Fred. Olsen – Tulips & Chocolates – 2021
Sails from Southampton
A springtime cruise to stimulate your senses, this indulgent seven-night sailing offers you chances to smell the sweet seasonal scents of fabulous flora, treat yourself to sumptuous chocolates, see some of Europe’s most iconic sights and much more, as smaller-sized Braemar takes you closer to elegant, attraction-packed cities in Belgium and the Netherlands.
After a short foray to the French city of Honfleur, complete with charming, 16th century cobbled streets, France’s oldest timber church and the colourful buildings and picturesque marina of Le Vieux Bassin, the treats of Antwerp are yours to unwrap. Braemar will sail the winding Western Scheldt River into the heart of Belgium’s beautiful second city, before docking overnight to allow you plenty of time to explore at your own pace. The mighty Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts – which houses the works of Rubens and other Flemish masters – are among many gems to discover in Antwerp, a city famed for its legendary diamond district, while no visit is complete without stopping by one of the friendly cafés or chocolate shops to sample authentic Belgian chocolates. Should you wish to venture further afield, a tour to Ghent can provide an equally captivating mix of attractions – such as St Bavo’s Cathedrals – and artisan chocolatiers.
In the Netherlands, two days of rewarding exploration begins in the exciting, contemporary city of Rotterdam. In contrast to the sights of classic Antwerp, Rotterdam brings a futuristic twist to your itinerary, with its innovative architectural highlights, including the unusual Markthal and unique Cube Houses; impressive Erasmusbrug Bridge; and bustling commercial port. Finally, it’s on to the culture-rich Dutch capital, Amsterdam. There’s a host of attractions to discover here, from the grand structures of the historic, UNESCO-listed Canal Ring – best seen on a boat tour of the city’s famous waterways – to the fascinating Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. A full day stay will offer you the chance to tick many of the highlights off your ‘must-visit’ list. What’s more, thanks to your specially timed spring visit to Amsterdam, you could revel in the vibrant colours and sweet scents of millions of tulips Keukenhof Gardens, the best place to see various species of Holland’s iconic flora in all their seasonal splendour.
Friday 9th April 2021
Friday 9th April 2021
Departure from Southampton
Board the ship mid-afternoon before you set sail later that evening.
Saturday 10th April 2021
Historic Honfleur in northern France’s Lower Normandy region is a quaint little port with a rich cultural and artistic heritage. One of France’s most visited towns, Honfleur – with its beautiful 15th and 16th century architecture and distinctive harbour – was the inspiration for Impressionist painters and poets.
Vieux-Bassin, Honfleur’s colourful old harbour, is lined with 16th to 18th-century lofty slate-and-timber fronted houses. Its sloping cobbled streets have long been a subject for artists including Claude Monet and native son, Eugène Boudin.
A visit to the 15th century St. Catherine’s Church, a vaulted timber structure erected by shipbuilders, is a must, as is the maritime museum and Notre Dame de Grâce – a 17th century chapel containing various paintings and models. The chapel also offers fabulous views of the town, the Seine estuary and the impressively-engineered Normandy Bridge that crosses it.
Sunday 11th - Monday 12th April 2021
Belgium’s charming, medieval city of Antwerp is the country’s biggest port and often recognised as its capital of cool. It has proved an alluring city for centuries, attracting lovers of art, fashion and, of course, diamonds – over 80% of the world’s rough diamonds pass through the city’s famous diamond district at some point or other. Renowned for its charm and sparkle, Antwerp was one of Europe’s principle cities in the mid-16th century and has maintained the essence of its medieval past, despite severe bombing during World War II.
A riverside fortress and numerous intriguing cobbled streets are overshadowed by the 123m high tower of the imposing Cathedral of Our Lady, the biggest church in Benelux. Its construction started in 1352 on the site of a 10th century chapel, but like many medieval religious buildings, it took several centuries to complete. The cathedral interior has four altarpieces by Peter Paul Rubens, a legendary artist from the Baroque era. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to Rubens and houses many of his finest works, along with those of other Flemish masters.
There are more than 20 other museums in the city, while the abundant attractions of this cultural gem also include a vibrant fashion and entertainment scene, a robust café culture, excellent shops and delightful parks and gardens. Fine dining is also on the menu, and one of Antwerp’s most popular restaurants, The Jane, brings it all together with a slice of rock and roll.
