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Baltic Discovery

A cruise around the Baltic Sea is the perfect way to sample the splendours of Europe’s northern capitals of culture and Baltic scenery. Exploring one distinctive destination after another, with an emphasis on sightseeing, wherever possible, we take the opportunity to explore the local countryside beyond the historic capital cities of the Baltic’s eight proud nations.

From£2,299

Leisurely

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 81000

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Our holiday walking grades

Leisurely

Grade 2

Mixes active sightseeing with short city or countryside walks.

The National Parks, beaches and rainforest of Sri Lanka are typical examples of places you will enjoy visiting in one holiday.

Any walks will take up to 2 hours and any ascents or descents will be taken at a leisurely pace.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Europe’s northern capitals of culture
  • St Petersburg - the jewel in the crown
  • The fourteen islands of Stockholm

The beguiling architecture of the Baltic capitals provides you with a fairy-tale setting in which to roam. From strolling around buzzing cities and quaint cobbled streets to exploring resplendent castles and crumbling fortresses; discovering world-class museums and little-known gems. This remarkable concoction of the old and the new only adds to the magic of this mesmerising region. The Baltic Sea is an extraordinary place. Surely there is nowhere else on earth where such stunning cities, the product of centuries of culture and enterprise, are just a stone’s throw from spectacular scenery, some of it virtual wilderness. The staggeringly beautiful city of St Petersburg is the jewel in the crown, but the canal banks in Copenhagen and the narrow waterway of the Kiel Canal are sights that will live long in the memory.

Our first port of call is Copenhagen, where we walk from the ship passing the Little Mermaid and the painted canal side houses of Nyhavn to the cathedral and city hall. It is Scandinavia’s most affordable city, ideal for walking around, and renowned for its summer street entertainment. We next weigh anchor in Riga, a real favourite with our groups. The city often comes as a great surprise to many people. In spite of being bombed in World War II it has been lovingly rebuilt and has the largest number of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe - the centre of the town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

For many St Petersburg will be the most eagerly anticipated visit on our voyage. It has been said that if beauty were a commodity, St Petersburg would be the wealthiest place on earth. The Hermitage and Peterhof Palace are the two star attractions, but we hope to also see Nevsky Prospect, St Isaac’s Cathedral, and many stunning baroque, neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings.  After a day at sea we cruise through the Swedish Archipelago, the second largest of its kind in the Baltic Sea and the largest in Sweden, before arriving overnight in the capital city – Stockholm. The city is built over 14 islands, and water and parks intermingle with the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan, the old town. Next up is Visby, which is one of those places you would normally only visit through happy circumstance. It is the main town on the Swedish island of Gotland. Finally, we cruise along Oslo Fjord to the Norwegian capital Oslo whose museums and surrounding lakes and woodland make it a perfect final stop on our Baltic cruise.

In most of our ports of call we will spend time with local guides whose knowledge of both major historical events and quirky local customs brings greater insights and enjoyment to our forays ashore. Equally we allow some free time in each port for you to explore at leisure, and your Ramblers Cruise & Walk tour leaders is always able to offer interesting suggestions. And after each day ashore we will be able to return to the comfort, great food and entertainment on board Balmoral.

Please note, ports of call may change between different departure dates. It is important to check the individual tour date proposed itinerary for details of your cruise.

On this tour we also sail to the following ports of call: Ronne, Travemunde and Helsinki


  • Breakfast and dinner throughout your tour, plus lunch on sea days
  • Complimentary tea and coffee at select locations throughout the ship
  • All entertainment, sports & leisure facilities on board
  • A programme of walks and excursions from our ports of call including any necessary transportation costs
  • Tips to the ship’s restaurant staff
  • All drinks on board
  • Any local excursions not included in the Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays programme including entrances to museums, sites or Fred Olsen on shore activities
  • Access to Wi-Fi on board the ship. At the time of writing Fred Olsen offer various packages from £16 for 30 minutes to £84 for unlimited access on a 14-day cruise. Please ask for more details at the Reception Desk on the ship
  • Personal laundry and dry cleaning, hairdressing, health, beauty treatments and selected fitness classes
  • Holiday Insurance
  • Occasionally a local guide or your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader might suggest entering a site or monument in a city for which there is an entrance fee to pay. Please allow approximately £30 for this
  • Discretionary gratuities to the crew, drivers, guides etc both on board and ashore

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Sail from Rosyth

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Today we board Balmoral in Rosyth and set sail for the Baltic Sea. Check in for the cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation. Embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing. At Rosyth you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin. There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group.

