Archive for the ‘Fred Olsen’ Category

Introducing Amadeus Provence

July 8, 2017

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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.

Malcolm

Reviews: Amadeus Silver II: HERE    Amadeus Elegant: HERE

Introducing Fred. Olsen’s Brabant

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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’.

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.

Malcolm

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

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
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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