Gardening has long been one of the top-rated hobbies for people in the UK and, with leading gardening organisation the Royal Horticultural Society boasting a membership of over 400,000, tending to our pots, plants and lawns is the chosen way for many Britons to spend their leisure time. In keeping with these green-fingered tendencies, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the chance to visit Funchal, Madeira during its spectacular annual ‘Flower Festival’, running from 1st to 7th May 2014, on board Braemar’s ten-night ‘Sunshine, Shopping & Spring’ fly-cruise, M1412, departing from Santa Cruz, Tenerife on 3rd May 2014, returning to Harwich on 13th May 2014.
The ‘Flower Festival’, which is held every spring, when the flowers are all at their best, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madeira, filling Funchal with a riot of colour and scents. This enchanting and beautiful festival showcases the island’s most wonderful gardens and flower displays, as well as playing host to a parade – with vibrant costumes and traditional dance – a flower market and other activities, including the making of flower carpets in the streets, awarding of prizes for the best-decorated shop window, classical music concerts and a number of variety shows.
This cruise is included in the ‘Fred.’s Enjoyment Promise’ promotion, whereby people who have never cruised with Fred. Olsen before are able to try a Fred. Olsen cruise, and if they do not enjoy it, Fred. Olsen will fly them home and refund their cruise fare*. This offer is only available for bookings made up until the end of February 2014.
After arriving in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, guests will have plenty of time to explore this exciting island, before setting sail for Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with its year-round warmth and mix of architectural styles, from Renaissance, Gothic to Neo-classical; it has a wealth of locally-produced, delicious food to try, including spicy sausage, sweet black pudding and marinated tuna.
Braemar then calls at Valle Gran Rey and San Sebastian in La Gomera. With houses that run up the hills and mountains surrounding the capital, it is an impressive and imposing island.
The next port of call is Santa Cruz in La Palma, famous for its wooden balconies, cobbled streets and ancient buildings. This charming island features some of the most splendid flora and varied landscapes. There are also some very interesting areas and traditions to explore, including the clock tower above the main square, or the hanging peppers, which are hung out to dry and then crushed to make the base of ‘mojo rojo’, a red sauce used locally with meat.
The cruise then takes guests to Funchal (Madeira) on 7th May 2014, where they can explore this exquisite ‘Garden Island’ and soak up all that its celebrated ‘Flower Festival’ has to offer – glorious sunshine, the finest flower displays and an abundance of local traditions, festivities and celebrations.
After stops in Portugal’s lively capital, Lisbon, and Oporto (from Leixoes) – voted as the ‘Best European Destination 2014’ by the European Consumers Choice – Braemar makes a leisurely journey to Harwich, UK.
Prices for this cruise start from £675 (£539 cruise only) per person, based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded, inside cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, flight and airport/port dues. Guests can also choose to upgrade to the ‘all-inclusive’ drinks package for just £10 per person, per night*.
Fred. Olsen was delighted to be voted ‘Best Affordable Cruise Line’ and runner-up ‘Best Cruise Line’ in the ‘Cruise International Awards 2013’, and ‘Best Value for Money’ in the Cruise Critic ‘Editors’ Picks UK Awards 2013’.
*See the website www.fredolsencruises.com for full Terms and Conditions.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.