Archive for the ‘Fred Olsen’ Category

Balmoral Cruises From Newcastle Again

May 23, 2017

Balmoral (Courtesy Fred Olsen)

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral will be starting her second cruise season from the Port of Tyne, Newcastle, on May 25.

The 1,350-guest Balmoral will be setting sail on a total of 13 voyages from Newcastle in 2017 – an increase on the 11 departures offered in 2016.

(Fred. Olsen)

My Balmoral review: HERE

Fred. Olsen Moves Into River Cruising

May 17, 2017

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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, to go on general sale from 26th May 2017.

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, complemented by a selection of high-quality chargeable shore excursions, designed to enhance guests’ experience of the destination.

Fred. Olsen will be bringing its unique style of ‘destination exploration’ to the river cruise market, with exciting itineraries visiting some of Europe’s most stunning rivers, canals and valleys. Guests can choose to sail the breath-taking Danube, taking in the major cities and wildlife-rich Danube Delta; savour the highlights of the heart of Europe, along the twists and turns of the Moselle, Rhine and Main valleys; or enjoy a ‘taster’ cruise to Amsterdam, when the tulips are in full bloom.

Importantly, Fred. Olsen has also incorporated a large amount of scenic cruising in daylight hours into its new river cruise itineraries, so that guests can make the most of the spectacular scenery on offer at the best time of the day.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“At Fred. Olsen, we specialise in creating a ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time. In fact, the name Brabant harks back to Fred. Olsen’s historic passenger ship of the same name from the 1920s.

“Guests can rest assured that the new Fred. Olsen river cruises will be underpinned by the usual high standards, award-winning customer service and understated elegance that they have come to expect of our ocean-going offer. We firmly believe that we have crafted the perfect formula to ensure that our new river cruise guests are able to get the most out of their holiday with Fred. Olsen.”

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.

Three Amadeus vessels – Danube (Click to enlarge)

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. With just four decks – Haydn Deck 1, Strauss Deck 2, Mozart Deck 3 and Sun Deck 4 – and fewer than 80 rooms and suites, staffed by 40 crew members, Brabanthas the intimate and friendly feel that Fred. Olsen’s guests know and love.

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. Cherry wood interiors and contemporary colours combine to make guests feel relaxed from the moment that they step on board. Juliette balconies with panoramic windows are a feature of many of the rooms, so that guests can enjoy expansive views of Europe’s most impressive waterways.

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.

All holidays featured in the new ‘River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure are based on fly-cruises, and include return flights from / to a London airport and transfers to / from the boat. Cruise-only options are also available

(Fred.Olsen)

Malcolm says: I predicted this last year when Olsen. hinted at a ‘new direction’. This is a clever move. Olsen passengers are very loyal and trust the Olsen name.  It seems that this will essentially be an ‘Amadeus’ (Luftner Cruises) product, with some Olsen tweaks like sterling as the on-board currency and British menus.

Having cruised with Amadeus twice I can vouch that they offer a pretty high standard of experience at a fare more reasonable than many.

The Amadeus experience is an international one, attracting many German and French passengers, but will equally suit Brits. All the crew speak English. The food normally served by Amadeus is arguably higher-class (better) than some of Fred Olsen’s fare. The small number of passengers on river boats should ensure excellent service. (See my Amadeus cruise reviews).

Amadeus do not have a very high profile in the U.K. so this partnership can only help them.

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.

There is already talk of a second Olsen river boat, later on.

Amadeus Elegant, my second river cruise review HERE

Thinking Of Taking Your First River Cruise?

It’s spring, so the major European river cruise lines are once again starting to operate cruises along the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Seine, Rhone/Saone and other European rivers.

River cruising is actually is the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry.

There are many myths about river cruising and many truths too.

As a brand new convert myself, I have created a short article to dispel some of the myths and confirm some of the truths. Enjoy!

River Cruising – Myth & Reality: HERE

Malcolm

Balmoral To Sail From Edinburgh

April 10, 2017

Balmoral (Courtesy Fred Olsen)

In 2018/2019, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral will be sailing from Edinburgh (Rosyth) U.K. for the first time, operating a total of nine cruises.

Cruises from May to July 2018, include a five-night “Norwegian Fjords” departure, a 14-night “Scandinavia & St. Petersburg” Baltic discovery, and a nine-night “German Waterways” experience.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:  “We are proud of Fred. Olsen’s long-standing links with Scotland, and we are looking forward to introducing our flagship Balmoral to Edinburgh in 2018, further enhancing our cruises for Scottish guests”.

(Fred Olsen)

My Balmoral review: HERE

A Newbuild For Fred Olsen?

March 25, 2017

The Fred, Olsen cruise line, based in Ipswich (U.K) currently has four small ‘classic’ ships: Black Watch, Braemar, Boudicca and Balmoral.

Curiously in June 2016 Fred. Olsen e-mailed past customers saying:  “We just wanted to share with you the exciting news that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is making a significant investment across its fleet and moving in a different direction…”.

Now we do know that the fleet will be renovated, which is probably part of the ‘significant investment’ mentioned, however Olsen never made a further announcement about the “new direction”.

All four of Olsen’s charming vessels were purchased second-hand, but there is a strong internet rumour going around that Mr. Olsen. Jnr. is thinking of building a new ship.

I can’t confirm this, but it does not sound beyond the realms of possibility that this could be the “new direction”.

I did wonder if there was going to be Fred Olsen’s ‘River Cruises’, but there are no rumours about that.

Malcolm

BlacK Watch @ Tilbury

December 14, 2016
14-12-16

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.

 

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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

 17/12/2015

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.

DSC_0019

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.

Malcolm

Black Watch Review: HERE

Ventura (sister of Azura) Review: HERE