Gardeners World Magazine

Springtime Cruise & Tulips

with David Hurrion and Matthew Biggs

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line – Braemar – 9th – 16th April 2021

from £1,399pp

This springtime cruise is sure to stimulate your senses, bringing a visual feast of horticultural delights in the company of experts David Hurrion and Matt Biggs. 

A real treat is in store as we take in the famous house and gardens of Claude Monet, an annual spring flower show, the sweet seasonal scents of one of the world’s largest flower gardens and a family run tulip farm.

David Hurrion

“Holland and Belgium will be awash with colour from tulips and our visit to the world-famous Keukenhof AND Floralia will make this a truly memorable trip for me”

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Matt Biggs

“Monet’s gorgeous garden, a brilliant bonanza of bulbs & stories from the tulip farm to make you smile. It’s the perfect way to inspire your spring”.

Exclusive Horticultural Highlights

Monet’s House and Garden – A garden of two distinct halves and one that everyone should visit at least once in their lives

Floralia Brussels – The Spring Flower Show in the grounds of Chateau Grand Bigard

Keukenhof – The most beautiful spring park in the world

Siem Munster Tulip Farm – A chance to see where it all begins, following bulbs on their fascinating journey from nursery to your garden

Your Garden Cruise Itinerary

9th – 16th April 2021 – 7 nights

Fri 09 Apr
Depart Southampton, United Kingdom, Late PM

Southampton, United Kingdom

Embark Braemar in Southampton. Settle in and enjoy your evening with dinner and entertainment.

Sat 10 Apr
Arrive Honfleur, France Early AM, Depart Late Night

Honfleur, France

This morning you have the opportunity of joining our group tour taking you to the pretty village of Giverny and a visit to Claude Monet’s House and Gardens.

Explore the beautiful surroundings which inspired some of Monet’s work and admire the picturesque settings within which Monet painted the series of work Water Lilies.

Claude Monet spent the last four decades of his life creating a magnificent garden at his home and memorialising it in oil on canvas. On this tour, explore Monet’s flower garden, the house and the Japanese inspired water garden. Upon arrival, discover the ‘Clos Normand’ an ablaze of colour in spring. Wander towards the pink brick house adorned with green shutters through the garden entrance. Inside, visit the salon, Monet’s bedroom, his Nympheas studio, the yellow dining room and the tiled kitchen.

Reproductions of Monet’s works and his collection of 18th and 19th century Japanese prints can be seen throughout. Enter into the gardens, where you can walk through the ‘water garden’, which is shaped by weeping willows, the Japanese bridge and the lily pond.

Explore at your own leisure remembering to leave some time to browse in the gift shop for souvenirs.

Sun 11 Apr
Arrive Antwerp, Belgium Late PM

Antwerp, Belgium

Belgium’s charming, medieval city of Antwerp is the country’s biggest port and often recognised as its capital of cool. It has proved an alluring city for centuries, attracting lovers of art, fashion and, of course, diamonds – over 80% of the world’s rough diamonds pass through the city’s famous diamond district at some point or other. Renowned for its charm and sparkle, Antwerp was one of Europe’s principle cities in the mid-16th century and has maintained the essence of its medieval past, despite severe bombing during World War II.

A riverside fortress and numerous intriguing cobbled streets are overshadowed by the 123m high tower of the imposing Cathedral of Our Lady, the biggest church in Benelux. Its construction started in 1352 on the site of a 10th century chapel, but like many medieval religious buildings, it took several centuries to complete. The cathedral interior has four altarpieces by Peter Paul Rubens, a legendary artist from the Baroque era. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to Rubens and houses many of his finest works, along with those of other Flemish masters.

There are more than 20 other museums in the city, while the abundant attractions of this cultural gem also include a vibrant fashion and entertainment scene, a robust café culture, excellent shops and delightful parks and gardens. Fine dining is also on the menu, and one of Antwerp’s most popular restaurants, The Jane, brings it all together with a slice of rock and roll.

Mon 12 Apr
Depart Antwerp, Belgium Late PM

Antwerp, Belgium

This morning we visit the spring flower exhibition in the park and the greenhouses of the castle of Grand Bigard (Groot-Bijgaarden) offering an unforgettable flower experience.

The park of 14 hectares incorporates nearly all spring bulb varieties. For the new flowering season, the gardeners of the castle plant by hand more than one million bulbs.  Special attention goes to the tulips, with almost 400 varieties, hyacinths and daffodils are also well represented. You will find a prestigious exhibition of floral arrangements and decorative plants in the greenhouses.

During the four weeks in which the exhibition takes place, flower lovers will have the opportunity to discover 500 varieties including 400 tulip varieties, some of which have not yet received a name.

Tue 13 Apr
Arrive Rotterdam, Netherlands Early AM, Depart Late PM

Rotterdam, Netherlands

The words innovative and inspiring sum up Rotterdam, a major port city in the Dutch province of South Holland. The Netherlands’ second largest city has a diverse community, a captivating maritime history, and an abundance of excellent museums.