Sailing time is usually from mid afternoon to early evening and will be confirmed on your travel documents.

Day 2

Sailing to Denmark

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day at sea to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities as we sail towards Scandinavia & the Baltic Sea. During the day there is usually a range of activities available on board – you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the on-board gym, attend one of the on-board lectures, treat yourself to a treatment in the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a book from the library. Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day.

Day 3

Exploring Copenhagen

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Copenhagen is famed for the Little Mermaid, sitting on a rock in the harbor not far from where we dock. Scandinavia’s largest and most lively city, it is a great place to visit; most of the centre of the city is pedestrianized making for a relaxing city stroll. A local guide will introduce us to the city, after which there will be some free time to maybe take a cruise along the canals, visit the Tivoli Gardens or take a bohemian stroll through Christiania.

Day 4

Cruising through the Baltic

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day at sea on Balmoral as we enter the Baltic and cruise east towards Latvia.

Day 5

Exploring Riga

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Our groups love Riga! A local guide will show us around the city whose highlights include Riga Castle, Cathedral and Powder Tower, all dating from the Middle Ages. Other attractions include the Swedish Gate entrance to the Old Town, the gabled houses on Maza Pils Street and the Cat House.

Day 6

Sailing to Russia

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day at sea to enjoy the facilities on board Balmoral as our cruise continues towards the easternmost reaches of the Baltic.

Day 7 to 8

Sightseeing in St Petersburg

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We arrive in St Petersburg where, we spend a very full two days. We include a city sightseeing tour and a visit to the Peter & Paul Fortress and Pushkin museum, Catherine Palace, Church of the Spilt Blood, a trip to the Peterhof and of course the world-famous Hermitage, all with an English-speaking Russian guide.

Day 9

Cruising the Stockholm Archipelago

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

After a morning at sea, mid-afternoon Balmoral enters the spellbinding Stockholm Archipelago. We cruise amidst some 30,000 beautiful islands and islets, taking in unforgettable views from the decks of our smaller cruise ship. Each rocky isle is unique; some are inhabited and feature ancient villages and colourful wooden houses, others are untouched and boast rugged woodland, craggy cliffs and sandy beaches. We are scheduled to arrive in Stockholm at 20.30.

Day 10

Exploring Stockholm

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Overnight we dock in Stockholm and take a guided tour around Gamla Stan, the historic old centre of Stockholm, with its winding cobbled streets, medieval churches, parliament and palace. During the afternoon we may take a boat trip across to the island of Djurgården where you can stroll in the parkland by the water’s edge, visit the museum housing the Vasa ship, or stroll around the Skansen open air museum where wooden buildings from all over Sweden have been preserved.

Day 11

Walking & Sightseeing on Visby, Gotland

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We come ashore in Visby, the main town on the island of Gotland. It is here that many Swedes come for their summer holidays. We visit the city with a local guide, taking in the walls and cobbled streets lined with pretty houses.

Day 12

Sailing to Norway

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have another day at sea as Balmoral heads west through the Baltic Sea towards Norway.

Day 13

Exploring Oslo

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

On arrival in the Norwegian capital we take the very efficient T-Bane subway to the city’s wooded outskirts, then walk to Lake Sognsvann. We then have a free afternoon in the city centre where attractions such as the Munch, Viking & Kontiki Museums provides fascinating viewing.

Day 14

Sailing to Scotland

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a final day at sea to enjoy the comforts on board Balmoral as we make our way back towards Rosyth.

Day 15

Arrival in Rosyth

Meals

Breakfast

We arrive at Rosyth at around 7.00am for disembarkation after breakfast.

From (GBP)£2,499

Departure dates for your selected tour

8th Jun 2020 - 22nd Jun 2020 (14 Nights)

2nd Aug 2020 - 16th Aug 2020 (14 Nights)

13th May 2021 - 27th May 2021 (14 Nights)

Travel Details

UK departure ports vary, please see the individual itineraries for details.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Sail from Dover

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Today we board Boudicca in Dover and set sail for the Baltic Sea. Check in for the cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation. Embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing. At Dover you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin. There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group.