Tuesday 13th April 2021
The words innovative and inspiring sum up Rotterdam, a major port city in the Dutch province of South Holland. The Netherlands’ second largest city has a diverse community, a captivating maritime history, and an abundance of excellent museums.
The city is like an exhibition of futuristic architecture, an achievement made even more remarkable given Rotterdam was literally razed to the ground during World War II. The north side of the city is easy to discover on foot. The Maritime Museum has vintage ships and exhibits that trace the city’s seafaring history, while the Pilgrim Fathers Church is the site where pilgrims worshipped before embarking for America.
The rapid expansion of Rotterdam’s art scene, and the surge of quality dining and drinking venues make the port one of Europe’s most exciting cities. The 17th century Delfshaven neighbourhood is home to canal side boutiques and shopping, and is one area of Rotterdam that still offers an impression of what the city looked like before the bombings.
Split by the imposing Nieuwe Maas shipping channel, the city is crossed by a collection of tunnels and bridges, notably the dramatic Erasmusbrug – nicknamed “the swan”. The innovative Cube Houses, tilted at 45 degrees, are a quirky discovery, as is the Schouwburgplein square. The renowned Blijdorp Zoological Garden, is also worth a visit.
Wednesday 14th April 2021
Golden Age canals lined with elegant merchant homes is the familiar backdrop for the Netherlands’ historic capital, Amsterdam. Established in the 17th century with the construction of the River Amstel dam, this celebrated port offers everything from treasure-packed museums and antiquarian bookshops to chic boutiques and convivial cafés. Equally, art is never far away in this hub of uber-creative design. One noticeable thing about the city is that, some 150 years after its industrial heyday, Amsterdam is once again awash with producers.
Amsterdam has some 40 museums, and the Museum Quarter boasts three of the most famous: the Rijksmuseum has paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals; the Van Gogh Museum; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, displays work from Manet to Picasso. The Anne Frankhuis where Anne Frank and her family hid from German troops during the World War II, is an experience many visitors seek. Show less
Whether on boat or bike – there are more bikes than permanent residents – exploration of the city is relatively straightforward, and a tour of the Canal Ring district, an UNESCO World Heritage site, is not to be missed. Seemingly unchanged since the 17th century, the district has been recognised for its unique cultural and historical values, and is home to many exclusive gabled facades and their celebrity owners.
Thursday 15th April 2021
Enjoy a full day of cruising.
Friday 16th April 2021
Arrival at Southampton
After an early breakfast, disembark the ship for your journey home.
Braemar Ship Information
Braemar’s timeless style and elegance will capture your senses. Large windows bathe the ship’s interior in natural light and provide spectacular views while polished wooden fixtures, shining brass fittings, decadent fabrics and carefully designed decor assume the feel of a traditional country house.
All of the 485 comfortable and stylish rooms are equipped with private facilities which include an en-suite bathroom (some are fitted with a bathtub), a desk, telephone, interactive Smart TV, hairdryer, air conditioning and tea & coffee making facilities. According to your needs you can chose between different room types, like Interior, Porthole, Ocean View, Balcony and Suites.
There are five elegant and intimate dining venues oboard, including two main restaurants, cafe, bar & lounges as well as ‘The Grill’ offering an extra special dining experience so you’ll always find something heavenly to tantalise your tastebuds. A selection of soft drinks, wines and beers are included as well of course.
As well as a choice of comfortable accommodation, dining venues, bars and lounges, Braemar features all the facilities and amenities you need for a comfortable, restful and stress-free stay on board, including heated pools and bubbling jacuzzis, a library, gaming tables & card rooms, and even a self-service Laundry Room. Stroll through the Port or Boutique shop whether you need any essentials or a holiday bargain.
During the day several talks, lectures and classes take place and in the evening fantastic live performances, including cabaret, stand-up comedy and concerts will keep you entertained throughout the duration of your cruise.
|Date||Arrival||Departure||Port of Call|
|Fri 9th Apr 2021||PM||Southampton, United Kingdom|
|Sat 10th Apr 2021||Late AM||Late PM||Honfleur, France|
|Sun 11th Apr 2021||Early AM||Antwerp, Belgium|
|Mon 12th Apr 2021||Late PM||Antwerp, Belgium|
|Tue 13th Apr 2021||Early AM||Late PM||Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Wed 14th Apr 2021||Early AM||Late Night||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Thu 15th Apr 2021||Cruising|
|Fri 16th Apr 2021||AM||Southampton, United Kingdom|