Archive for the ‘Fred Olsen’ Category

Olsen’s Boudicca: Extensive Refit

March 17, 2018


(Boudiccca’s old livery and interiors)

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 880-guest Boudicca is due to undergo an extensive refit starting on March 17 at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.

The schedule for Boudicca comprises engineering works, general refurbishments and painting of the interiors and exterior, the company said.

In addition, one of the main areas of work will be the stripping out and rejuvenation of the 462 rooms across the ship.

All rooms will have new carpets installed, along with new soft furnishings and lamps. As with the rest of the fleet, brand new balcony furniture will be installed, and all rooms will be equipped with mini-fridges, safes and interactive smart TVs.

There will be extensive upgrading and remodelling of the vessle’s public rooms and dining facilities. The ship’s Morning Light Pub – a feature across the whole of the Fred. Olsen fleet – will be moved from to the portside of the Secret Garden Café. The Heligan Room will be converted into the Indian Ocean Restaurant.

Black Watch benefited from extensive improvement work at the end 2016 and has been achieving record revenues since, according to a company statement. Braemar and Balmoral were refurbished before the end of 2017.

(Fred Olsen)


Fred. Olsen Jnr Hints At New-Build Ship

March 5, 2018

Black Watch (Tilbury, 14-12-16)

Stories about Fred. Olsen cruise line building a new ship/s has been circulating the Net for a few years now.

‘ShipMonk’ – Dave Monk’s excellent cruise blog, has some exciting new information on the subject:

See Here

Malcolm says: I think part of the charm of Fred. Olsen and CMV is their fleets of small old ships. They have so much more charm than big new ships. An Olsen newbuild will be a very different product. I can only imaging Olsen’s fare would go up to pay for for newbuilds and they are not cheap now. This would make Olsen a competitor of the likes of Viking Ocean Cruises, Saga’s new build and Oceania cruises etc.

Marco Polo To Be Sold?

Dave Monk also has some information about the rumour that CMV’s classic ship, ‘Marco Polo’ will be sold to become a ‘residential community’.

See Here

(Courtesy Storylines)

Storylines web site

Malcolm says: I have no idea is the Marco Polo story is true, but I can’t really think of a ship less suitable to become a luxury residential community. She is 53 years old with small cabins and no balconies.  I love the Marco Polo, but I would not spend 40 million on renovating a ship that old to become a  “contemporary” community’. She’s a modest little ocean liner and public cruising is what she does best.

Marco Polo Review

Introducing Amadeus Provence

July 8, 2017


Many of you may not have heard of Amadeus river cruises (formerly Luftner cruises) before, at least until you read my blog. However news junkies may have notice that Fred. Olsen Ocean cruises will be chartering an Amadeus vessel to enter into the river cruise market. (More about this below).

Amadeus are a family owned business by the Austrian Luftner family, who operate fourteenth river ships.

I have now cruised with them twice simply because of their good quality product and some very competitive fares.

Their latest ship called ‘Amadeus Provence’ (thankfully not called Silver 4) entered service in spring 2017.

She is 110 meters long and carries 140 passengers. She is  shorter than some newbuilds, probably because of the constraints the rivers she will be cruising on. She will sailing on the French rivers Rhône and Saône.

Amadeus Provence (Click to Enlarge)

Amadeus Provence (Click to Enlarge)

In their own words: The AMADEUS Provence offers custom-designed luxury and features a unique combination of modern elegance and superb amenities:
8 spacious Suites with comfortable corner sofa, luxurious bathroom and walk-out exterior balcony
62 Staterooms with mainly drop-down panoramic windows, luxurious bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes
Spacious public areas such as the pool deck with swimming pool and Lido-Bar or the outdoor glass-shielded “River Terrace”.

The AMADEUS Provence will transport you on the river cruise of a lifetime. Don’t miss the breath-taking 8-day cruise “French Savoir Vivre” from/to Lyon and experience world-famous sights such as Pont du Gard, Gorges de l´Ardèche, the nature reserve Camargue und the wine area Beaujolais. 

The design of Provence is a little different to all the other Amadeus ships.

The ship has to pass under a number of low bridges on these itineraries, which means the sun deck has to regularly be closed to passengers.

However the new ‘pool deck’ at the ships stern (not featured on any of their other ships) comes complete with infinity pool andis located at a lower level. This means the pool deck can still be used when the sun deck has to be closed because of low bridges.


