Its been 14 years since we did a Fred Olsen Cruise as we have mainly sailed with 5 Star Cruise Lines, but this cruise was from the Tyne and a short 15 minute taxi ride from our home and visiting some ports we had not visited before. So we thought we would give them a try. So glad we did!
Balmoral although an older ship is remarkably well maintained, far better than some lot newer ship we have travelled on. Staff service and friendliness leaves most other lines trailing in thier wake, Good food particulary in the Avon Restaurant and Made and Mark our waiters made this cruise.
Weather was very good with only lght rain in Gothenburg and low lying mist in Helsinki all other ports fine a sunny and autuum colours in trees especially in St. Petersburg a real treat. We did our own thing in most ports but in Copenhagen and on the Evening in St.Petersburg we did Fred Olsen Tours, during the 2 days in St.Peterburg we did a independent small group tour with Cruising Excursions all tours were very good.
Our Cabin was a Superior Inside G Grade, it was very comfortable, well maintained and very clean all minor repairs were picked up by cabin steward and sorted on the same day, with a note from reception telling us they had been rectified. Very impressed
Really nice place to visit great Botanical Garden and OOpera House Opera House easy port to do your own thing.
Easy to self tour this small city independently as most people speak English and tourist maps are easy to follow.
Helsinki would have been 5 star if it had not been for the misty conditions, a safe and easy city to tour independently with local buses and trams easy to use just emenber to buy your ticket before you board them and you can buy tickets from the machines with a credit card. The Church in the Rock is ba must to visit especially if a free piano recital is taking place, which it was during our visit.
We did a wonderful 2 day tour with Crusing Excursions as small group visiting all of the major attractions of this fantastic city, BRILLIANT GUIDE, TRANSPORT, and DESTINATIONS and must to do as you cannot go ashore with out being on a organised tour. We also did Fred Olsen's Night at the Ballet, another BRILLIANT EXCURSION.
An very easy city to enjoy independently with easy acess bto most tourist attractions, the Town Hall and the New Opera House are must visits as are the Viking, Fram and Kon Tiki museums. Enjoy Oslo, we did.