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French Rivers and Bordeaux

 25th October 2022 | 10 Nights | DoverBalmoralL2229

from: £1169pp

BMB Host and Team
All of our Bridge Cruises have a Bernard Magee Bridge host and a team of helpers.
Daily Bridge
There is a daily session of bridge available as well as seminars on days at sea. All the bridge sessions are optional.
Partners & Parties
We have many single players on board and guarantee everybody a partner. We also have drinks parties to help players meet and mingle and create a nice atmosphere on board.
About this Cruise

During visits to five captivating cities, you’ll get a taste for the history, culture and culinary influences of France, plus sample some Spanish flavours too. Discover the very best of Bordeaux; after sailing the Gironde and Garonne Rivers, Balmoral docks alongside the promenade, so simply step off the ship and explore. You’re perfectly placed to take in highlights such as Cathédrale Saint-André, the Grand Théâtre and Cité du Vin, bursting rich history and wine heritage. Alternatively, tour to one of Medoc’s small family run vineyards, to learn the region’s wines and taste them straight from the barrel.

Cruise the scenic River Seine all the way to Rouen too; a full day stay here allows ample time for a tour to nearby Paris, where you can see iconic sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre, and perhaps indulge with the cuisine of one world’s culinary capitals. Elsewhere there are visits to Brest and Honfleur, where you may be tempted to try Camembert and Calvados while people watching at one of the French cafés. In Spain, Getxo is your gateway to Bilbao, famed for its Guggenheim Museum, prestigious restaurants serving traditional pintxos, and the legendary Rioja wine vineyards.

Your Host
  • Hosts Will and Sylvia Parsons
Will and Sylvia Parsons

Will and Sylvia started going on Mr Bridge holidays and weekends in early 2008 and soon became hooked. They both joined Mr Bridge as helpers after Will qualified as an EBU club tournament director in 2011. Since then, they have hosted over thirty bridge cruises and numerous weekends and holidays.

Will and Sylvia both really enjoy playing with different clients and encouraging improving players to increase in confidence and learn to love the game. They have been involved with Bernard Magee Bridge since the start and now look forward to resuming bridge holidays again.

Itinerary
Accommodation
What's Included

What's included?

  • Comfortable, stylish cabins and suites equipped with a Smart TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and individually controlled air conditioning
  • A tempting choice of cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast and lunch buffets, late-night snacks and much more
  • Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee available 24hrs at selected venues, complimentary afternoon tea* with sandwiches and cakes, and in-room sandwiches and snacks
  • A full programme of evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, comedy, dancing and live music
  • Full use of on board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym
  • A wide choice of engaging on board activities and lectures throughout the day
  • All UK port taxes (where collectable in advance)
  • Luggage porterage between your cabin and the drop-off/pick-up point
  • Formal welcome and/or Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet

Chargeable extras
Cruise descriptions include optional, chargeable experiences that may be enjoyed independently and/or with optional Fred. Olsen Shore Tours. *Premium Traditional Afternoon Tea not included. Upgrade to All Inclusive Drinks Package is available as a chargeable optional extra and can be added to your booking up to six days prior to your cruise departing.

Great value offers
Great value offers on selected fares and cabin grades available on this cruise. Please contact our Reservations team for further details.

About Your Ship
Balmoral
Carrying up to 1,350 guests is small enough to navigate narrow waterways such as Kiel Canal and bring inspirational sights and experiences closer to you.

Like the rest of the fleet, Balmoral retains a warm, welcoming atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation and lounges, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.

French Rivers and Bordeaux

 25th October 2022 | 10 Nights | DoverBalmoralL2229
Cabin Prices
Double Occupancy
Single Occupancy
Interior Cabin
160 square feet
Smart TV
Mini Fridge

£1169pp

Ocean View Cabin
165 square feet
Smart TV
Mini Fridge

£1439pp

Superior Ocean View
165 square feet
Smart TV
Mini Fridge

£1669pp

Balcony Room
180 square feet
Balcony
Smart TV & Fridge

£2249pp

Superior Balcony
190 square feet
Balcony
Smart TV & Fridge

£2339pp

Balcony Suite
Up to 430 square feet
Balcony
Smart TV & Fridge

£2519pp

Single Interior
160 square feet
Smart TV
Mini Fridge

£1979

Single Ocean View
165 square feet
Smart TV
Mini Fridge

£2519

French Rivers and Bordeaux

25th October 2022 | 10 NightsDover | Balmoral | L2229
Depart: Dover, United Kingdom
The beautiful River Garonne is possibly south-west France's most important river, and arguably one of the region's most picturesque too.