Reviews: Amadeus Silver II: HERE    Amadeus Elegant: HERE

Introducing Fred. Olsen’s Brabant


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has announced the launch of its new dedicated cruise programme by river boat, unveiled in its new ‘European River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure. Fred. Olsen River Cruises is now offering European river cruise holidays, between 5th April and 3rd November 2018, on board 156-guest river boat, ‘Brabant’.

Fred. Olsen will be operating its new river cruise programme – taking in some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle – on a total of 30 departures in 2018, on duration’s ranging from five to 25 nights.

Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise itineraries on board Brabant for 2018 include: Düsseldorf, Germany to Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Düsseldorf to Nuremberg, Germany; Nuremberg to Budapest, Hungary; Budapest to Hirsova (Bucharest), Romania; Düsseldorf to Basel, Switzerland;and Hirsova (Bucharest) to Düsseldorf.

Built in 2006, 110-metre-long Brabant is a stylish and comfortable river cruise boat, and has everything that guests will need to make their holiday a memorable one: from bright and spacious public areas, to well-equipped bedrooms and ample deck space, from which to enjoy the superb views.

Brabant’s classic design is smaller than many river boats, so guests will enjoy the usual hallmarks of Fred. Olsen’s ‘closer’ approach to cruising. In keeping with Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going fleet, this smaller-scaled vessel has the style, atmosphere and elegance of a country house hotel.

Fred. Olsen guests – who are predominantly British – will also feel at home on board Brabant, with English spoken throughout and all transactions conducted in Pounds Sterling. The British taste will also be reflected in the cuisine, customer service and shore tours on offer.

(Fred. Olsen)

Malcolm says: Olsen’s ‘Brabant’ is the ‘Amadeus Princess’ which entered service in 2006. The line has revealed that the vessel will not undergo a refurbishment before it sails as Brabant, but will receive Fred. Olsen River Cruise branding and a new livery/name.  It seems that this will essentially be an ‘Amadeus’ (Luftner Cruises) product, with Olsen tweaks, such as sterling as the  on board currency and British menus.


BlacK Watch @ Tilbury

December 14, 2016

14-12-16 (Click to enlarge)

Today was a mild and  sunny winters day at the Tilbury Cruise Terminal (London).

A rare visitor was Fred Olsen’s ‘Black Watch’.

I do like her new livery with a dark coloured hull.

Tomorrow she departs on a 7 night itinerary: Christmas Markets of Germany & Denmark

BW is 28,613 gross tonnes and carries 820 passengers. She was built in 1972.



Click to enlarge

Black Watch Review/slide-show: HERE



The Black Prince Remembered

September 4, 2016
BP Tilbury

BP Tilbury

Does anybody remember Fred Olsen’s ‘Black Prince’? Maybe you even cruised on her? She was very popular with Brits.

She was quite a quirky ship.

She was originally a ferry, that was converted into a cruise ship. She was small, even in her day. Now she would be regarded as minute!

In fact each of the ‘Oasis’ class of ships has lifeboats which each carry more passengers than the ‘Black Prince’ could.

The Black Prince article HERE

Boudicca at Tilbury

December 17, 2015


Fred Olsen’s ‘Boudicca’ was at Tilbury cruise terminal today, one of several visits this month.

Her brand new livery, with her dark grey hull, can be seen.

Boudicca - Tilbury 17th Dec. 2015

Boudicca – Tilbury 17th Dec. 2015

I love it! I have never been keen on all white ships. Boudicca looks like a proper ocean liner now. Her identical sister*, ‘Black watch’ will also look great when she gets her face-lift.


Boudicca (1973) and Black Watch (1972) are full of charm and at around 28,000 gross Tonnes, carrying 900 passengers, are arguably the perfect size.

See Boudicca’s original livery below.

Boudicca ship review HERE

*(There is  a third sister currently called Albatros, operated by German travel agent Phoenix Reisen).

Azura Meets Black Watch

September 13, 2015

(Image courtesy of Sergio Ferreira – click to enlarge)

P&O’s Megaship ‘Azura’ (2010) recently met Fred Olsen’s ‘Black Watch’ (1971).

This is what 115,000 gross tonnes ship, that can carry 3,000+ passengers looks like, when compared to 28,000 gross tonnes ship, that can carry 800 passengers.

The ships were built 39 years apart.


Black Watch Review: HERE

Ventura (sister of Azura) Review: HERE