Sailing time is usually from mid afternoon to early evening and will be confirmed on your travel documents.

Day 2

Cruising to Sweden

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day at sea to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities as we sail towards Scandinavia & the Baltic Sea. During the day there is usually a range of activities available on board – you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the on-board gym, attend one of the on-board lectures, treat yourself to a treatment in the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a book from the library. Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day.

Day 3

Exploring Gothenburg

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city is a city of water and gardens. We will have a walk outside the city along a section of the long-distance Bohusleden footpath. We pass through woods and besides lakes to Gunnebo Slott, a small palace. Anyone wishing instead to spend time in the city, however, will be free to do so.

Day 4 to 5

Sailing to Russia

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Our two days at sea as Boudicca enters the Baltic Sea and heads northeast towards the furthest reaches of the Baltic.

Day 6 to 7

Sightseeing in St Petersburg

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We arrive in St Petersburg, where we spend a very full two days. We include a city sightseeing tour and a visit to the Peter & Paul Fortress and Pushkin Museum, Catherine Palace, Church of the Spilt Blood, a trip to the Peterhof and of course the world famous Hermitage, all with an English speaking Russian guide.

Day 8

Sightseeing in Tallinn

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Tallinn, capital of Estonia, is an up and coming place, but has a medieval old quarter which is everyone’s idea of the middle ages. A local guide will introduce us to the city, after which there will be time for individual shopping and sightseeing.

Day 9

Cruising through the Baltic

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a relaxing day at sea on board Boudicca as we cruise back westwards through the Baltic.

Day 10

Sightseeing in Copenhagen

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Copenhagen is famed for the Little Mermaid, sitting on a rock in the harbour not far from where we dock. Scandinavia’s largest and most lively city, it is a great place to visit; most of the centre of the city is pedestrianised making for a relaxing city stroll. A local guide will introduce us to the city, after which there will be some free time to maybe take a cruise along the canals, visit the Tivoli Gardens or take a bohemian stroll through Christiania.

Day 11

Cruising through The Kiel Canal

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We leave the Baltic through the Kiel Canal and into the North Sea before heading southwest towards Dover.

Day 12

Sailing back to the UK

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a final day at sea to relax and enjoy the comforts on board Boudicca as we sail back towards the UK.

Day 13

Arrival in Dover

Meals

Breakfast

We arrive in Dover at around 7.00am for disembarkation after breakfast.

From (GBP)£2,299

Departure dates for your selected tour

29th Sep 2020 - 11th Oct 2020 (12 Nights)

Travel Details

UK departure ports vary, please see the individual itineraries for details.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.

Balmoral (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)

Our cruise ship is the Balmoral, Fred Olsen’s largest and newest cruise ship. She is however still compact enough to offer an intimate, homely atmosphere and the combination of Balmoral's comfortable cabins, excellent cuisine, friendly attentive crew and onboard facilities are second to none.  On board facilities include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.The main restaurant is The Ballindalloch (named after the Speyside village and castle), while the two other formal restaurants - Avon and Spey - are also in keeping with the Scottish theme and are named after two of Scotland's most beautiful salmon rivers.There's a comfy pub with occasional live music or comedy, cabaret and shows in the Neptune Lounge, or drift away with a cool drink and spectacular seascapes in the Observatory Lounge

After dinner there are always shows, reviews and evenings of cabaret for your entertainment. Or maybe even try your hand at the Casino?  Our accommodation is in twin and single cabins with shower and wc. All cabins are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, television, hairdryers, tea and coffee making facilities and a safety deposit box. Balmoral has a non-smoking policy on board and smoking is not permitted in any cabin. Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin (normally on the Main or Atlantic Deck) unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. Those booking single cabins may not necessarily be allocated a twin cabin for sole use.   Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition throughout your stay, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Balmoral operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board.

The voltage on board the Balmoral is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug). If you are in any doubt as to the appropriate voltage to use your electrical appliances on board, please check with the ship’s Reception Desk. Adapters are usually available for hire on board, or may be bought at the ship’s shop.

Deck plans for the Balmoral can be viewed at the following address: 

https://www.fredolsencruises.com/our-ships/balmoral/deck-plans 


Boudicca (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)

Named after the British warrior Queen, Boudicca offers a sense of timeless elegance not seen or experienced on modern 'megaships'. The emphasis is on providing an intimate and more traditional cruise experience. Up to 880 guests can cruise aboard Boudicca, and the ship has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment of the ship's suites, bedrooms, restaurants, lounges and facilities.

