Posts Tagged ‘Fred Olsen’

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)


Amadeus to Offer River Cruises for Millennials

January 24, 2018


Amadeus River Cruises has become the latest line to offer sailings specifically for the millennial generation.

Amadeus’ move follows that of Uniworld, which under the U by Uniworld brand (see below) launches two ships dedicated entirely to river cruises for millennials this April.

Full ‘Cruise Critic’ article: HERE

Malcolm says: I like the Amadeus (Luftner) product. Their fares are better than many.  However, like many (most?) river cruise lines the experience is sedate and the entertainment can be very weak. Unfortunately I’m not the ‘millennial generation’.  If you don’t know what that means you are probably not one either. (It is sometimes defined as 20’s 30’s and early 40 year olds).

However just because I’m not a millennial, does not mean that I don’t want a little more to do on my river cruise of an evening. As for “a special program for passengers, focusing on topics like healthy living, fitness and nutrition”.  I’m not going to pay for somebody telling me off about what I eat on-board.  And as for ‘celebrity influencer’ they were called ‘celebrities’ or ‘salesmen’, back in the day.

Joking aside, I do welcome the river cruise lines who are reaching out for a younger demographic. However I think striving for millennials might be a little  too ambitious. I think the river boats would need to be designed specifically with a little more excitement on-board. I’ll let my readers debate what features that might be.

P.S. Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise product, ‘Brabant’ is actually an Amadeus product in disguise. Mind you Fred. is not seeking out millennials.

Introducing Amadeus Provence & Fred Olsen’s Brabant: HERE

Amadeus Silver II review: HERE

‘U’ by Uniworld

‘U’ by Uniworld is a sub-brand form the river cruise line. In their own words: “U by Uniworld is a new take on experiential travel, with cruises designed for those with a passion for exploring and a taste for authentic adventures. We at U have always believed that travel should be relaxing, exhilarating, convenient and tailored to your interests — all at the same time. And on a U by Uniworld river cruise, that’s exactly what you’ll experience.”

Still confused? I believe ‘U’ is the first-ever river cruise brand for millennials. This is of course a younger demographic than river cruising normally attracts.


Would these young women book a river cruise? (U by Uniworld)

‘U’ by Uniworld has debuted its first ship in Paris, recently. The B is the only ship on the river to reveal a unique all-matte black exterior.

The ‘B’ set sail on its maiden voyage along the Seine River for invited guests.

“We’re thrilled to make history with the launch of U by Uniworld and introduce a whole new generation to river cruising,” said Ellen Bettridge, president of Uniworld.

The ship was originally called Uniworld’s River Baroness. The renaming ceremony was led by the ship’s ‘Guardian Angel’ Petra Nemcova, supermodel and noted philanthropist. The a renaming ceremony where guests released biodegradable lanterns to symbolize starting anew with The B.

(Courtesy Uniworld)

‘B’ accommodates up to 120 “fun-loving” travelers per voyage, spread across its four suites, 26 balcony bedrooms, 29 studio bedrooms and two studio bedrooms with triple occupancy – all with waterfront views and equipped with built-in Bluetooth speakers.

The inaugural events included a drum circle creating a spiritual energy onboard and sabering champagne on the top deck.

During the remainder of the maiden voyage, guests experienced yoga, camping on the top deck, a silent disco party, mixology, impressionist painting and wine classes.

(Courtesy Uniworld)

Malcolm says: ‘U’ certainly sounds a little different, if not a little bizarre, but then I was not on-board. The brochure is full of images of young people. In fact I am a little cynical that Uniworld can really attract people as young as the ones pictured, but I wish them luck.

The other big issue is the often high fares. I wonder how many financially comfortable millennials want to spend their money on a river cruise? An RCI, MSC or NCL mega-ship, full of high-energy activities and ‘gimmicks’, sounds much more likely to appeal to millennials, in my opinion. Mind you, I could be wrong!

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