Fred. Olsen’s Brabant (River Boat)


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.


So What Is Brabant Really Like?

At the time of writing was ‘Brabant’ was not yet in service for Fred.Olsen, so no one has a review.

However we do know that Olsen’s ‘Brabant’ is Amadeus Cruises (Luftner Cruises) – ‘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.

I assume the ‘Brabant’ experience will essentially be an Amadeus one – same crew, service, chefs ans entertainment, with a few of Olsen’s ‘Britishness’ tweaks, such as menus and the on-board currency etc.

Amadeus are not so well know to Brits, but currently have ten vessels of a somewhat similar design. All were built in the same shipyard, with some tweaks over the years, as standards have progress. Their older vessels are 110 metes long and carry around 156 passengers. Their newer vessels are generally 135 meters long and carry around 180 passengers. The layout and facilities are similar although the ‘standard’ cabins are a little smaller on their older vessels, but adequate. All their vessels are in excellent condition, but fixtures and fitting on their older ships are obviously not quite so contemporary.

I have cruise on two Amadeus vessels in late 2015 and late 2016. My review compare river cruising to ocean cruising and will also give you an idea what to expect from Fed. Olsen’s ‘Brabant:

 ‘Amadeus Silver II’ review: HERE

‘Amadeus Elegant’ review: HERE

Malcolm Oliver

The Original Brabant

The Brabant was the first of a notable new generation of passengers ships, which was taken delivery of in 1926.  She had a gross tonnage of 2, 335 and was the Olsen’s biggest passenger ship so far, with accommodation for up to 70 first class passengers amidships, and could carry 30 third class travellers in less comfortable quarters at the stern.  She also had space for 2, 500 tons of cargo in two substantial holds.  (The Fred. Olsen Line and It’s Passenger Ships, by Anthony Cooke).


Olsen’s Brabant (National Library of Norway)