10/21/2011 01:27 pm ET Updated Dec 20, 2011

The Fred. Olsen Balmoral: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

The Fred. Olsen Balmoral is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Fred. Olsen Balmoral.

From Asia to Australia

The Fred. (short for Fredrik) Olsen Balmoral sails to Australia, Southeast Asia, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Brazil and Germany on cruises that typically last from three to 91 nights.

Scottish-Themed Ship

The Fred. Olsen Balmoral is a midsize ship at 715 feet long and about 92 feet wide. It has a Scottish theme and can carry about 1,350 passengers and a crew of 510. The ship is the largest in the cruise line's fleet and is popular with older British guests who enjoy an old-style cruising environment. The cruise line is family-owned, and the Balmoral has a variety of amenities that make it attractive to singles, couples and families.

Special Features

The Fred. Olsen Balmoral has the cruise line's first-ever British pub, two pools, four hot tubs, a fitness center, spa, sauna, casino, nightclub, Internet service and the Observatory Lounge, which provides binoculars to passengers so they can take in the breathtaking ocean views.


The Fred. Olsen Balmoral boasts 710 well-appointed staterooms. The ship offers a variety of cabin categories, including inside and outside, balcony, superior exterior and a variety of suites. All staterooms are equipped with a shower, telephone, safe, hair dryer and TV. Staterooms range in size from 130 square feet to 430 square feet.


Fares vary, depending on itinerary, cabin selection and date of travel. On the Fred. Olsen Balmoral, passengers can take a four-night cruise to Amsterdam, Belgium and France for as little as $394, or a 91-night Middle East adventure for $14,145.


One Fred. Olsen Balmoral passenger recommended the shore excursion to Tallinn, Estonia. "We were very impressed. We did our own thing in Tallinn, having walked into the town from the port (very close by). In summary: old city, medieval city wall, fantastic city square and open market, friendly people, bustling shopping center. Don't miss the city walls and several viewing points over the rooftops of the city."

Dining Experience

Passengers on the Fred. Olsen Balmoral can choose from three main, formal dining rooms: Ballindalloch, Avon and Spey. Other options are the Palms Cafe buffet, the Marquee Bar and limited room service.

Maiden Voyage

The vessel was built as a passenger liner for Royal Cruise Line by the German firm Meyer Werft and made its maiden voyage as the Crown Odyssey in 1988. The ship changed owners several times before Fred. Olsen Cruises obtained it in 2007.

In The News reported that the Fred. Olsen Balmoral was target by pirates in 2009, but the attack was never carried out.


A sail-away party on the Fred. Olsen Balmoral.

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