Cruise Experiences

Sail Away

Join us for a nautical holiday with a twist

On a Cruise & Walk holiday we provide you with the best of both worlds. Pioneered by us over 10 years ago, our carefully planned holidays, in association with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, offer you the freedom and guidance to go ashore and explore more in the company of a small guided and friendly group.

On board Fred. Olsen's fleet of smaller scale ships, your floating hotels, you'll find a relaxed camaraderie, welcoming faces and familiar smiles. We glide seamlessly into quiet harbours and secluded bays - not accessible to larger ships so you can awake to a different view every day. And as your feet touch terra firma, our own dedicated on board tour leaders will ensure that you bypass the usual cruise ship tours, helping you to uncover every nook, cranny and hidden corner that most tourists miss.

As well as a choice of destinations, you can enjoy a range of walking grades, from leisurely to moderate to pioneering. Arranged to help you make the most of your adventures on land, you are sure to find one that matches your preferred pace.

Whichever experience you choose, a Cruise & Walk Holiday offers exceptional value for money with your accommodation, sightseeing tours, meals and much more included. So whether you want to immerse yourself in unique sights and authentic experiences or simply watch the world go by, open up and take a look at our repertoire of sea faring, walking adventures...

 

What's Included?

The price you pay for a Cruise & Walk holiday offers great value for money. From your shore excursions, accommodation, meals, restaurant gratuities, entertainment and exclusive afternoon tea, it’s all included in the price:

Your Floating Hotel - Small ship high standard accommodation, excellent amenities, superb dining and all the entertainment you could wish for.

Shore Excursions - Unlike other cruise holidays the cost of all our shore excursions is included in the price making these holidays extraordinarily good value.

Full Board - Breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, five-course dinner plus a late night buffet is included. Drinks Packages are available from £25pppn.

The Best Tour Leaders - Qualified and experienced leaders guide, organise and make sure you get the most out of your time aboard and ashore.

Local Guides, Local Knowledge - Often also included: Native city walking, cultural or naturalist guides to add more insight and local flavour.

An Exclusive 'Welcome Party' - A fun ice breaking get together for getting acquainted with your Cruise & Walk travelling companions.

Great Itineraries, Big Adventures - We include an exclusive graded and guided shore walking and sightseeing programme for every cruise.

Tips Taken Care Of - We cover the restaurant tips for you. At the end of your cruise, you just need to tip your cabin steward.

Picnic Lunches - As additional value these will be provided by the ship for all days ashore.

Exclusive Afternoon Tea - You’ll enjoy a stylish afternoon tea on one day of your cruise.

Overnight In Port - Some of our holidays feature an overnight in port, allowing you to explore more and step out for the evening.

Sightseeing Tours - Many cruises include at least one half day sightseeing tour with a local guide.

On All 'Fly-Cruises' - Flights from London and/or Manchester, overnight hotel accommodation on arrival plus transfers to and from the ship are all included!

Cabin Upgrades & Benefits - Treat yourself to an outside cabin or a balcony cabin or suite with our preferential rates for cabin upgrades.

Reduced Supplements - Great for solos, who benefit from reduced supplements for sole occupancy of twin cabins on som cabin grades.

 

Welcome Aboard

Fred. Olsen’s fleet of small yet spacious ships will sail you effortlessly to lesser known ports, for an authentic holiday experience with a friendly and attentive service.

BRAEMAR

Stylish, contemporary and with a five deck high atrium and large windows, Braemar has a light and open feel. There are two swimming pools on the Marquee Deck and cascading decks at the stern to give a mix of both open and more intimate outside space. Inside there s no shortage of public space either, with cafés, bars and lounges.

BALMORAL

Carrying around 1300 passengers, Balmoral is the largest ship in Fred. Olsen s fleet. Although smaller and more intimate than most cruise ships launched in recent years, the cabins are comfortable and well appointed. There s plenty of public space both inside and outside for everyone to relax into, and swimming pools on decks 7 and 11.

BLACK WATCH

Before the jet set arrived, cruise ships were once the height of style, charm and sophistication. Black Watch with its sleek styling, traditional atmosphere and comfortable cabins harks back to the heyday of the cruise liner. Still sailing on world cruises, Black Watch continues to provide a world–class cruising experience to travellers today.