Boudicca's bars and lounges feature comfortable seating, ample space and are open throughout the day, so you'll always find somewhere to unwind, marvel at ever-changing scenery and enjoy a range of fantastic entertainment. You can also indulge in luxurious coffees and chocolates at the Bookmark Café, sip a cold beer or refreshing cocktail in the sunshine at the Marquee Bar; or enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea accompanied by spectacular views at the Observatory. If you’re feeling more active, take a dip in one of the three heated pools, visit the fully-equipped Fitness Centre, join a class or walk a mile around the Lido Deck's open promenade

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard. Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade.

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Boudicca operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Boudicca is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 2 leisurely holiday which mixes active sightseeing with short countryside walks. Walks are likely to take up to 2 hours and any ascents or descents will be taken at a leisurely pace. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

The described walks assume that the weather will be good and that the ship will keep to the planned schedule. We may have to change the walks if the ship’s schedule changes or there is poor weather.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Fred Olsen Paying On Board

The currency on board ship is sterling. A credit account system is operated onboard allowing bar drinks, wine in restaurants, laundry charges, purchases from the shop and any other incidental expenses to be automatically charged to your account. You will be required to register a debit or credit card at check-in against which to charge your onboard account. At the time of writing there is no charge for payment by credit or debit card. Onboard accounts can be settled in cash, however, a debit or credit card must still be registered at check-in to secure the on-board account balance.

The following credit cards are accepted: Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Fred. Olsen also accepts Visa debit cards but is unable to accept American Express, Solo, and Electron, travel agent debit cards or traveller’s cheque cards.

The ship operates a Bureau de Change onboard, where currency can be purchased or sold subject to local currency restrictions. All major currencies are stocked based on the cruise destinations with no commission charge and competitive rates.

Entrance Fees

Whilst sightseeing plays a part in our itinerary, no entrances to museums or monuments are planned, and therefore no entrance fees are included in the price of the holiday.

Currency in Sweden

The currency in Sweden is Swedish Krona.

Currency in Norway

In currency used in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Currency in Latvia

The currency in Latvia is Euro.

Currency in Estonia

The Currency is Estonia is Euro.

Currency in Denmark

The currency in Denmark is Danish Krone. 

Tipping

Fred. Olsen operates a system whereby the recommended level of gratuities will be automatically added to guests’ onboard accounts at the end of the cruise. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays include the tips for the dining room waiters but £2.50 per guest per day will be added to all onboard accounts for cabin stewards. Anyone wishing to vary the amount given can do so via reception and guests are free to remove the charge from their onboard account and tip the relevant staff in the traditional ‘envelope & cash’ method if they prefer.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied in some centres by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

Getting to Newcastle

For all information on how to get to Newcastle by car or public transport please consult www.fredolsencruises.com/cruising-information/departure-port

Embarkation

On arrival at the port you will need to produce both your ticket and a valid passport, so please ensure you have both ready to hand. When checking in you will be issued with your ship’s pass and boarding card. Your ship’s pass acts as your security pass and onboard account card for the full duration of the cruise. Each time you embark or disembark the ship your card will be swiped to record whether you are on board or ashore. In addition, your hand luggage may be subject to either x-ray scanning or a manual search each time you re-join the ship.

Disembarkation

At least 24 hours before the end of your cruise the full disembarkation instructions will be placed inside your cabin. Please ensure you have settled all onboard accounts before leaving the ship.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

Your luggage allowance is 200lbs or 90kg. For safety reasons, each piece of luggage should weigh less than 44lbs or 20kg.

Approximately 10 days prior to departure, we will send you your cruise tickets and luggage labels. 

Please be advised that there are a number of items that are prohibited to be taken on board. To avoid any items being confiscated at check-in, please familiarise yourself with our prohibited items policy at www.fredolsencruises.com and search for ‘prohibited items’.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Fred Olsen Holiday and Passport Info

Please ensure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from the date you return from the cruise and have enough spare pages to accept immigration stamps/visas. Ramblers Walking Holidays will not be held responsible for any guest refused entry to a country/countries for non-compliance with the above, and passage will be refused to any guest at point of embarkation with insufficient passport validity. We would suggest a minimum of four clear pages excluding pages required for any visas you are required to apply for in advance of sailing. It is also a requirement of all immigration authorities that your passport is not damaged in any way or has no missing pages - we strongly recommend you check the condition of your passport prior to travel.

