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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 Relations
Lauren Gardner

Lauren Gardner

Press contact Public Relations Manager Public Relations 07546807099

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

At Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines we are very proud of our smaller ships – Bolette, Borealis and Balmoral - and the imaginative and unusual itineraries they allow us to offer. Every cruise is hand-crafted from scratch by our team of in-house Journey Planners to make sure you are not only visiting the best destinations, but at the best time to experience them.

For us, it’s not just about where we go but how we take you there. We put as much time into planning scenic cruising as we do in choosing the destinations themselves. On board, our Signature Experiences showcase the history, culture, nature and flavours of the destinations you’ll visit – from Treats of the Region, where you can enjoy local delicacies, to our Sky at Sea star-gazing sessions where you can relax with a hot toddy out on deck while our astronomer talks you through the night sky.

Plus, with each ship carrying 1,300 guests or less, our ships are small enough for us to offer a warm, friendly and personal service where nothing is ever too much trouble, as we visit a host of exciting ports in every corner of the globe.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

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