7 and Lido Deck 6.

They have a bedroom with balcony and bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.

From £4,249

BC - Balcony Room

This room is approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck 7 and Lido Deck 6.

It has a bedroom with balcony and bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.

From £4,099

DC - Deluxe Balcony Room

This room is approximately 225 square feet in size and can be found on Marquee Deck 8.

It has a bedroom with balcony, bathroom with shower and/ or bath.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.

From £4,399

A - Superior Ocean View

This room is approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Lido Deck 6.
 
It has a picture window and a bathroom with shower.
 
Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
 
All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
 
From £3,599

B - Superior Ocean View

This room is approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Lido Deck 6 and Main Deck 4.

It has a picture window and a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00 pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £3,399

C - Superior Ocean View

This room is approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Lido Deck 6 and Main Deck 4.

It has a bedroom with picture window.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

Please note, rooms 6097 and 6095 have been equipped for use by disabled passengers.

From £3,349

D - Ocean View

This room is approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 3.

It has two portholes and a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £3,199

E - Ocean View

This room is approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 3.

It has two portholes and bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £3,149

F - Ocean View

This room is approximately 130 square feet in size and can be found on Marina Deck 2.

This has 2 portholes and a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00 pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £2,999

LA - Large Superior Ocean View

These rooms are approximately 175 square feet in size and can be found on Lido Deck 6 and Bridge Deck 7.

They have a bedroom with a large picture window and a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00 pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £3,699

G - Superior Interior Room

This room is approximately 130 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck 7 and Lido Deck 6.
It has a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £2,899

H - Interior Room

This room is approximately 130 square feet in size and can be found on Main Deck 4.

It has a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £2,799

I - Interior Room

This room is approximately 130 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 3.

It has a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £2,699

J - Single Superior Ocean View

This room is approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck 7 and Lido Deck 6.

It has a balcony and bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

Smoking is permitted on room balconies.

From £5,299

K - Single Ocean View

These rooms are approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Main Deck 4 and Bridge Deck 7.

These rooms have a picture window and a bathroom with shower. Please note, room 4003 has a porthole.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00 pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £4,799

L - Single Ocean View

These rooms are approximately 140 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 3 and Marina Deck 2.

These rooms have 2 portholes and a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00 pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £4,399

M - Single Interior Room

This room is approximately 130 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 3.

It has a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £3,999

N - Single Interior Room

These rooms can be found on Marina Deck 2, and is approximately 130 square feet.

They have a bathroom with shower.

Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.

All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

From £3,799

Upgrade to All inclusive from only £19 per person per night

Welcome Aboard Braemar

 

Your Ship Braemar

Capable of comfortably accomodating up to 929 passengers, Braemar has a uncrowded, intimate feel, with friendly staff providing a fantastic level personal service and catering to your every need.

Dining & Restaurants

Braemar features five elegant and intimate dining venues, each serving tempting indulgences perfectly prepared by our expert chefs. Whether you’re feeling peckish or are simply making the most of your time on board to indulge, you’ll always find something heavenly to tantalise your tastebuds.

Read more about Dining & Restaurants

A hearty breakfast cooked just how you like it is the perfect start to each day; while the delicious buffets on offer in the fully refurbished Palms Café are ideal for a quick lunch or a late-night snack. In the main Thistle and Grampian restaurants, enjoy formal five-course á la carte dinners every evening, or perhaps book a table at The Grill for an unforgettable dining experience.

Thistle Restaurant

Located on Main Deck 4 at the base of the ship’s beautiful Atrium, the Thistle is Braemar’s largest restaurant. Tastefully decorated in creamy-beige and mocha coloured furnishings, the Thistle assumes an air of timeless style and elegance.

Thanks to large picture windows, guests can take in spectacular views from their spacious table and comfortable chair while devouring delicious, five-course á la carte dinners in the evening, as well as hearty breakfasts every morning.

Grampian Restaurant

Smaller and cosier than the Thistle Restaurant, the Grampian is popular with guests who prefer an even more intimate dining experience. The table sizes in the Grampian are perfect for enjoying Fred. Olsen’s renowned delectable dining in the company of a loved one, or just a few of your new-found friends.

Located at the top of the Braemar’s stunning Atrium on Marquee Deck, The Grampian is enhanced further by large windows providing breathtaking views to enjoy in the comfort of newly updated seating, as our friendly waiters cater to your every need.

