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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines unveils brand new 82-night ‘Discovering Asia with the Holi Festival’ Grand Voyage for culture and nature enthusiasts

Press release -

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines unveils brand new 82-night ‘Discovering Asia with the Holi Festival’ Grand Voyage for culture and nature enthusiasts

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today unveiled a brand new 82-night Grand Voyage, offering the chance to discover the culture-rich lands of Asia on a journey timed specially to coincide with the Holi Festival.

The sailing, aboard Fred. Olsen’s smaller-sized Balmoral, features calls into Myanmar and Cambodia, known for their ancient civilisations and rich histories, where guests can explore the temples of Angkor Wat from Siem Reap, the largest religious monument in the world, and Myanmar’s ancient city of Bagan.

Wildlife lovers will have the chance to spot endemic species in Borneo, home to proboscis monkeys, or visit Sri Lanka’s Udawalawa Elephant Park, while those with a passion for wartime history can discover the Củ Chi tunnels, an extensive network of underground tunnels, in a call into Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.

An undoubted highlight will be time spent in India, where Chennai will act as the gateway to the ancient monuments and temples of Mahabalipuram, created by the Pallava dynasty, while time in Mumbai will allow those joining the cruise to experience the annual Hindu Holi Festival or immerse themselves in the local way of life by assisting busy dabbawallas delivering lunches across the city.

What is more, in addition to the host of experiences on-board and ashore, guests who book to join this Grand Voyage can enjoy up to £500 per person to spend aboard Balmoral, plus free door-to-door transfers within 250 UK mainland miles to the port.

Martin Lister, Head of Itinerary Planning and Destination Experience at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“This Grand Voyage has been curated especially with guests enthusiastic about cultural travel in mind. Those joining us aboard Balmoral can discover more about many fascinating ancient civilisations, with chances to visit many impressive religious buildings, monuments and places of worship.

“Those looking to seek out native wildlife will have the opportunity to seek encounters with endemic and migratory species, such as birds, monkeys and dramatic displays of illuminated fireflies, with Borneo a particular highlight.

“Of course, a real pinnacle will be our call into Mumbai, timed specially to coincide with the traditional Hindu festival of Holi, where guests can experience the bonfires of Holika Dahan followed by the joyous throwing of Gulal."

Full details of the new Grand Voyage are as follows:

Balmoral’s 82-night L2502 ‘Discovering Asia with the Holi Festival’ cruise, departing from Southampton on 18th January 2025. Prices start from £8,999 per person. Enjoy up to £500 per person to spend on board, or free door-to-door transfers within 250 UK mainland miles to the port.

Itinerary: Southampton, England – Gibraltar, Gibraltar – Cruising Grand Harbour, Valletta – Valletta, Malta – Alexandria, Egypt (overnight stay) – Cruising Suez Canal – Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – Safaga, Egypt – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – Colombo, Sri Lanka – Hambantota, Sri Lanka – Port Klang (for Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia – Kota Kinabalu, Borneo – Muara, Brunei Darussalam – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Sihanoukville, Cambodia – Singapore, Singapore – Yangon, Myanmar (overnight stay) – Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India – Kochi, Kerala, India – Mumbai, India (overnight stay) – Muscat, Oman – Salalah, Oman – Aqaba, Jordan – Cruising Suez Canal – Asdod, Israel – Haifa, Israel – Heraklion, Crete – Catania, Sicily, Italy – Cartagena, Spain – Lisbon, Portugal – Cruising by Cristo Rei and Abril 25 Bridge – Cruising by Belém Tower & Discovery Monument, Lisbon, Portugal – Southampton, England

For more details: Visit

The Grand Voyage follows the early release of Fred. Olsen’s 106-night T2502 ‘A Voyage of Exploration Around the World’ cruise last week, and comes ahead of the launch of the cruise line’s entire 2024/25 programme in mid-March.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ new Grand Voyage, visit Book online, call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm), or contact your ABTA travel agent.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are proud to sail their own course with their three-strong fleet of smaller ships, Bolette, Borealis and Balmoral, each carrying less than 1,400 guests.

With fewer guests on board, the atmosphere is warm and civilised, and the service is more personal.

This passion for cruising has led to Fred. Olsen having more returning guests than any other cruise line.


Ellis Orchard

Ellis Orchard

Press contact Public Relations Manager Public Relations 07557672265
Georgina May

Georgina May

Press contact Public Relations Executive Public Releations

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has defined and redefined the cruise experience, and judging by the number of passengers that come back time and again, we seem to have styled it to perfection

The company originated in Hvitsten, a small town on Oslofjord in Norway, in 1848 when three Olsen brothers – Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas – bought their first ships and began an international shipping company.

Now into the fifth generation of the family, they operate companies skilled in various aspects of the cruise and passenger shipping trade as well as aviation, ships’ crewing, shipbuilding and offshore industries.
Aside from the transportation industries, the Fred. Olsen group also has interests in the luxury hotel sector, estate management, property development, and electronics companies.

Offices for the company are spread throughout the world, although the company headquarters remain firmly in the family’s hands in Oslo and Tenerife. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is based in Ipswich in Suffolk.

Company Reg. No: 2672435
Registered Name & Office: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd, 2nd Floor, 64-65 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2NU.
Place of registration: England and Wales
VAT Number: 927 5336 08

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Fred. Olsen House, White House Road
IP1 5LL Ipswich, Suffolk
United Kingdom