BOUDICCA

Sister ship to Black Watch, Boudicca was named after the warrior queen of the ancient Britons. This classically styled liner lives up to its impressive name providing good accommodation, excellent catering, and the attentive service that’s only really possible on a smaller ship.

 

Cruise FAQs

Which Cruise & Walk Holiday Is For Me?

With a range of cruise destinations and UK departure ports throughout the year, as well as cruises of 7 to 18 night durations, you’ll just need to choose a holiday with the walking grade to suit your needs.

Cruise Walking

As our time in port is determined by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and the local port authorities, our walks and sightseeing schedules are adapted to fit in with these timings. Our walks may Sometimes, but not always, be shorter than what you would normally expect from the equivalent grade on a land-based holiday.

The grading system for our Cruise & Walk tours therefore places a greater emphasis on terrain and steepness of ascent and descent rather than on time and distance, though these factors are still relevant.

Further details of all walks can be found in our Holiday Information Sheets which are downloadable from the individual cruise holiday pages, or available on request.

Do I Have To Walk Every Day?

It’s your holiday and you can choose how to enjoy yourself. If you want to do your own thing at any time, your leader will only be too happy to advise. On most cruises, there are days at sea, which give you days free of walking.

Accommodation

Your cabin accommodation is an important part of your holiday. Please see www.fredolsencruises. co.uk or call us for details of cabin grades and their high standard facilities. Let us know if you’d like a different cabin to those highlighted in the brochure – we can quote for all grades of cabins available on board. Remember, internal cabins don't have a sea view nor access to natural light.

Single Travellers Welcome

Our holidays are friendly and fun and our small groups frequently include single travellers with like-minded interests.

Single Cabin Options

All cruise lines charge supplements for outside cabins with portholes, windows or balconies and for single cabins. A single supplement guarantees privacy only and may be smaller than a standard cabin. Some twin cabins may be available for sole use at a reduced supplement.

Meals & What To Wear

All meals are included on board. Lunch on the full walking days will be a picnic supplied by the ship. One or two evenings require formal dress for dinner, though a dark suit is OK for men if you prefer not to wear a dinner jacket. There’s an exclusive Welcome Party one evening, in addition to the traditional ‘Captain’s Party’, and a formal traditional afternoon English tea service during a sea-day. If you have any particular dietary needs, we are able to accommodate most requests.

Drinks From The Bar

You can relax and enjoy your evenings on board knowing that your bill at the end of your holiday isn’t going to be an unpleasant surprise. Drinks are at UK pub prices and a bottle of wine with your dinner will be reasonably priced too.

Optional Local Excursions

Although a shore walking programme is organised and included for each port of call, should you independently book an excursion or activity provided by a local operator, your contract will be with the local supplier. Although we cannot accept any responsibility for the acts and omissions of an independently booked supplier, we will offer assistance to a client in difficulty. Please ensure you are adequately insured for any optional local activity that you choose to participate in.

Small Friendly Groups

We keep our groups small, informal and friendly to ensure that you can get to know your travelling companions and can walk away from the crowds. On board we’ll eat as a group in the restaurant and meet for briefings and events. At breakfast you’ve the freedom to eat when and with whom you choose.

Keeping The World Beautiful

Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an ‘up close and personal’ experience of your destination, but minimises impact on the immediate environment.

 

Essential Cruise Information

Prices And Payments

Prices for our Cruise & Walk holidays are for your guidance, but may be subject to variation. Kindly note that prices may exclude fuel surcharges imposed by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines which may be applied at the time of booking. Information about these will be provided on request or when your booking is made. See paragraph 3 of our Cruise & Walk Booking Conditions for further details.

Should you book a cabin on a twin occupancy basis and either you or your travelling companion cancel, additional charges may apply to the remaining passenger either due to a change of cabin or due to under occupancy of the original cabin. See paragraph 6 of our Booking Conditions for further details and sections 2.1 and 3.2 of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Passenger Terms and Conditions.

Paying On Board

For your convenience a credit system is operated for all on board services, except for foreign currency exchange and ‘games of chance’.

When a chargeable service is provided, you will be required to present your account card and sign a cashpoint receipt, retaining one copy for your reference.