Palms Café

Completely refurbished as part of Braemar’s extensive refit in late 2017, the Palms Café has been improved with new, stylish upholstery, soft furnishings and seating to create an inviting space in which to enjoy a more relaxed, slightly less formal style of dining.

Although we’ve changed the look of the Palms Café, you can still expect to enjoy an array of tempting buffet dishes here – perfect if you would prefer to not dine at a set time, or are simply looking for a late-night snack. And, of course, every dish available will be expertly prepared to Fred. Olsen’s renowned high standards.

The Marquee Bar

Braemar’s top deck Marquee Bar provides guests with an al fresco daytime dining option, offering a tempting menu of hearty breakfasts and delicious light lunches.

Situated on Marquee Deck, out in the open-air, the bar provides unspoilt views of spectacular scenery and cooling sea air to enjoy as you start your day; or perhaps while you take a break from sunbathing by the nearby pools.

The Grill

For an extra special dining experience, book a table at The Grill for dining at its finest. Open in warm weather, The Grill – located at the stern of the ship on Lido Deck – combines the relaxing sounds of the ocean with incredible views and fantastic food – a real feast for all the senses. Indulge at lunchtime, or perhaps treat yourself to The Grill’s premium dinner menu in the evening – a unique experience that’s not to be missed.

Room Service

All rooms and Suites have tea and coffee making facilities as standard, so you can enjoy a pick-me-up first thing, and a relaxing drink at the end of the day. For those times when you’d like something more while you’re in your home-from-home at sea you can also order room service up until 11pm every day.

Continental breakfast can be ordered in advance for delivery at your preferred time, while snacks are available from 10am onwards. Should you prefer not to head to the restaurants, short lunch and dinner menus are also available. Whatever the time of day, you’ll never be hungry on a Fred. Olsen cruise.

Afternoon Tea

Each day complimentary afternoon tea is served, with sandwiches, scones and cakes, along with fresh tea and coffee, always a popular choice.

On some days guests can book a very select experience: Traditional Premium Afternoon Tea. Enjoy beautiful views from the stylish Observatory Lounge, with musical accompaniment from our on board pianist and the careful attention of white-gloved waiters.

Your choice from a selection of premium teas by Taylors of Harrogate is served in porcelain teapots, along with elegant finger sandwiches, pastries and warm scones with jam and clotted cream. Such civilised indulgence – and all for only £8.95 per person*.

Bars & Lounges

From the grand Neptune Lounge, which hosts insightful lectures and spectacular live shows, and the Coral Club, with its resident bands and large dance floor, to the welcoming Morning Light Pub – your very own ‘local’ at sea – and the intimate Observatory Lounge, offering breathtaking views and Traditional Afternoon Tea, there’s a venue to suit every occasion and guest on board Braemar.

Read more about Bars & Lounges on Braemar

Neptune Lounge

The Neptune Lounge is the larger of Braemar’s two main show theatres, although music and entertainment is on offer throughout the ship, and is the venue for a variety of shows, events and performances.

Thanks to extensive improvements made as part of Braemar’s thorough refit in 2017, which included the fitting of brand new carpets, furnishings and extra seating, the Neptune Lounge is now an even more comfortable place to enjoy port talks, lectures and more throughout the day, and variety of glamourous entertainment, music, dance, comedy and costumes every evening.

The Coral Club

This sophisticated lounge, seating 170 guests, is the venue for intimate evening shows, great music for dancing to resident live bands, as well as occasional late night cabarets.

It offers alternative shows to those in the Neptune Lounge, which are also given in two performances. It is also the location for the ever-popular on board Bingo. In the evenings here you may wish to enjoy to sample a fine selection of premium gins from our gin menu.

Observatory

Located on Marquee Deck at the very top of Braemar, the Observatory Lounge boasts the most spectacular panoramic views and is a wonderful place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink. Sit by the bar, or perhaps take a seat by the lounge’s large windows and lose yourself in the stunning sights while listening to the twinkling sounds of a grand piano.

The Observatory Lounge is also the venue for our premium Traditional Afternoon Tea service, which offers guests a selection of delicious sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones accompanied by premium teas and unforgettable views.

The Bookmark Café

Life on the ocean waves doesn’t mean having to sacrifice the regular ‘caffeine fix’ at your favourite coffee shop. The Bookmark Café serves a selection of delicious speciality coffees – espresso, cappuccino, mocha, iced lattes and more – along with quality tea blends.

