Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Springtime Gardens of Northern Europe

Discover the remarkable gardens, ancient castles and stunning waterfronts of the British Isles, Belgium and Norway on this luxury cruise, accompanied by garden experts Holly and Osamu Shimizu. Includes a private tour of Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden with Gala Luncheon

Cruise Only
8 nights

Luxury Holiday
  • London Tower Bridge
  • Antwerp
  • Edinburgh Botanic Garden
  • Stavanger
  • Bergen

Call us on 01756 706500 (+44 1756 706500) to discuss this holiday


Save up to 25% PLUS exclusive £50pp Blue Water discount and €400pp on board credit! Subject to availability. Prices shown include discount

Save £900 per couple! Applies to first-time Ponant cruisers. Prices shown include first-time cruisers discount

No single supplement! Subject to availability

Springtime Gardens of Northern Europe Special Offer

This Springtime cruise focuses on exploring the gardens and historic sites of the British Isles, Belgium and Norway. The cruise begins in London and is accompanied by host of the popular Victory Garden television show, Holly Shimizu. This voyage includes a special visit to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh with a Gala Luncheon, and also offers the chance to explore Alnwick Gardens with a special personally guided tour by the Duchess of Northumberland and the tropical gardens of Flor og Fjaere near Stavanger.

Cruise from London to the elegant coastal city of Ostend which has ornate Belle Epoque buildings lining the sandy beach. Explore Antwerp and the city's diamond district or perhaps venture further afield to Belgium's capital, Brussels. From Newcastle, guests can visit the outstanding Alnwick Castle and Gardens, with a personal tour by the Duchess of Northumberland.

A highlight is the included visit to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh for a private guided tour of the spectacular gardens including the vast array of rhododendrons, with a gala lunch overlooking the rock garden. Le Boreal then cruises up to Stavanger in Norway where there is the choice of excursions available including the Flor of Fjaere gardens before reaching Bergen.

CP764 Operated by Ponant Luxury and Expedition


Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites Itinerary

Day 1 - London Tower Bridge (UK)

Embark Le Boreal in London Tower Bridge. An optional pre-cruise programme includes expert led tours at Kew Gardens and at Chiswick House Gardens before embarkation.

Day 2 - Ostend (Belgium)

The elegant city of Ostend has a fine sandy beach lined with sumptuous Belle Epoque buildings. Art lovers will enjoy the Kunstmuseumaan Zee with its excellent display of Belgian art. Optional excursions include a trip to the medieval city of Ghent for a guided walking tour and canal cruise, and a visit to romantic Bruges to see the exquisitely-preserved buildings and ornately decorated Town Hall.

Day 3 - Antwerp

Antwerp's ancient city centre is the perfect size for a leisurely stroll and is dominated by the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The city's museums uncover Antwerp's history and showcase the paintings of Rubens. From Antwerp there is the opportunity to travel to Brussels for a walking tour of the Old Town and a Flemish lunch.

Day 4 - At sea

Enjoy the ship's facilities on a relaxing day at sea.

Day 5 - Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK)

Newcastle is home to the remarkable BALTIC contemporary art institution which is well worth a visit. Garden lovers will enjoy the optional excursion to Alnwick Garden, where the Duchess of Northumberland will guide you through the gardens, from the spellbinding Grand Cascade to the Serpent Garden and the world-famous Poison Garden, followed by lunch in the Treehouse Restaurant.

Day 6 - Rosyth (Scotland)

Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, is famous for its Royal Mile, Edinburgh's oldest and most historic street, the 12th-century Edinburgh Castle and the magnificent Palace of Holyroodhouse. Today there is an included excursion to the Royal Botanic Garden where you will be greeted by the Curator of the Living Collection and taken on a private guided tour of the spectacular gardens which include the largest collection of wild-origin Chinese plants outside of China and the world-famous rhododendron collection which will have begun to flower when we are there. After the tour, garden staff at the Garden’s Caledonian Hall will host a gala luncheon overlooking the rock garden.

Day 7 - At sea

Enjoy the ship's facilities on a relaxing day at sea.

