Sailing from the UK
Setting sail from Southampton
Southampton is the UK's leading port. Bustling modern cruise terminals, as well as wharfs and commercial harbours, line the waterfront, whilst the city itself is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern, with a picturesque old town, the original city walls still standing, and super-modern shopping centres and office complexes. On all corners you will see tributes to the city's rich history and maritime heritage. Henry V marched his troops through the Westgate on his way to the battle of Agincourt, The Mayflower sailed from here with a cargo of settlers to the New World, and the Titanic started her fateful voyage here.
Get a copy of the Old Town Walk map from the tourist information centre, a perfect (and free!) way to explore Southampton at a leisurely pace.
Funchal, Madeira’s bustling capital, tumbles down a dramatic hillside towards a beautiful sweeping bay. Highlights include colourful markets, wine lodges and the spectacular cable car ride up to the village of Monte, home of the famous toboggan run.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Situated on Tenerife’s north eastern shore, the island’s capital is a busy port that serves mostly as a gateway to the popular south west coast and the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the island’s interior.
Cape Verde: Santiago Islands
Situated on Brazil’s northeastern coast, the sprawling city of Fortaleza is best known for its beaches and nightlife, and it’s also a major seaport. There isn’t a huge amount in the way of sights, though the Mercado Central is good for shopping and there are some nice beach bars along the Praia do Futuro.
Brazil: Rio de Janeiro
The carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro needs little introduction. We can think of few cities in the world that are able to compete when it comes to location: hugging the beautiful sandy shore and surrounded by jungle-clad islands and mountains, including the iconic Corcovado, the setting for Brazil’s most vibrant city is simply breathtaking.
Located just across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Uruguay’s underrated capital is a cosmopolitan and eclectic mix of colourful colonial architecture and high rise modernity. The 14-mile waterfront promenade, La Rambla, is a popular and pleasant place to be on a summer’s evening.
Argentina: Buenos Aires
The streets of Buenos Aires are redolent of a grand old European capital, lined with elegant architecture that wouldn’t look out of place in Madrid or Paris. There is also plenty of Latin passion on display: Argentina is the home of tango, that most electrifying of dances, and has played host to countless revolutions over the years.
Uruguay: Punta del Este
The upmarket Uruguayan beach resort of Punta del Este is where the A-listers come to party, with a reputation as the Saint Tropez of South America. The town also has an arty side, typified by intriguing sculptures such as the giant concrete fingers emerging from the beach at Playa Brava.
The busy port of Santos is the gateway to cosmopolitan São Paulo, a vast metropolis that is home to some 20 million people, making it the third largest city on earth. The urban sprawl may not be to everyone’s taste, but for fans of big city life there is plenty to see and do, with a lively cultural scene and a host of world class restaurants.
Colourful Salvador is Brazil’s third biggest city and a vibrant centre for Afro-Brazilian culture, with frequent festivals that fill the streets with music and dancing. The historic core of the old city is the biggest tourist magnet, where elegant, brightly hued colonial buildings line the cobbled streets.
25 February - 1 March
Cape Verde: Cape Verde
Canary Islands: Lanzarote
In recent years Lanzarote has begun to shake off its mass market reputation and reinvent itself as a more upmarket destination. The extraordinary volcanic landscapes and the works of local artist César Manrique give the island a unique appearance, and the understated capital, Arrecife, is well worth exploring.
Spread across steep hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon’s colourful cityscape includes Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums. But for many the best times will be had wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets, with their great local food, wine and music.
Arriving in Southampton
Just a short drive from Southampton is the magical New Forest with its quaint hamlets, historic towns and seaside villages. Look out for the ponies too.
Your home from home
Balmoral is a cosy, intimate ship offering traditional British style cruising and personal, warm and friendly atmosphere.
What we love
Fred. Olsen offer a huge variety of sailings, many of which are excellent no fly cruise itineraries departing from a number of different regional UK ports. This comfortable ship has a British style with inviting public areas.
|Crew||470 International Staff|
|Style||Traditional British cruising with an informal, friendly and unpretentious atmosphere.|
Tailor-make your trip
Overnight in Southampton
Stay at the Pig in the Wall, stylish with great food. Very small so book early.
Day trips from Southampton
Visit historic Winchester, home to King Arthur’s Round Table, the Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral.