Duration: 16-25 September 2018
Destinations: Ghent & Antwerp, Belgium. Rotterdam & Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Price: from £1,299.00

TO ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR PLEASE CALL 020 7766 5267, OR EMAIL info@japanjourneys.co.uk OR

CLICK HERE to download a Brochure: Quilts, Diamonds, Chocolate & Canals Cruise 2018 Brochure

CLICK HERE to download a Reservation Form: Quilts, Diamonds, Chocolate & Canals Cruise 2018 Reservation Form

The CruiseDaily ItineraryYour ShipDates and Inclusions

P&Q Tours Ltd and Japan Journeys are collaborating once again, to bring you a quilting cruise to Belgium and the Netherlands. Join Vivien Finch and Judi Mendelssohn for this wonderful cruising experience with Fred Olsen Lines.

With the sea crossing taking a full day on the outward and return journeys, there will be four half day workshops for you to join. Judi and Vivien will each teach two half day hand sewing workshops for which kits will be provided. And, along, the way will host some assorted evening entertainments as well of lots of fun and laughter.

Textiles of all descriptions have been Vivien Finch’s passion since childhood but patchwork and quilting top the list. A member of The Quilters’ Guild since 1980 she was editor of ‘The Quilter’ magazine for 17 years and has held many volunteer roles, culminating in that of President 2014-16. Inspired mostly by traditional quilts, Vivien has made dozens of all shapes and sizes over the years. She has always enjoyed passing on her skills, teaching workshops to local groups and encouraging the relaxing, rewarding process of accurate hand-piecing and hand quilting.

A former Editor for (British) Patchwork & Quilting magazine, Judi Mendelssohn is the owner and Director of P&Q Tours Ltd, specializing in tours for quilters. She also gives talks and teaches patchwork workshops and classes around the UK and abroad.

Vivien Finch

Judi Mendelssohn

Experience scenic cruising of picturesque waterways as Balmoral sails beyond coastal ports and straight into engrossing destinations in the heart of Belgium and the Netherlands. Featuring four of Europe’s finest cities, this nine night adventure is packed with culture, cuisine and fascinating history.

Three days in Belgium begins this rewarding cruise in style, calling first into Ghent following an early morning glide along the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. A collection of Belgium’s very best museums and most iconic landmarks – including the gothic style St Bavo’s Cathedral and the Castle of Counts – await your discovery here, offering a glimpse into the city’s remarkable medieval past. The UNESCO-listed, 91 metre-high Belfry is a ‘must-see’ on a walking tour of the city; while no time spent in Ghent is complete without tasting authentic Belgian chocolate and enjoying a relaxing canal boat tour. You’ll have the chance to encounter Antwerp’s abundance of attractions, with an overnight stay affording you time to see the sights at your own pace. Take your time to uncover gems such as the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, tucked away within the pretty cobbled streets; and visit the renowned diamond district. Or perhaps you would prefer to take a tour to the historic Battlefields of Waterloo, marvelling at the unspoilt countryside en route. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to enjoy the relaxing journey along the Western Scheldt River after departing Antwerp.

Next Balmoral will head north to the Netherlands and into Rotterdam via the Nieuwe Mass. If you’re up early enough you’ll have the opportunity to view the iconic Erasmusbrug Bridge and the city’s soaring skyline from your ship as you sail into port. Once docked you have a full day to explore the Netherlands’ stylish second city, which is home to a plethora of fantastic museums and unique architectural wonders. From the innovative 1970’s Cube Houses to the modern Markthal, there’s something to please all tastes. Finally it’s on to Amsterdam to experience the unique diversity of the vibrant Dutch capital after an early morning scenic cruise of the Nordzeekanaal. There’s much to discover during your overnight stay, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum; the world-famous Anne Frank House; the grand architecture of the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring; and of course, the legendary Red Light District. You could also use your time to enjoy a typically Dutch experience on a venture to the quaint windmill village of Zaanse Schans, followed by a tour to Edam to learn about how the local cheese is made.



Balmoral is the largest of Fred. Olsen’s four cruise ships but still retains the warm, intimate and friendly atmosphere found across their fleet. Balmoral takes her name from the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family and features 710 well-appointed rooms and suites.