Day 8 - Stavanger (Norway)

Stavanger is a modern city yet its picturesque old town has pretty 18th-century wooden houses and an impressive Anglo-Norman style cathedral. There is the chance to visit the ancient Utstein Monastery for a guided tour followed by a short music recital in the chapel, or travel by boat to the island of Sor Hidle for a guided tour of the exotic gardens of Flor og Fjaere, set against a majestic mountain backdrop.

Day 9 - Bergen

Disembark Le Boreal in Bergen. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

For navigational reasons the Captain of the ship reserves the right to modify the cruise itinerary.

Price Includes

  • 8-night full board cruise
  • Bergen to UK flight
  • Captain's welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Open bar with wine, beer and house champagne
  • 24 hour room service (selected menu)
  • Gala lunch and private tour of Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden
  • Complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi on board
  • Evening entertainments and events
  • Porterage from quayside to ship and vice versa

Price Does Not Include

  • Port charges and taxes
  • Optional shore excursions
  • Personal expenses and gratuities
  • Travel insurance

Additional Information

  • Optional Excursions:
  • Ostend - Ghent and Canal Cruise: Explore the medieval city of Ghent with a walking tour from St Michael's Bridge to the pontoon for a canal boat ride with highlights including the impressive Castle of the Counts, the fish market, 13th century monasteries and the ancient port of Ghent along with its mercantile houses. After the canal cruise, continue the walking tour. (€75pp)
  • Ostend - Historical Bruges: Enjoy a guided walk through Bruges including the Market Square with its Guild houses, Belfry Tower and the Chapel of Holy Blood before a 30-minute canal boat cruise for a different perspective of the city. (€70pp)
  • Antwerp - Explore Antwerp: Enjoy a scenic coach through Antwerp and see the diverse architecture in the city. Admire the Central Railaway Station, Cogels Osylei Art-Nouveau style street and visit the MAS Museum. Afterwards, explore the Old Town on foot. (€65pp)
  • Antwerp - Brussels Highlights: See Brussels on a panoramic drive including their national sports stadium, the Centenaire and the Atomium Statue before reaching the centre of the city, passing the Japanese Tower and Chinese Pavillion. Join a walking tour from the Central Station through the Old Town before a Flemish lunch at a local restaurant near the Grand Palace. (€110pp)
  • Newcastle - Alnwick Garden: Travel to the picturesque town of Alnwick and the famous Alnwick Garden. The Duchess of Northumberland will personally guide you through her renovations to the garden and explain how they have been transformed. Enjoy lunch at the Treehouse Restaurant on the grounds of the estate. (€250pp)
  • Newcastle - Hadrian's Wall: Designated a World Heritage Site in 1987, Hadrian's Wall is the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. (€75pp)
  • Rosyth - Royal Botanic Garden: From Rosyth, cross the First of Forth to Edinburgh and visit the Royal Botanic Garden. Be greeted by the Curator of the Living Collection and be taken on a private guided tour of the 70 acres of spectacular gardens. After the tour, be hosted by garden staff at a gala luncheon overlooking the rock garden. (Included)
  • Stavanger - Introduction to Stavanger: Stavanger has a vast maritime history. Pass the rich agricultural countryside and arrive at Ullandhaug with its reconstructed farm houses. Continue through the old and new sections of Stavanger to Stavanger Cathedral before visiting the Petroleum Museum. (€85pp)
  • Stavanger - Utstein Monastery and Music Recital: Utstein Monastery is situated on Mosteroy Island which accessed through an underwater tunnel. It is one of the best-preserved monasteries in Norway and Augustine monks lived there from the 13th century. After the visit, enjoy a short music recital in the chapel. (€85pp)
  • Stavanger - Tropical Garden of Flor og Fjaere: Depart by boat to the island of Sor Hidle for a guided tour of Flor og Fjaere exotic gardens with one of the most northerly collections of tropical palm trees, bamboo and banana trees. (€70pp)

Special Features

  • Guest lecturers:
  • Holly Shimizu has recently retired from the post of Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden and is an internationally-renowned horticulturist. She has written for numerous publications, been an international flower show judge and was the host of the popular Victory Garden TV show.
  • Osamu Shimizu grew up in Japan where he studied historic and contemporary Japanese gardens. He now designs gardens for residences and public spaces; many of his gardens are Japanese but some are a blend of influences from east and west.
Map for Springtime Gardens of Northern Europe