The city is like an exhibition of futuristic architecture, an achievement made even more remarkable given Rotterdam was literally razed to the ground during World War II. The north side of the city is easy to discover on foot. The Maritime Museum has vintage ships and exhibits that trace the city’s seafaring history, while the Pilgrim Fathers Church is the site where pilgrims worshipped before embarking for America.

This morning we visit one of the world’s largst flower gardens, Keukenhof and enjoy the best day out among the flowers! Over 7 million bulbs will bloom this spring, with a total of 800 varieties of tulips. A unique, unforgettable experience! Besides the spacious 32 hectares of flowers you can enjoy the spectacular flower shows, surprising inspirational gardens, unique art and wonderful events.

Do not miss the Tulip mania exhibition at the Juliana Pavilion. As many as 500 growers present their prize blooms for leading flower arrangers to use in their unique shows. Not all the flowers at Keukenhof are outside. The pavilions are also packed with flowering bulbs, cut flowers and pot plants.

Wed 14 Apr
Arrive Amsterdam, Netherlands Early AM, Depart Late Night

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Golden Age canals lined with elegant merchant homes is the familiar backdrop for the Netherlands’ historic capital, Amsterdam. Established in the 17th century with the construction of the River Amstel dam, this celebrated port offers everything from treasure-packed museums and antiquarian bookshops to chic boutiques and convivial cafés. Equally, art is never far away in this hub of uber-creative design. One noticeable thing about the city is that, some 150 years after its industrial heyday, Amsterdam is once again awash with producers.

Amsterdam has some 40 museums, and the Museum Quarter boasts three of the most famous: the Rijksmuseum has paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals; the Van Gogh Museum; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, displays work from Manet to Picasso. The Anne Frankhuis where Anne Frank and her family hid from German troops during the World War II, is an experience many visitors seek.

This morning we will visit the tulip farm of Siem Munster and be given a unique insight into the tulip greenhouses. You will see over 1,000.000 tulips, in different phases of growth, a variety of species and colours. A beautiful sight! Yellow, red, pink, white, flamed! Every week there are new species and they cannot get enough of it!

After a warm welcome and presentation, you will start your visit through the nursery. Walk around the greenhouses where employees are picking the tulips. The greenhouses have a capacity of over 1 million tulips per cycle of three weeks. You will see the tulips in different stadia of growth, varying from just above the soil until the tulips are in bloom. You will learn about the different installations and look at the ultra-modern tulip-bunching-robot. This machine makes bunches of 10 tulips by using X-ray technology, the newest invention in tulip production. You can also take a peek in the cold stores where the bulbs get the temperature treatment needed to ensure the tulips bloom at the right time!

Thu 15 Apr
Cruising

Cruising

You’ll be invited to join your hosts for a talk and question time today as well as relaxing on board and enjoying the ship’s daily programme.

Fri 16 Apr
Arrive Southampton, United Kingdom Early AM

Southampton, United Kingdom

Arrive early morning. Time for breakfast and farewells before continuing your journey home.

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, welcome get-together and drinks party
  • 4 Garden Tours
  • 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
  • Formal welcome Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet

Terms and Conditions – 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. 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. Disclaimer: Images for illustrative purposes only. Flower displays may vary.

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 £2,399

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 £2,695

- SPECIAL EARLY BOOKING OFFER -

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.

Special early booking offer fare: From £1,969 

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 £2,149

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 £2,149

- SPECIAL EARLY BOOKING OFFER -

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).
 
Special early booking offer fare: From £1,869 

- SPECIAL EARLY BOOKING OFFER -

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).

Special early booking offer fare: From £1,749 

- SPECIAL EARLY BOOKING OFFER -

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.

Special early booking offer fare: From £1,699 

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 £1,749

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 £1,699

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 £1,649

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 £1,979

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 £1,599

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 £1,499

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 £1,399

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 £2,799

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 £2,549

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 £2,349

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 £2,099

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 £1,999

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

For many guests, the time spent sailing the world’s waterways on board one of Fred. Olsen’s smaller, more intimate cruise ships is the time to indulge and make the most of a well-earned escape away from it all.

With this is mind, Fred. Olsen’s All Inclusive Drinks Upgrade is another service offered to ensure your holiday is relaxing and enjoyable. By upgrading to All Inclusive from only £19 per person, per night* (£35 per person, per night on cruises of five nights or less and Speciality Sailings), you can treat yourself to that extra glass or two of your favourite tipple, without having to worry about the bar bill at the end of your cruise – it’s already covered.

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.

WiFi on board

 

Staying connected with family and friends at home while on a Fred. Olsen cruise has never been easier.

Choosing a pay-as-you-go or day WiFi package will allow you to connect to the internet via your smartphone, tablet, laptop and other devices to send email, keep up-to-date with the latest news and share your holiday experiences on social media as you cruise.

Read more about wifi 

How much does wifi cost?

Simply connect to our WiFi once aboard, select your package and you’re set up. WiFi is available throughout our ships, so you can connect to the internet in your room or whilst relaxing in any of the public areas.