Serving a number of important towns and cities, including beautiful Bordeaux, the River Garonne flows through beautiful French countryside, presenting you with stunning views to enjoy from your smaller cruise ship.

Just upstream from Bordeaux, the Garonne meets the Dore River and forms Western Europe's largest estuary, the Gironde.
Widely regarded as the world’s wine capital, the graceful French city of Bordeaux offers far more than just vineyards and claret. Having shaken off its rather sleepy image over the last few years, Bordeaux is now amongst France's most exciting and dynamic cities. While a sizeable number of the city's visitors are still enticed by the chance to taste what makes this wine-rich region so special, Bordeaux has many other surprising secrets.

Stretched along the banks of the Garonne River, this City of Art and History is home to 362 historic monuments, with some buildings dating back to Roman times. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2007, Bordeaux’s historic centre is home to the Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, 18th century mansions and popular art museums, such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, and many other impressive treasures to discover. This urban and architectural ensemble includes public gardens that line the curving river quays, and the imposing Place de la Bourse, which overlooks the reflecting pool.
Widely regarded as the world’s wine capital, the graceful French city of Bordeaux offers far more than just vineyards and claret. Having shaken off its rather sleepy image over the last few years, Bordeaux is now amongst France's most exciting and dynamic cities. While a sizeable number of the city's visitors are still enticed by the chance to taste what makes this wine-rich region so special, Bordeaux has many other surprising secrets.

Stretched along the banks of the Garonne River, this City of Art and History is home to 362 historic monuments, with some buildings dating back to Roman times. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2007, Bordeaux’s historic centre is home to the Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, 18th century mansions and popular art museums, such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, and many other impressive treasures to discover. This urban and architectural ensemble includes public gardens that line the curving river quays, and the imposing Place de la Bourse, which overlooks the reflecting pool.
The underrated Getxo in Northern Spain, is an attractive seaside location, and the access port for Bilbao. Getxo’s wonderful beaches, beautiful architecture and truly impressive monuments include the UNESCO-listed Vizcaya Bridge – the world’s oldest transport bridge.

The town’s Old Port area, Algorta, is situated at one end of the Ereaga Beach and is a popular spot to soak up the sun, enjoy the vibrant nightlife and take advantage of the exciting water sports. At Ereaga’s other end, delightful palaces and gardens can be found and explored.

Getxo is also perfectly placed for tours to nearby Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque country, and home to the world famous Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Fine Art and its stunning 14th century Gothic-style cathedral.
There’s been a port here since medieval times and it is still an important naval base. Sadly very few buildings remain from before the Second World War, apart from the 15th-century Château de Brest, and the Tour Tanguy, a medieval tower that probably dates from the 14th-century Breton War of Succession. The Château has the Musée de la Marine de Brest, celebrating Brest’s maritime tradition, while the Tour Tanguy has the Museum of Old Brest.

One of the best-known sights is the Pont de Recouvrance, a huge vertical-lift bridge, which elevates the 88m roadway on 70m-pylons to allow ships to pass up the River Penfeld. The newest attraction is the unique Océanopolis marine centre, which has three aquariums replicating polar, tropical and temperate oceans. There are over a thousand different types of fish, as well as 120 species of marine mammal, from dolphins to walrus.
Slicing through the gorgeous lush-green countryside of Normandy's Parc naturel régional des Boucles de la Seine, the route Fred. Olsen's smaller cruise ships sail along the River Seine - connecting the historic cities of Honfleur and Rouen - presents guests with simply unforgettable views to enjoy in comfort on board.

Simply sit back, relax and take in stunning scenes of rolling valleys, floral fields and charming communes dotted with historic churches and traditional houses that have inspired many famous artists over the years, including Claude Monet and Henri Matisse.
The ‘City of a Hundred Bells’, Rouen, is capital of the French region of Normandy. This 2,000-year-old port city on the River Seine, important in Roman times and the Middle Ages, is a unique city rich with monuments and museums.

Rouen’s narrow pedestrianised streets lined with tall, half-timber houses and a statue marking the spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, is a pointer to the city’s dark history. Devastated by fire, the plague and bombs in the past, modern Rouen is now a vibrant cultural centre, and one of Normandy’s most engaging destinations.

The skyline is dominated by the spires of Cathédrale Notre-Dame, much-painted by Claude Monet. The Gothic churches of Saint-Maclou and Saint-Ouen are also must-see attractions, two of the best examples of gothic architecture in France and a important part of Rouen’s history.