Your account is open from the time you embark the vessel with your swipe card, which is issued at check-in and which acts as your on board account card. To avoid any necessity to queue in order to settle your account at cruise end, you will be requested to present your credit card at Reception early in the cruise so that a swipe can be taken. You can check the balance of your account at any stage in the cruise and it will then be automatically debited after disembarkation.

The following credit cards are accepted: American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines also accept Visa debit cards but regret Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are unable to accept; Maestro, Solo, Electron or travel agent debit cards on board. Neither can Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines accept travellers cheque cards.

You may also cash personal cheques to the value of your cheque guarantee card – the number of occasions will be dependent upon cruise duration.

The currency used on board is Sterling, which must be the currency used to settle your on board account if paying in cash. We also carry currencies for most of the ports of call we visit – please see Bureau de Change for more details.

All accounts for services and goods provided on board the ship must be settled before you leave the vessel. A 2% charge will apply to payments made by a credit card. An administration charge of £75 will apply for accounts not settled before leaving the ship.

Travellers With Disabilities and Known Medical Conditions

We want to ensure that our holidays are accessible to as many people as possible. We also recognise that the term ‘disability’ covers a broad range of impairments, many of which have no impact on mobility or the ability to participate in our holidays. The nature of our holidays does mean however, that some will not be accessible to certain disabled people. We are always happy to discuss any disability related needs with you and will make all reasonable adjustments to accommodate them if full details are provided in writing at time of booking.

You must give written notice to us at the time of booking of any disability, mobility problem, or any other condition requiring special care, attention or treatment. If any such condition arises after booking then written notice must be given to us as soon as possible. It may not be possible to satisfactorily accommodate you with such a condition onboard the cruise ship. Passage may therefore be refused to those with such a condition at the discretion of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines or Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays. Women who will be more than 28 weeks pregnant at the end of the cruise holiday are not permitted to travel. Disabled passengers must be accompanied on board by an able bodied companion. Some ports require passengers to go ashore by tender. On health and safety grounds wheelchair bound passengers will be prevented from going ashore on these occasions.

If we feel we cannot meet your needs, we reserve the right to decline your booking. In addition, if after booking your holiday a disability related additional need becomes evident that we cannot properly accommodate, we reserve the right to cancel the reservation.

Sailing Times & Flight Times

Please check your ticket and other holiday information for sailing and embarkation times. Embarkation from UK ports usually begins at 2pm. Sailing times and for fly-cruises, flight times, may be subject to change. Please do not finalise any independently booked connecting domestic travel before you check with us, and certainly not earlier than 12 weeks before your intended date of travel. On occasions there may be onerous cancellation terms on pre-booked domestic travel and hotels for which we cannot accept responsibility and you are advised to check on these carefully before finalising arrangements. See paragraph 7 of our terms & conditions.

Many of you would like friends and family to join you on board prior to sailing but, for security reasons, no visitors are allowed beyond check-in or Security in the UK or abroad. Should you be unable to join your holiday due to the cancellation or delay of your independent travel arrangements, please be aware that additional costs and losses involved in meeting up with your chosen tour may not be covered. In addition, although we will make every attempt to minimise your losses, we would not be able to absorb the cost of any cancellation charges. In the event of strikes, although we will endeavour to offer reasonable assistance, our ability to assist you may be limited.

It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you check in on time for your cruise and allow plenty of time for doing so. It is your sole responsibility to check in on time for any flights to/from the vessel, including any inter-connecting flights.

Health On Board

For your peace of mind, all ships in our programme have a medical centre offering primary care with a doctor and/or nurse on permanent call. They can easily be called from the phone in your cabin, if needed in an emergency.

The medical centres operate outside the British and European health services and charges are levied for consultations, prescriptions, cabin visits and other medical provisions including repatriation costs.

Any expenses reasonably incurred for you or on your behalf (including medical treatment and repatriation expenses) shall be repayable by you to Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays or Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in full on demand (whether or not you have insurance cover for some or all of the expenses). In any case where such assistance is necessary or provided, you give Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays or Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines authority to contact any 3rd party including your GP or other medical practitioner and/or your insurers to obtain any information or documentation.

Medical Assistance

In compliance with Flag State requirements each vessel has on board a qualified doctor and a medical centre equipped for first aid and minor conditions only. Medical services provided on board are outside the scope of the UK National Health Service and a charge is made for these services. The medical centre is not equipped like a land based hospital and the doctor is not a specialist. Neither Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the doctor, nor Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays shall be liable to the Passenger as a result of any inability to treat any medical condition as a result.

At Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines sole discretion Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines may afford you assistance if you suffer illness, personal injury or death during the period of your holiday. Such assistance may take the form of advice, guidance or initial financial aid where appropriate and subject to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines discretion. Any expenses reasonably incurred for you or on your behalf (including medical treatment and repatriation expenses) shall be repayable by you to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in full on demand (whether or not you have insurance cover for some or all of the expenses). In any case where such assistance is necessary or provided you give Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines authority to contact any third party including your general practitioner or other medical practitioner and/or your insurers to obtain any information or documentation. Whilst there is a qualified doctor on board the vessel, it is a Passenger’s obligation and responsibility to seek medical assistance if necessary during the Holiday and the Passenger will be solely responsible to pay for any on board medical services including but not limited to any medical treatments provided and repatriations which will be charged in line with private medical health care fees and charges.

In the event of illness or accident, Passengers may have to be landed ashore by the carrier and/ or the master for medical treatment. Neither the Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays nor Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines make any representation or accept any responsibility for the quality of any medical facilities or treatments at any port of call or at the place at which the Passenger is landed. Medical facilities and standards vary from port to port; neither Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines nor Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays makes any representations or warranties in relation to the standard of medical treatment ashore.

The on board doctor’s professional opinion as to the fitness of a Passenger to board the vessel or to continue the Holiday is final and binding on the Passenger.

Where a Passenger is refused embarkation as a result of health and/or fitness to travel, then neither Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays nor Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has any liability to the Passenger.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and/or Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays and/or the health authorities at any port shall be entitled to administer a public health questionnaire. The Passenger shall supply accurate information regarding symptoms of any illness including but not limited to gastrointestinal illness and H1n1. The carrier may deny boarding to any Passenger that it considers in its sole discretion to have symptoms of any illness including viral or bacterial illness including but not limited to norovirus and H1n1. Any refusal by a Passenger to complete a questionnaire may result in denied boarding.

The vessel’s doctor has the authority to require a Passenger to remain in their cabin for health and safety reasons should they become ill during the Holiday.

Passengers are reminded that some foods may cause an allergic reaction in certain people due to intolerance of some ingredients. If the Passenger has any known allergies, or is intolerant of any food, it is his/her responsibility to report this to the carrier on boarding of the vessel and certainly before consuming any food. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines shall have no liability to any Passenger who has failed to notify the vessel of an allergy or food intolerance and becomes ill as a result of eating foods which they are allergic or intolerant to. Further, and irrespective of any notification provided to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines or to Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays of any food allergies or intolerances, it remains your decision as to whether or not to consume any particular food items and you consume all food at your own risk. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays cannot be held responsible for the food allergies and intolerances of individual Passengers.

Passports & Visas

Passports are required for all Ramblers Cruise & Walk holidays or as identification when boarding the cruise ship. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the date of your return to the UK. Please check the expiry date of your passport. Check that it’s yours and that you’ve packed it before you travel. We strongly recommend you carry a photocopy of your passport separately from your main travel documents.

You are responsible for complying with all necessary visa, documentary and inoculation requirements for the entire holiday. If your passport is not a British Citizen passport you may require a visa(s). Please check with us, or the appropriate consulate, before booking. Please note that visa requirements and charges are subject to change without warning.

Should you be unable to join your holiday due to the cancellation or delay of your independent flight or other travel arrangement or your travel documents being invalid, we cannot accept responsibility for any consequent loss or additional cost.

Changes To Your Holiday

Do be aware that itineraries planned for some holidays may be changed prior to departure or at very short notice. See paragraph 7 of your terms and conditions. The final decision for any changes rests with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and your leader. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays cannot be held responsible for disruption to planned itineraries arising from weather conditions or situations beyond our control such as earthquakes or political unrest. Every effort will be made to provide alternative activities and to ensure that you have the best holiday possible.

Launderette

All ships have a self-service launderette on board.

Shore Bought Alcohol

Any alcohol purchased ashore, which you wish to bring aboard ship, must be handed to the ship’s staff for safe storage until the end of your cruise.

Smoking & Electronic Cigarettes

Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, is not permitted except on cabin balconies and designated open deck locations.

 

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