Despite her size, Balmoral is still small enough to navigate narrow waterways, such as the Kiel Canal, providing guests with some fantastic scenic cruising opportunities missed when sailing on larger vessels.

The Scottish theme runs throughout the ship with the names of all fine-dining restaurants being influenced by the Highlands; the Ballindalloch, Avon and Spey. Whichever you dine in, you’ll be in for a treat as our Chef’s produce tantalising menus ensuring no two days are the same.

And there is plenty of time and space to relax on board with a whole host of lounges and bars providing ample room – another advantage of sharing your experience with hundreds and not thousands of other guests. And as expected, there is always a fine array of entertainment on throughout the day, ensuring you can do as much or as little with your time on board – the choice is yours!

Your Cabin/Suite


Single Cabins
Single Cabins on board Balmoral range from 130 square feet for a Single Interior Cabin, to 160 square feet for a Single Superior Interior Cabin. All single cabins have a bathroom with shower (some may have a bathtub also) and grades J & K feature picture windows. Cabins 8061 & 8072 also have a small balcony. All single cabins have interactive television. The following grades of Single Cabins are on board Balmoral: J, K, L, M, N.

Please note: the above pictured cabin is an example single cabin K category – cabins vary between grade and cabin.

Interior Cabins

Interior Cabins on board Balmoral are all approximately 160 square feet in size, and have a bathroom with a shower and/or bath. All Inside cabins also have interactive television. Some cabins may have movable beds that convert into one double bed. Please ask at the time of making your booking. The following grades of Interior Cabins are on board Balmoral: G, H, I.

Please note: the above pictured cabin is an example Interior Cabin H category – cabins vary between grade and cabin.

Ocean View Cabins
Ocean View Cabins on board Balmoral range from approximately 165 square feet to approximately 200 square feet for a Superior Ocean View Cabin. All Outside Cabins have a bathroom with a shower and/or bath. Some Outside Cabins have picture windows, and all cabins have interactive television. Some cabins have two movable beds that may convert into one double bed. Please ask at the time of making your booking. The following grades of Ocean View Cabins are on board Balmoral: A, B, C, D, E, F.

Please note: the above pictured cabin is an example Ocean View Cabin D category – cabins vary between grade and cabin.

Balcony Cabins

Balcony Cabins on board Balmoral are 180 square feet, and 190 square feet for a Superior Balcony Cabin. These Balcony Cabins have a cabin with balcony, bathroom with shower, or bath and shower. All Balcony Cabins on board Balmoral have interactive television. The following grades of Balcony Cabin are on board Balmoral: BA, BC.

Please note: the above cabin picture is an example BA Superior Balcony cabin, balcony cabins can vary between grade and cabin.


Balcony Junior Suites have a sitting area and balcony, bath and/or shower, and a fridge/mini bar. All suites on board Balmoral have interactive television.

Please note: the above cabin image is an example Superior Suite, suites vary between cabin and grade.


Ballindalloch Restaurant
The stylish Ballindalloch restaurant is the main restaurant on board your cruise ship, with a varied and mouth-watering menu on board Balmoral, where your taste buds will be tempted by the delicious dishes to choose from. Including the lavish affair that is the Gala Dinner, the Ballindalloch Restaurant represents quality dining on board Fred. Olsen cruises.

The Spey Restaurant
The Spey Restaurant, and her sister restaurant, the Avon, offers the quality dining you would expect on board your cruise holiday aboard Balmoral. Both restaurants provide the same a la carte menu as the main Ballindalloch restaurant on deck 6, but their intimate design and panoramic views combine to give a unique dining atmosphere on your cruise ship. Watch the sun set into the vast ribbons of turquoise ocean whilst tucking into a gourmet dinner and a glass of wine, or two.

Avon Restaurant
This tastefully designed restaurant provides a beautiful setting to enjoy a delicious meal. Situated on Deck 10, the Avon Restaurant – and her sister restaurant the Spey – offers the fine dining you would expect on a cruise on board Balmoral.