Meals

So, what’s on the menu? One certainty is that no one on board the ship will ever go hungry. All meals are included, and you start the day with breakfast, a buffet arrangement where you can choose from fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts, a full English breakfast, cheeses, cold cuts, breads, pastries, fresh juices and unlimited tea or coffee.

We’ll take our lunches on board on cruising days and the choice is yours: sample the ample buffet in the restaurant, see what’s on offer in the informal café or choose an alfresco poolside affair. When we’re out for the day we’ll be provided with a packed lunch.

Dinner is a sumptuous five course feast. The choices are many, and the food is excellent. The menus are varied and mouth-watering, freshly cooked by award-winning chefs. Special diets such as fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals can be catered for. Dinner is taken in a stylish restaurant with smiling courteous waiting staff creating a wonderful atmosphere for your evening meal. We are booked for dinner at 6.15pm to allow you plenty of time to also enjoy the evening entertainment if you wish. Wine can be pre-ordered from the Maître’d, over the interactive intranet in your cabin, or at the table.

If this is not enough, there is also morning coffee, afternoon tea and extensive late-night suppers to indulge in! We’ll also have an exclusive drinks party for our group one evening in addition to the Captain’s welcome and farewell parties and a traditional afternoon tea with waiter service on one of our sea days.

Complimentary tea and coffee can be found aboard the ship throughout the day, usually in the informal café. Other drinks must be purchased but the prices are very reasonable. No alcoholic drinks purchased ashore may be taken aboard the ship for consumption during the cruise.

If you have any special dietary requirements such as diabetic, gluten/wheat-free, dairy-free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, or low fat please advise us at the time of booking or no later than 14 weeks prior to departure.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Good quality waterproof walking shoes or trail shoes with a thick, moulded sole with a good tread and a low heel are likely to be all that is required for these holidays. If you are a frequent walker and are comfortable in good quality hiking sandals, these may be adequate for some walks. You can wear lightweight walking boots if you prefer.

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun screen
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the days activity)
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Reusable Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Cruising Attire

Daywear

Daytime wear is casual with comfortable shoes for walking around deck. A lightweight jacket or coat is recommended for the early evening when the sun sets. You may also like to take a towel and swimwear as Black Watch has two small swimming pools and Jacuzzis. Towels are provided at the poolside should you forget your own. During the day casual wear is allowed in the restaurant but not swimwear.

Evening attire

During your cruise, there will be formal and smart casual evenings. On formal evenings, gentlemen are encouraged to wear ‘black tie’, although a dark suit and tie will suffice, with ladies elegantly dressed in cocktail or evening dress. On smart casual evenings, men can wear open-necked shirts, chinos and dark coloured jeans, and women dress or trousers and a top.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity on Board

The voltage on board is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Staying Healthy Onboard

Although most cruises experience calm seas, there is always the possibility of heavy weather. It is possible in these circumstances that some clients may be susceptible to sea-sickness. You may wish to consider packing some travel motion sickness medication which can greatly reduce any symptoms. Please liaise with your local pharmacist or doctor for advice regarding particular medication.

Whilst none of the walks is difficult you need to be comfortable walking over uneven and occasionally steep ground to enjoy them to the full.

Network and Centre website at www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, the NHS Fit for Travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and the Foreign Office Travel Advice website at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or a local travel health clinic.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

We cannot stress enough the importance of good quality, comprehensive cruise insurance. Insurance is a mandatory requirement for all customers travelling on board. If for any reason you are yet to do so, please contact Ramblers Walking Holidays.

We do not insist that you insure with us, but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance. Your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader will ask for this information locally and you will not be able to join our walking and activity programme without this information.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday. It is vital that you have disclosed all pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer. Please see our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Safety Onboard

Naturally, the safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our highest priority. We would therefore like to reassure you that when in certain ‘hot spots’ around the world, additional and robust security measures are put in place. Whereas you will appreciate that we cannot divulge these plans we would like to pre-advise that additional safety drills will take place prior to reaching these waters and it may be necessary to close the portholes of lower deck cabins whilst in areas considered to be at a higher threat level. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding.

