Palm tree-lined pathways and golden sunshine are awaiting visitors who take a trip to the glorious Canary Islands.

The best way to travel, as I found on my eight-night holiday, is to leave the car behind and wake up to the scenery of several different locations onboard a cruise ship.

Whilst you could choose one country to visit and spend the time getting to know the area, for today’s generation, something that packs in a little more is bound to appeal.

Those looking for the sun and something to grab their attention are afforded a great choice, with the opportunity to travel for around for a week in luxury.

Onboard Fred. Olsen’s beautiful Braemar, there is space for up to 929 passengers, provisions to eat in three different restaurants, offering food from around the world, with a mix of staff nationalities to match.

A whole deck is dedicated just to lounging in the sun, with service to your sunlounger, which is a nice added touch. However, Braemar also has a well-stocked library, games room and is equipped with Wi-Fi, meaning that your home comforts, and those who you had to leave behind, are not an after-thought.

Each night, there is live entertainment, ranging from staff talent shows and stand-up comedians to big band music and magic performances, which I made the most of whilst on holiday.

But of course the other main focus and selling point is the destinations along the way, which on my trip included Santa Cruz in Tenerife, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, Puerto del Rosario in Fuerteventura and Lisbon in Portugal.

Each place is as beautiful as the last and yet offers something different, but with unlimited warm sunshine thrown in, as you would expect from a trip to the Canary Islands.

Santa Cruz offers a lot to those with an interest in flowers and plants, as is noticeable from the moment you step off the ship. It is clear that the tourist board here take a great deal of pride in welcoming visitors and we learn that whilst jobs are scare here, the main industry people want to get into is, unsurprisingly, the tourism market.

We look at the Pyramids of Guimar whilst here, which houses a secret garden of toxic plants, which is a delight to see and learn about, as some of them you can find in your own back garden.

From there, we travel to Gran Canaria, which is home to bronze statues of dogs, which really plays to us Brits as a nation of pooch-lovers, as well as the offer of plenty of glorious sandy beaches. Fuerteventura offers a great setting to try the local cuisine from the open-air cafes, and Lisbon is perfect for shopping for little gifts to take home to loved ones.

Many other holidaymakers onboard the Braemar say that they stay loyal to Fred. Olsen because they know what to expect when they plan their holiday, and the service is great.

As for my own experience, it only supports that and now the toughest decision after a lovely break away is to decide where to go on my next cruise holiday.

  • Caitlin travelled on the Braemar with Fred. Olsen Cruise Line for the eight-night trip, flying out to Tenerife and heading back to the UK via Dover.
  • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering a similar fly-cruise next year, a 13-night ‘Canaries & Madeira Winter Warmth’ cruise onboard Braemar. Flying from London Gatwick or Manchester airports on October 30, join Braemar in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, before setting sail. You will arrive back in Tenerife, for the flight home, arriving back in the UK on November 11.  

Prices for this fly-cruise start from £1,199 per person, based on an inside twin-bedded cabin, subject to availability, and includes all food and entertainment on board, return flights, transfers to/from ship, port and airport taxes.


  • For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at 

To book online, call reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm,  Sunday, 10am to 4pm), or visit an ABTA travel agent.