Palms Café
The Palms Cafe on board Balmoral is slightly less formal and ideal for if you prefer not to stick to set dining times. The Palms Cafe offers the perfect alternative for those times when you prefer not to stick to the set dinner times on board your cruise holiday. Of course you will still be offered a fine choice of dishes, prepared to the same high standard you expect with Fred. Olsen Cruises, in a relaxed buffet style of service.

The Grill
Open in warm weather, you can dine while watching tranquil views of the ocean as your ship sails towards your next destination. Enjoy breakfast of eggs benedict or omelette, and fresh sandwiches, salads or burgers for lunch. For a small charge, you can indulge in this special dining experience in the evening too.


The Balmoral Boutique features a wide range of luxury gifts for yourself and your loved ones. We offer a wide range of fragrance, cosmetics, bags, clothing & fashion accessories from designer brands such as Dior, Estee Lauder, Leighton Denny, Radley & Fiorelli, all at duty-free prices.

Fine Jewellery
Bring home a memorable travel souvenir from your Fred Olsen cruise. Balmoral’s fine jewellery shop offers a beautiful collection of jewellery pieces including; Clogau Welsh Gold, Swarovski Crystal and Pearls, as well as a wide selection of designer and fashion Watches from Citizen, Sekonda, DKNY and Guess.

Port Shop
The Port Shop on board the Balmoral stocks all the holiday essentials that you may have forgotten to pack from toiletries to sun hats or even a good book. You’ll also find a wide range of sweet treats and savory snacks – perfect for whilst on board or as gifts to take home.


Neptune Lounge
Take your seat in the Neptune Lounge on board your cruise ship as the sun goes down and experience the music, dancing, lights and costumes.
Shows, reviews and evenings of cabaret are guaranteed to have you shouting “encore”. Music and entertainment is on offer throughout Balmoral during the evening on board your
cruise holiday, but the Neptune Lounge has ample room for passengers whichever dinner sitting you are on, so you can find a seat to enjoy the glitz and glamour of the evening shows.

Lido Bar
The Lido Bar is the perfect place to unwind after a hard days sightseeing or to simply relax during your cruise holiday. The Lido Bar looks out over the aft pool and the stern of your cruise ship and is the ideal spot to appreciate the talents of our on board pianist or musical duo. Our friendly and attentive bar staff are always on hand to serve you your favourite drink – often remembering what that may be.

Marquee Bar

The Marquee Bar on board your cruise ship offers plenty of refreshment options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Situated on Deck 11 of your cruise ship, the Marquee Bar is the perfect way to settle down with a drink, or just to enjoy some cool shade for a while, on a hot, sunny day. The floor-to-ceiling windows let the light flood in, letting you take in the panoramic views, which are a key feature of so many Fred. Olsen cruise holidays.

Observatory Lounge

The Observatory Lounge allows you panoramic views of your cruise holiday. The large picture windows in the Observatory Lounge offer fantastic views which are enhanced with plenty of binoculars spaced around the lounge. A grand piano provides the perfect background music as you enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail on your cruise holiday, or you can dance into the small hours upon the glass dance-floor.

Photo Gallery
Cruise photographers are on hand to help you capture your memories throughout your cruise holiday. Photographs are displayed each day and can be viewed and purchased in the Photo Gallery.

Quilts, Diamonds, Chocolate & Canals Cruise 2018

16 to 25 September 2018

Based on Twin occupancy:

Price Includes:
▪ 9 nights’ aboard Balmoral (operated by Fred Olsen) sailing from Newcastle
▪ Visits to Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam & Amsterdam
▪ Fantastic on board workshops with Vivien Finch & Judi Mendelssohn
▪ All meals on board
▪ A Welcome gathering
▪ A goody bag
▪ Onboard entertainment

Not Included: Travel Insurance, optional excursions, visas.

TO ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR PLEASE CALL 020 7766 5267, OR EMAIL info@japanjourneys.co.uk OR

CLICK HERE to download a Brochure: Quilts, Diamonds, Chocolate & Canals Cruise 2018 Brochure

CLICK HERE to download a Reservation Form: Quilts, Diamonds, Chocolate & Canals Cruise 2018 Reservation Form

Shore Excursions

Details for the shore excursions for this cruise are not yet decided.


Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.

Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low cost cover to their customers.

Please click on the image below for a quote.