The city's beautiful botanical garden – Jardin de Plantes de Rouen, is also worth a visit. Its 600 different plant species and various gardens, including a rock garden, rose garden and a garden full of medicinal plants, are a joy to wander through.
The ‘City of a Hundred Bells’, Rouen, is capital of the French region of Normandy. This 2,000-year-old port city on the River Seine, important in Roman times and the Middle Ages, is a unique city rich with monuments and museums.

Rouen’s narrow pedestrianised streets lined with tall, half-timber houses and a statue marking the spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, is a pointer to the city’s dark history. Devastated by fire, the plague and bombs in the past, modern Rouen is now a vibrant cultural centre, and one of Normandy’s most engaging destinations.

The skyline is dominated by the spires of Cathédrale Notre-Dame, much-painted by Claude Monet. The Gothic churches of Saint-Maclou and Saint-Ouen are also must-see attractions, two of the best examples of gothic architecture in France and a important part of Rouen’s history.

The city's beautiful botanical garden – Jardin de Plantes de Rouen, is also worth a visit. Its 600 different plant species and various gardens, including a rock garden, rose garden and a garden full of medicinal plants, are a joy to wander through.
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.
Arrive: Dover, United Kingdom

Accommodation on Balmoral

25th October 2022 | 10 NightsDover | Balmoral | L2229
BJ - Balcony Junior Suite
  • This suite is approximately 200 square feet in size and can be found on Highland Deck 10, Bridge Deck 9 and Lido Deck 8.
  • This suite has a bedroom with a sitting area and a balcony. There is an en-suite bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.

Please note, rooms 8057 and 8059 on Lido deck are equipped for use by disabled passengers.

PS - Premier Suite
  • This suite is approximately 430 square feet in size and can be found on Highland Deck 10.
  • This suite has a sitting room, balcony and a bedroom with large double bed and bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.
OW - Owner's Suite
  • Exclusive suite - please call for more details.
SS - Superior Suite
  • This style of suite is approximately 275 square feet in size, and can be found on Highland Deck 10 and Bridge Deck 9.
  • This suite has a sitting area with a balcony and a bedroom with a twin or double bed. The bathroom has a bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.
MS - Marquee Suite
  • This suite is approximately 390 square feet in size and can be found on Highland Deck 10.
  • This suite has a bedroom with a large double bed and a sitting area, a bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.
BA - Superior Balcony Cabin
  • These rooms are approximately 190 square feet in size and can be found on Bridge Deck 9.
  • Slightly larger than a BC grade, these rooms have a balcony, bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.
BC - Balcony Cabin
  • This room is approximately 180 square feet in size, and can be found on Lido Deck 8 and Bridge Deck 9.
  • It has a balcony, bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts). Smoking is permitted on room balconies.
A - Superior Ocean View
  • This room is approximately 200 square feet in size and can be found on Lido Deck 8.
  • It has a picture window, bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
B - Superior Ocean View
  • Approx. 165 square feet in size, these rooms are located on the Lido Deck 8 and Main Deck 6.
  • Fitted with everything you need for your stay, there’s a picture window too.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

*Rooms 8073, 8075, 8084 and 8086 on the Lido Deck are wheelchair accessible and have a fully restricted view.

C - Superior Ocean View
  • This room is approximately 165 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 5.
  • It has a picture window and a bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
D - Ocean View
  • These rooms are approximately 165 square feet in size, and can be found on Atlantic Deck 5 and Coral Deck 4.
  • They have a picture window and a bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
E - Ocean View
  • This room is approximately 165 square feet in size and can be found on Coral Deck 4.
  • It has a picture window and a bathroom with shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
F - Ocean View
  • This room is approximately 165 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 5, Coral Deck 4 & Marina Deck 3.
  • It has 2 portholes, bathroom with a shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
G - Superior Interior Cabin
  • Our Superior Interior Rooms are approximately 160 square feet in size and can be found on Lido Deck 8 and Bridge Deck 9.
  • These rooms have a bathroom with bath and/or shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).

*Please note, rooms 9048, 9056 and 9095 on Bridge Deck have been adapted for use by disabled passengers.

H - Interior Cabin
  • This room is approximately 160 square feet in size and can be found on Main Deck 6 and Atlantic Deck 5.
  • It has a bathroom with shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
I - Interior Cabin
  • This room is approximately 160 square feet in size and can be found on Atlantic Deck 5, Coral Deck 4 and Marina Deck 3.
  • It has a bathroom with shower.
  • Facilities include climate control, Interactive Smart TV, desk, phone, mini-fridge, hairdryer & tea & coffee making facilities.
  • All rooms are non-smoking, have room service available until 11.00pm, and require a European 2 pin plug (220 volts).
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