Any charges will be billed directly to your onboard account. Charges for our WiFi service* are as follows:

  • 60 minutes ‘pay as you go’ – £26
  • 120 minutes ‘pay as you go’ – £41
  • 5 days unlimited at £10 per day – £50
  • 7 days unlimited at £9 per day – £63

To make the most of your WiFi package, we recommend writing any emails you wish to send before you log on. This will help you save internet minutes for browsing, checking social media and other tasks.

Please note: this internet service is operated via a maritime satellite connection, and speeds are often slower than you experience at home. The availability of the service is subject to environmental factors outside of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines control.

For more information regarding our on board WiFi and internet services, just ask at Guest Services.

Please note, pricing and packages are subject to change.

Dress Code

 

Packing for your cruise holiday with Fred. Olsen is simple. The dress code is designed to ensure you feel relaxed and comfortable during your days and evenings on board, as well as your time ashore. This handy guide will help you decide what to pack for your cruise holiday.

Read more about dress codes

Evening wear

Evening wear is simple on a Fred. Olsen cruise; most evenings are Smart Casual with a Formal Night or two providing the chance to dress up. And just to add some fun to the cruise, there may also be some optional Theme Nights on longer sailings.

Smart Casual Evenings

Most evenings during your cruise will be Smart Casual, so you can feel relaxed and comfortable whilst enjoying your dinner.

For men, a pair of trousers, chinos or smart white or dark jeans, coupled with a polo shirt or shirt is perfectly acceptable. Some guests prefer to wear a jacket or tie – the choice is yours.

Ladies’ dress can often range from tailored trouser suits and stylish dresses to casual separates and summer dresses.

Formal Evenings

Cruises of six nights or longer will have at least one Formal Evening – this is your chance to ‘dress to impress’ and add glitz and glamour to your dining experience.

Most men opt to wear either a dinner jacket, or dark suit and tie. Ladies are often seen looking fabulous in anything from a cocktail-style dress to a full-length ball gown or evening suit.

Casual Buffet Dining

Each evening during your cruise holiday there will be the option to dine in our relaxed buffet restaurant, for a more casual dining experience at a time that suits you.

Although the dress code is casual allowing jeans or tailored shorts, we still kindly request that swimwear and flip flops are not worn.

Theme Nights

Most cruises of over 5 nights duration have a British Night, so dress in your best red, white and blue outfit, wave your Union Jack and sing-a-long as we celebrate Britain in style. With a feast of British-themed food, music and entertainment to enjoy, this special evening is sure to be a highlight of your holiday.

Daywear - Onboard

Whether enjoying the sea views from the deck, or participating in the many activities available, we want you to feel at ease. Casual wear is perfectly acceptable for your days on board with many guests opting for shorts and a T-shirt or polo shirt while cruising in sunny climes, and a pair of light-weight trousers and a sweater or jacket for cooler daytime temperatures.

Whilst on deck, bathing suits are a must to ensure you can make the most of the pools and Jacuzzis on board. A pair of flip flops or sandals are advisable as the decks can sometimes get very warm (please take care, as the decks can be slippery too). A T-shirt and casual shorts is often preferred for lounging by the pool. Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses and sun cream, as the sun can be a lot stronger at sea.

Daywear - Ashore

The weather can vary greatly depending on your destination and the time of year you cruise. For warm weather destinations like the Canaries, Mediterranean and the Caribbean, typical summertime wear such as T-shirts, shorts or swimwear are fine. For Shore Tours that include visits to churches, museums or cathedrals, it is advisable to dress a little more conservatively.

For cruises to cooler destinations, a pair of trousers, a jumper or jacket and a raincoat are recommended, as the weather can be changeable.

Whichever type of cruise you choose to embark on, a pair of comfortable walking shoes is strongly recommended to explore some of the fabulous destinations you will be visiting in comfort.

Where can I park my car at the port?

If you decide to drive to your departure port you can rest assured that the process will be surprisingly simple and stress-free. At each departure port we have long term established relationships with dedicated parking providers.

Read more about parking

You will be able to drive straight up to the cruise terminal where the luggage porters will assist with taking your bags from you, leaving you with your hand luggage, suit/dress carriers, cruise ticket and passports.

Each port operates slightly differently but there will be plenty of attendants on hand to guide and assist you with your car.

Southampton

  • ABP – Associated British Ports Southampton –
  • City Cruise Terminal – via Dock Gate 8 or 10 – SO15 1HJ
  • Mayflower Cruise Terminal – via Dock Gate 10 – SO15 1HJ
  • QEII Terminal – via Dock Gate 4 – SO14 3GG
  • Contact 0844 880 6848 | www.abparking.co.uk for prices and to book

When booking your parking please have the following information to hand:

  • Registration number
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Plus any required assistance which may need to be noted

If you require help with arranging Airport Parking for your Fly-Cruise, Holiday Extras will be able to assist on 0871 360 2603.

Make a booking

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

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