Fred Olsen cruises from Newcastle's Port of the Tyne

Last week we were invited aboard The Balmoral when it was docked in Newcastle's Port of the Tyne before it left to head to Southampton that evening. I was not obliged to blog about the event but I was really impressed and was amazed at just how much we could see if we set sail from our local port that I just had to share. The Boudicca already sails from Newcastle however it is very exciting that The Balmoral will be joining next year with trips from both ships planned from Newcastle during the main cruising season which runs from 21st May-27th August (2016). Passenger revenue from Port of the Tyne is set to bring an extra £55 million benefit to the local economy which is fabulous news for our tourism industry.

I met up with my blogging pal Karen and we were immediately impressed with how polite, professional and helpful the staff the staff were during the well organised and smooth check in procedure at the port.

It is exciting climbing aboard a cruise ship and although be were only going to be on board for a few hours there was certainly that 'holiday buzz' in the air and I could definitely see myself joining the ship for a cruise in the future.

We were guided to what I imagine was a ball/dance room and given a taster of what life is like on board. We were presented with champagne and the most glorious afternoon tea (there were hundreds of freshly made delicate cakes and pastries to choose from) by the smartly dressed and attentive staff whilst listening to live music and waiting for the presentation to begin.

I only had my iPhone with me and we only had access to one room but hopefully this shot of the bar and fruit platter will give you some idea of the feeling of opulence and luxury on board.

Port of the Tyne were very enthusiastic about their long partnership with Fred Olsen and it is clear to see with all of the branding and marketing in the area that this partnership is only going to go from strength to strength in years to come.

Fred Olsen pride themselves on "Bringing the world closer to you" and sail from 10 regional ports around the UK. They estimate that 90% of the UK is within 90 minutes of a Fred Olsen port which is pretty impressive. The days of having to take the long trip down to Southampton to enjoy a cruise are certainly long gone with Newcastle and Edinburgh offering the North East a huge selection of destinations including The Baltic, Arctic and Mediterranean, Norway and Canary Islands.

One of the benefits in sailing from Newcastle rather than Southampton is that if you are heading East it will cut a couple of days off your journey which as well as being better for the environment also makes the cruise more budget friendly. There are going to be two 5 night cruises setting sail for the Norwegian Fjords aboard The Balmoral next year and prices start from just £599. This is a recommended 'first time' cruise for somebody who wishes to try cruising or isn't sure it's for them. It is very likely after this first cruise you will return with a huge 64% of people on board a Fred Olsen ship sailing as a repeat booking.

As I was chatting to my brother yesterday about cruising, we both agreed that Iceland is high on our bucket lists! I can't believe you can sail direct from Newcastle to see the amazing hot springs, wildlife and falls. Fred Olsen really pride themselves on providing once in a lifetime experiences and once you are at your destination will really go that extra mile to ensure shore excursions are unforgettable. I love that when Fred Olsen tourists stop at Newcastle they have they option to visit Alnwick castle to take part in a murder mystery and meet the Duchess of Northumberland herself. 

Fred Olsen have carried out a lot of research and found that people prefer smaller ships that can reach destinations that larger ships simply can't reach. Apparantly as you sail through the Fjords is almost feels as if you can touch the sides. Smaller ships allow access to Ho Chi Minn, the Kiel canal, Seville and St Petersburg too.

After our time on board I discovered I wasn't exactly Fred Olsen's target market - apparantly the average age of their customer is 67 years old. I don't think I would let that put me off though as I can't think why people would choose an alternative way to visit Iceland or the Norwegian Fjords whatever their age.

You can find out more about Fred Olsen cruises and book here:-

My Travel Monkey

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum


  1. I would love to see the Fjords and fab to be able to do it from Newcastle. Although I always think I still live in Leeds and it's closer.

  2. Looks fab. I would love to see the fjords and Iceland

  3. Oh wow, that's amazing that you can sail from Newcastle right to Iceland and the fjords. I really want to do that... so I might bear Fred Olsen and this trip in mind! Looks like a great day out. Cruising has never appealed to me, but the more I see, the more I think it's definitely a good option for families. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

    1. I would LOVE to try a cruise - I think they are they perfect way to experience multiple locations and experiences in a fairly short space of time x

  4. I'm so impressed that you can sail from
    Newcastle to places like Norway and Iceland - both of which are on my bucket list. I've never been on a cruise before but can see the attraction, especially with kids. It's definitely one to tick off - and I know that people go on one cruise and get a bit addicted! It's must be great to tick off so many countries in one go. #mondayescapes

  5. I really want to go on a cruise - my folks are doing them all the time. There are loads of cruise companies out there and they are trying to appeal more to a younger market. We live very close to Southampton so it would be very convienient for us to go cruising if I could persuade Mr TB. However I can definitely see the advantage of sailing from other parts of the country if you have particular destination in mind. I just hope one local economy's gain isn't another's loss #MondayEscapes

  6. That is exactly what has always put me off, the target age. But I do really fancy the Norwegian Fjords it must be so breaking. The food looks so fab too x

  7. Oh wow sounds like you had an amazing time - I am a huge fan of slow travel and going on cruises so this sounds great

    Laura x

  8. I have always wanted to go on a cruise when the children are older and we can have couple holidays on our own , i had no idea they sailed from Newcastle and always thought i would have to travel to Southampton which took almost a whole day to get to the last time i visited x


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