Cultural Awareness

Fred Olsen Plastic Policy

The use of single-use plastics on board Fred Olsen ships has been stopped wherever possible, including the banning of plastic straws, cocktail sticks, stirrers, cutlery and take away coffee cups. In addition, their officers and crew always consider how they can reduce the use of plastic further. All waste is collected, sorted and discharged by the ship’s staff following strict environmental regulatory requirements. This waste is subsequently landed ashore to approved recycling and receiving operators. The only waste that is discharged at sea is commuted food waste and wastewater.

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. 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 your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

Find out more

Denmark

  • Capital

    Copenhagen

  • Currency

    Danish Krone

  • Language

    Danish

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    1.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    1°C

    Avg. Rain: 43mm

  • February

    0°C

    Avg. Rain: 31mm

  • March

    2°C

    Avg. Rain: 36mm

  • April

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 35mm

  • May

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 39mm

  • June

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 44mm

  • July

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • August

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • September

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 60mm

  • October

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 60mm

  • November

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 54mm

  • December

    2°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

Latvia

  • Capital

    Riga

  • Currency

    Lats

  • Language

    Latvian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +03:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    -3°C

    Avg. Rain: 31mm

  • February

    -4°C

    Avg. Rain: 25mm

  • March

    0°C

    Avg. Rain: 29mm

  • April

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 32mm

  • May

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 40mm

  • June

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 59mm

  • July

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 68mm

  • August

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 65mm

  • September

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 65mm

  • October

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • November

    2°C

    Avg. Rain: 55mm

  • December

    -1°C

    Avg. Rain: 47mm

Norway

  • Capital

    Oslo

  • Currency

    Norwegian Krone

  • Language

    Norwegian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    -4°C

    Avg. Rain: 97mm

  • February

    -4°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • March

    -1°C

    Avg. Rain: 79mm

  • April

    3°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • May

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 60mm

  • June

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 70mm

  • July

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 85mm

  • August

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 98mm

  • September

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 129mm

  • October

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 138mm

  • November

    0°C

    Avg. Rain: 120mm

  • December

    -3°C

    Avg. Rain: 112mm

Russia

  • Capital

    Moscow

  • Currency

    Ruble

  • Language

    Russian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +12:00, UTC +07:00, UTC +09:00, UTC +08:00, UTC +11:00, UTC +06:00, UTC +10:00, UTC +05:00, UTC +04:00, UTC +02:00, UTC +03:00

  • Flight duration

    8hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    -18°C

    Avg. Rain: 28mm

  • February

    -16°C

    Avg. Rain: 22mm

  • March

    -10°C

    Avg. Rain: 23mm

  • April

    -1°C

    Avg. Rain: 29mm

  • May

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 41mm

  • June

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 57mm

  • July

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

  • August

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 68mm

  • September

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 54mm

  • October

    0°C

    Avg. Rain: 45mm

  • November

    -9°C

    Avg. Rain: 37mm

  • December

    -15°C

    Avg. Rain: 32mm

Sweden

  • Capital

    Stockholm

  • Currency

    Swedish Krona

  • Language

    Swedish

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    -4°C

    Avg. Rain: 37mm

  • February

    -5°C

    Avg. Rain: 26mm

  • March

    -2°C

    Avg. Rain: 27mm

  • April

    2°C

    Avg. Rain: 30mm

  • May

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 38mm

  • June

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 48mm

  • July

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 61mm

  • August

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

  • September

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 52mm

  • October

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 53mm

  • November

    0°C

    Avg. Rain: 47mm

  • December

    -3°C

    Avg. Rain: 44mm

Estonia

  • Capital

    Tallinn

  • Currency

    Estonian Kroon; Euro

  • Language

    Estonian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +03:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    -4°C

    Avg. Rain: 45mm

  • February

    -5°C

    Avg. Rain: 33mm

  • March

    -1°C

    Avg. Rain: 35mm

  • April

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 35mm

  • May

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 40mm

  • June

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 60mm

  • July

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 72mm

  • August

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 76mm

  • September

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 70mm

  • October

    6°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

  • November

    1°C

    Avg. Rain: 64mm

  • December

    -2°C

    Avg. Rain: 52mm

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