Enjoy a quiet moment with a book or share the experience with good conversation. You’re sure to be tempted by our heavenly fresh chocolates too. From pralines to Champagne truffles, these melt-in-the-mouth treats are too good to miss. Alternatively, the friendly Barista will be happy to fill your reusable cup with the beverage of your choice, to enjoy on a stroll around deck or as you explore ashore.

The popular Bookmark Bestseller, which includes seven quality beverages and a bag of luxurious truffles for £15.95 per person, can be booked before you cruise.

Marquee Bar

Situated on Marquee Deck, close to the ship’s sun loungers, swimming pools and jacuzzis, the Marquee Bar is the perfect place to take a break from the sunshine to grab a refreshing drink or a light bite to eat, or simply enjoy some time in the cooling shade.

Featuring plenty of comfortable rattan furniture, the Marquee Bar is an ideal spot for meeting friends for an alfresco pre-dinner drink too, while in warmer climes it is also the venue for fantastic late-night deck parties.

Morning Light Pub

With its welcoming, friendly atmosphere and charming traditional style, Braemar’s Morning Light Pub assumes the feel of your very own local at sea. Open throughout the day and the evening, it’s the ideal place to relax and socialise with friends and fellow guests.

Perhaps enjoy a quick pint or a glass of wine at lunch before spending the afternoon ashore; stop by for a pre-dinner drink; or settle into a comfortable seat and relax long into the night while enjoying performances from live bands and comedians.

Activities & Entertainment

There’s always something to keep you entertained on board Braemar. The ship’s comfortable lounges and public areas are the venues for a wide range of activities and entertainment, from interesting and insightful talks and lectures, brain-teasing quizzes and enriching classes to enjoy throughout the day, to live shows performed by a resident team of talented singers, dancers, musicians and comedians every evening.

Read more about Activities & Entertainment on Braemar

Whilst on board Braemar you’ll be treated to guest speakers and performers, art and craft lessons, fun quizzes and much more, along with yoga, Pilates and other fitness activities to suit your needs and interests. Most daytime activities will be held either out on the Marquee Deck in the sea air, or at the large Neptune Lounge, sociable Coral Club or comfortable Morning Light Pub.

On sea days, it’s our pleasure to inspire you with the chance to learn new hobbies or skills. You could choose from photography talks, ballroom dancing lessons, singing and language classes, theatre workshops or even watercolour tutorials. Activities vary from cruise to cruise and are highlighted each day in your copy of the Daily Times.

Daytime activities

Whilst on board Braemar you’ll be treated to guest speakers and performers, art and craft lessons, fun quizzes and much more, along with yoga, Pilates and other fitness activities to suit your needs and interests. Most daytime activities will be held either out on the Marquee Deck in the sea air, or at the large Neptune Lounge, sociable Coral Club or comfortable Morning Light Pub.

On sea days, it’s our pleasure to inspire you with the chance to learn new hobbies or skills. You could choose from photography talks, ballroom dancing lessons, singing and language classes, theatre workshops or even watercolour tutorials. Activities vary from cruise to cruise and are highlighted each day in your copy of the Daily Times.

Guest Speakers

Our range of fascinating lectures from leading experts are always popular on board. Previous subjects have included wine tasting, the sky at night, maritime history and piloting Concorde.

Equally, guests value an insight into the destination they’re heading to our knowledgeable port lecturers share all the information you’ll need for venturing ashore, so you can be confident of making the most of your time in each port of call.

On board Braemar, our comfortable and spacious Neptune Lounge and Coral Club are ideal venues, with plenty of seating available and friendly staff on hand to serve you with your favourite tipple as you enrich your cruise experience.

Evening entertainment

When the lights go down on board Braemar, we’ll treat you to a selection of live shows ranging from music and cabaret to quick-fire stand-up comedy. Just relax, sit back and enjoy the fabulous acts with your favourite tipple or cocktail in the Neptune Lounge. After the main show, there’s usually a chance to catch a set from our Ship’s Orchestra and show-off your dance moves. With our talented Dance Hosts on hand, no-one goes too long without a dance partner.

As well as enjoying the evening show, you can join new-found friends in the welcoming Morning Light Pub to enjoy performances from talented solo acts over a sociable drink; dance the night away to tunes performed by your ship’s resident band in the Coral Club; or even take a moonlight stroll out on the open decks. For a magical end to your evening, head to the Observatory to enjoy a late-night drink accompanied by the sounds of a twinkling grand piano.

