For the very first time, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the chance to experience the world-famous Mardi Gras on an epic ex-UK adventure of the Caribbean and North and Central America. Setting sail from Southampton on Fred. Olsen's flagship, Balmoral, offering 18 phenomenal ports of call, plus three full days and two overnights in New Orleans, allowing plenty of time to soak up the carnival atmosphere!
This fantastic cruise visits some of the most beautiful and exciting destinations in the Caribbean, North America and Central America, offering guests a 'once-in-a-lifetime' chance to take in a host of incredible experiences in one stunning holiday. In Road Town, Tortola – voted the best port in the Caribbean by Fred. Olsen's guests – take a ride on a Jeep Safari tour and enjoy the rugged landscapes, or swim with dolphins in the island's warm, crystal-clear waters.
In the United States, enjoy a two-night stay in vibrant New Orleans and join in with the fun and festivities at the annual Mardi Gras Carnival. Be sure to collect the symbolic colourful beads, as 'Krewes' parade their hand-crafted floats and costumes through the city; dance and drink the night away on Bourbon Street; and delve into delicious 'King Cakes' at this fabulously extravagant festival.
Fred. Olsen is offering a range of shore tours to enhance guests' experience of the Mardi Gras celebrations, including taking up a prime position in the parade-viewing stands in downtown New Orleans. From here, guests will be able to enjoy a variety of food and drink from the many street vendors and will be in the ideal location to watch the colourful parade and catch some of the free gifts and treats that are thrown into the crowds from the floats.
There is also the opportunity for guests to attend the 'Orpheuscapade Black Tie Ball' in New Orleans – something rarely experienced by tourists. This 'Black Tie' event is held in the local Convention Centre, and features live music and dancing, plus the chance to get up close to the gigantic carnival floats, as a local celebrity leads the parade directly through the Convention Centre.
In Florida, there is the chance for guests to visit Tampa on Fred. Olsen's maiden call, and to sample the diverse culture and atmosphere of Miami, before sailing north to Port Canaveral. Located on America's Space Coast, this is home to two awe-inspiring space rocket launch sites – the Kennedy Space Centre and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.