Cruise Line Unveils Fly-Cruise Series to Mediterranean

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The UK-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines introduced a new and tantalizing series of fly-cruise packages from two British cities to destinations in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

Six unique voyages in late summer and fall of 2025 offer cruisers the chance to explore Italy’s Cinque Terre, Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik, and the sun-splashed Greek Islands, among other destinations.

Local Culture, Port Overnights Aim to Immerse Guests

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, operator of three smaller ships, the 1,325-guest Balmoral, the 1,338-guest Bolette, and the 1,400-guest Borealis, has created a half-dozen fly-cruise itineraries in 2025 with departures from London and Manchester, England.

Key to the itineraries, all of which will be operated aboard Balmoral, is an immersion in local culture and activities, and an overnight port stay on every cruise. All six of the voyages are open-jaw sailings, meaning that they begin in one port and end in another. In this series of cruises, guests can choose their departure port as the ship destination-hops around the Mediterranean.

For example, the second cruise in the series is a 10-night “Colourful Cliffside Towns of the Amalfi Coast” cruise, departing from Valencia, Spain, on September 27, 2025.

After an overnight in Valencia, the ship will call at Ibiza and Menorca, Spain; Propriano, Corsica; and La Spezia, Salerno, Capri, Sorrento, and Naples, before concluding in Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy.

The third cruise in the series, the 10-night “Bays, Mountains and Islands of the Dalmatian Coast” cruise, departs from Rome on October 7, 2025, and ends in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Balmoral Cruise Ship
Balmoral Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: P.Cartwright)

The fourth cruise begins in Dubrovnik and sails to Rhodes, Greece, and so it goes, with the final cruise returning Balmoral to Southampton in mid-November 2025. Itineraries range from 7 to 12 nights.

Our expert Journey Planners have poured their passion into hand-crafting a programme that they are truly proud of. Our new range of shorter fly-cruise options to the Mediterranean offer a range of journeys to some of its most inspiring destinations, where guests can really maximize their time for exploring ashore and with the benefit of less sailing time than departing from the UK,said Martin Lister, head of itinerary planning and destination experiences at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

Among the itineraries, guests will have chances to visit the captivating La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, cruise along the spectacular Makarska Riviera in Croatia, see the stunning Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul and witness the whitewashed dome houses in Santorini,Lister added.

Read Also: Cruise Gratuities – Guide to Tipping on a Cruise Ship

Air and cruise package fares vary by sailing; the 10-night Amalfi Coast voyage starts at £1,799 ($2,299 US), for example. Introductory offers are featured for guests who book a cruise in the new series, including an onboard credit up to £20 per person per night ($25 US), and special deals for solo travelers. 

Balmoral Helps Collect Marine Wildlife Data

Balmoral was built in 1988 by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and entered service as the Crown Odyssey for Royal Cruise Line and Orient Line. She has also sailed for Norwegian Cruise Line as the Norwegian Crown.

Fred Olsen Balmoral Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

The ship has three main dining rooms, the Ballindalloch, Avon, and Spey restaurants, plus the Palms Cafe buffet, and two specialty venues serving Asian and Indian dishes. Since 2019, the cruise line has earned a reputation for monitoring marine wildlife as its ships sail the globe.

Through a partnership with marine wildlife charity ORCA, volunteers from the group sail aboard select cruises to collect wildlife data. Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s three ships collected data on a total of 3,431 animals during their cruises in 2023. 

The cruise line was in the news earlier this month when it announced it would change its longstanding smoking policy aboard all three ships. As one of the last cruise lines to allow smoking on cabin balconies, Fred. Olsen has decided to eliminate that option starting in April 2025.

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