Relaxation & Fitness

While Braemar is smaller than many of today’s megaships, there are still many places to relax, unwind and forget about the stress and strain of life back home as you explore the world in comfort and timeless style. Perhaps soak up the sunshine and ever-changing scenery from the sunloungers, pools and jacuzzis on Marquee Deck; feel the sea breeze on a leisurely walk around the ship’s open promenade; indulge yourself at the Atlantis Spa; or work-off some excess energy at the fully-equipped Fitness Centre. How you make the most of your time on board Braemar is entirely up to you.

Read more about relaxation & Fitness on Braemar

Feel energised

Enjoy wanders along the open promenade under moonlight or as the sun slowly rises on the horizon; unwind in the sauna and steam room; let the bubbling jacuzzis soothe you; and take a refreshing dip in the heated pool, all without having to endure queues for the ship’s facilities and ever feeling overcrowded. You can treat yourself to hours of unspoilt relaxation, ensuring your holiday is as restful, energising and invigorating as it should be.

While there’s so much time to relax and indulge on board, there’s no need to stray too far away from your usual healthy lifestyle. At Braemar’s fully-equipped Fitness Centre you can stick to your regular fitness routine; and even try your hand at number of classes including yoga, aerobics and Pilates, so there’s reason to feel guilty about having that extra course at dinner.

Pamper yourself at the Atlantis Spa

Refresh the mind and revive the body at Braemar’s haven of relaxation. The soothing surroundings of the Atlantis Spa is where you can really treat yourself.

Situated on Atlantic Deck and open daily between 8am & 8pm, this luxurious spa offers a wide range of beauty and relaxation treatments, including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and hairdressing. Perhaps try out a new style for your holiday; get set for a formal evening or special occasion; or simply unwind after a busy day of exploring ashore.

Facilities & Amenities

As well as a choice of comfortable accommodation, dining venues, bars and lounges, all of which have been refreshed and refurbished as part of the ship’s thorough refit in late 2017, Braemar features all the facilities and amenities you need for a comfortable, restful and stress-free stay on board, including heated pools and bubbling jacuzzis, a well-stocked library and even a self-service Laundry Room.

Read more about Facilities & Amenities on Braemar

Pools & Jacuzzis

Keep fit by swimming a few lengths, or cool down after relaxing in the sunshine on deck in Braemar’s large, heated saltwater pools. Located in the centre of Marquee Deck, both pools have bubbling Jacuzzis close by, perfect for whiling away some time on sea days, or unwinding after an exciting exploration ashore.

By the pools you’ll find plenty of comfortable sun loungers and ample open deck space too, providing somewhere to simply relax and enjoy the scenery and sea air as the friendly, attentive staff bring you your choice of refreshment throughout the day.

Library

Located in the Bookmark Café on Lounge Deck, Braemar’s well-appointed library provides a wide variety of books and publications, including some large print books, to delve into, accompanied by speciality coffees, teas and tempting chocolates served at this quiet, comfortable space. 

As well as losing themselves in a good book as the world drifts by, guests can stop-by the Library for a traditional board games such as chess and drafts, or have a go at large, challenging jigsaw puzzles available too. 

Gaming Tables

Try your hand at Blackjack or Roulette at Braemar’s Gaming Tables, located portside on Lounge Deck. Perhaps attend one of our daytime teaching sessions to improve your game and learn how to win big, then put your skills into practice in the evenings against our friendly croupiers, your new-found friends and fellow guests.

Please note: games of chance may not be charged back to your on board account.

Card Room

Featuring plenty of card tables and comfortable chairs, the Card Room on board Braemar provides guests with a quiet, relaxing space to enjoy a competitive hand or two, or simply a bit of fun. Bridge is always a popular pursuit on board, so you’re sure to find players up for a challenge. On some cruises, Bridge tuition is on offer to help you develop your skills.

If you prefer, asides from playing cards, there are jigsaws and board games for you to have a go at too.

Laundry Room

One of the treats of being on board your cruise ship is to leave behind the routine chores. And of course, there is a comprehensive on board laundry service which your stewardess will be pleased to arrange for you. Full details and prices for this service can be found in your Welcome Pack waiting in your room.

However, we do appreciate that occasionally there may be items you wish to deal with yourself, and the self-service Laundry Room, located on Marina Deck, is fully equipped with washing machines, tumble dryers and ironing facilities. A particularly useful facility for those guests enjoying a longer cruise holiday.

Make a booking

To book a cruise please use the booking enquiry form below, send us an email at enquiries@victoriatravelclub.com or request a callback

Booking Enquiry

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