I've often thought it would be great to tour a ship you fancy cruising on before you go, but so far all the tours of ships I've seen have been in Southampton.
However I found out that when Boudicca docks in North Shields on 27 September and 4 October this year, you can tour the ship (providing you've never cruised with Fred Olsen before or have a future booking). The cost is £25 and it includes a tour of the ship and then a buffet lunch with wine in the main restaurant. There is also an offer of additional discount if you book within 12 months of the tour.
It's such a good idea this to be able to get a picture of what a ship is like before you book a cruise. I know it won't be the same atmosphere onboard as passengers will just be starting to board the ship but it's as good an idea as they can give you.
I've just booked this with Fred Olsen and am really looking forward to the visit. Might just enjoy a bit of shopping at The Royal Quays too! I couldn't find any information about the tours on their website, I found out about it from a Fred Olsen rep we met at a recent cruise exhibition.
If anyone is interested just telephone Fred Olsen 01473 746 164 for more information. I'm not on commission, honestly!
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19th April 2011, 02:38 PM #1
Tours of Boudicca in North Shields
19th April 2011, 02:49 PM #2Able Seaman Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
Sounds good, if a little pricey!
19th April 2011, 03:00 PM #3
Well it's not too bad and if you don't like the ship think of the money you'll save.
I forgot to ask them if I could try out their pool. Maybe that's a bit cheeky!
We have sailed with FO. several times before and were offered the chance for a lunch and tour of Balmoral (£25) in Dover.
Far to far for lunch for us. Surely, it shouldnt be reserved for new FO. passengers?
We would be more than willing to have a look over some of the other ships with a view to cruising with them in the future.
Not as far to travel for us either.
If North Shields wasn't so far away, I would love to do that as we have our first FO cruised booked for next year on Boudicca. It would be an expensive lunch for us though as we would have to stay overnight.
I've been on lots of ship tours/lunches. In nearly every case I would have been happy to cruise on the ship - in fact I'm always a little sad to get off. Olsen in particular does these well.
However the ships lack atmosphere, feels empty/cold (I don't mean temperature) and the corridors are often littered with laundry due to the fast turnaround. The meal and service may not be up to normal standards, but sometimes they are great. Never the less, it is a nice way to spend an afternoon.
19th April 2011, 06:09 PM #7
Jill, I don't know why they don't do them out of all the ports they use so more people can find out about their ships. Mind you it's possible they do this in more ports than North Shields as I said I haven't seen this advertised anywhere. I suppose it's worth an email to the marketing department to ask. The contact I had was with email@example.com
It is expensive if you have to travel a distance. The main reason why we haven't thought about Southampton as a departure point. It would have to be a really special cruise to trek that distance.
Also not sure why they limit it to people who haven't cruised with FO before as it's not exactly a freebie! I think it's limited to a small number on each tour but if you haven't been on that particular ship not sure why you can't see it. Might be something to do with the offer of a discount!
19th April 2011, 06:17 PM #8
We were booked for a day visit on Aurora in Southampton last August. We paid up front of course, which you have to do to secure the booking. However, I hadn't recovered from surgery on my ankle in time so we couldn't go.
19th April 2011, 11:38 PM #10
Fred Olsen doesn't offer a meal on embarkation for normal passengers - you get served sandwiches and cakes in the buffet and that has to tide you over until dinner. Therefore if you are on a ship's tour with lunch then perhaps you might get something a little special?
Jill - we have been on Balmoral, Black Watch and Boudicca and love Fred's ships for mini-cruises. The service is good but a little disinterested in the restaurants on Boudicca - we thought the other ships were better. However you will still have a great time and I wouldn't hesitate to travel on Boudicca again.
Cruising my way through life!