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Fred. Olsen Cruises: Discover a delightfully traditional way to cruise

Fred. Olsen Cruises: Discover a delightfully traditional way to cruise

If mega cruise ships seem a little daunting and the many adrenaline-pumping activities found on these increasingly large ships are just not your cup of tea, then Fred. Olsen Cruises offers a wonderfully enticing alternative. Fred. Olsen Cruises do not try to keep up with the trends or seek to develop new and thrilling ways for you to spend your time onboard. Instead, they uphold the charming tradition of cruising and maritime heritage. And with a history dating back to 1848, they are perfectly positioned to do just that. 

Fred. Olsen Cruises is a family-run cruise line that treats passengers as guests, offering you a warm welcome as you step aboard their uncrowded ships and set sail to discover some of the many incredible cruise destinations.

So, what else can you expect when cruising ‘The Olsen Way’? We reveal it all below.

The advantages of smaller ships

Fred. Olsen ships are smaller, but being petite has its advantages. For example, you can get much closer to your destinations, sailing up rivers that larger cruise ships just can’t access. They’re kinder to the environment, too, using less fuel and creating less waste. Fewer guests are on board, meaning shorter queues, easier embarkation and disembarkation, and more personalised service. 

Fred. Olsen Cruises currently has four cruise ships: Bolette, Borealis, Balmoral and Braemar. Here are some quick facts about each:

Cruise ShipBoletteBorealisBalmoralBraemar
Standard Guest Capacity1,3381,3601,325924
Size237.94m by 34.45m 237.94m by 34.45m218.05m by 32.3m195.92m by 28.1m
Tonnage (GT)62,73561,84943,53724,344
Number of Crew645662551401
Swimming Pools2222

Did you know? Braemar was used to house 900 workers during the 2012 Olympics in London! The workers slept and dined in the vessel but unfortunately didn’t get to use the pools or bars- what a missed opportunity!

Departure Ports

In its drive to offer a stress-free, easy and convenient start to your cruise holiday, Fred. Olsen Cruises sails from local ports around the UK. With options to depart from Southampton, Portsmouth, Dover, Tilbury, Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh (Rosyth), most UK guests are less than a few hours’ drive away from their nearest port.

Who might you typically find onboard a Fred. Olsen Cruise?

People who choose Fred. Olsen Cruises appreciate the tradition of cruising. They like the history and heritage behind this type of holiday and want to experience it on their trip. They’re not after new and exciting activities but instead want to enjoy the simple pleasures of cruising: the impeccable service, good-quality dining and elegant evening entertainment. 

Fred. Olsen ships are not really designed for families with young children; instead, they are more suited to couples and singles. First-time cruise guests are welcomed, having the opportunity to join a ‘New to Cruising’ get together and a guided ship tour, where you can meet other like-minded people and become familiar with all their ships have to offer.

Friends on deck , sunny day ,at sea

Worldwide cruise itineraries 

With their smaller vessels, Fred. Olsen Cruises can take you right to the heart of your destination. This capability is invaluable when on a Norwegian fjords cruise, as you can access the smaller, more remote and serene fjords, such as Lysefjord. It also enables you to get close up to cities, more like a river cruise line than an ocean one. See the grand canals of Venice, the tulips of Amsterdam or the enchanting Christmas markets of Hamburg. 

There are also hand-crafted itineraries sailing to more far-flung destinations around Africa and the Indian Ocean or circumnavigating South America. Or, one of our favourites is the other-worldly, dramatic landscape of the Arctic.

Things to do onboard

Fred. Olsen Cruises provides the sort of entertainment that many people picture when they think of a cruise holiday; the Captain’s cocktail party, the gala buffet, dancing and a range of live shows and themed evenings, such as cabaret and stand-up comedy. 

During the day, there are a variety of classes, experiences and events for guests to enjoy. Choose from art & craft classes, cookery demonstrations or guest speaker events covering a whole range of topics. You can spend time perusing the well-appointed library, playing bridge in the Card Room or treating yourself or your family and friends to a bit of boutique shopping. 

There is also a range of complimentary fitness classes, which alongside the fully equipped gyms, allow you to keep fit as you cruise. And to relax afterwards, their Atlantis Spa offers beauty and relaxation treatments for that perfect bit of pure indulgence.

Fred. Olsen

Discover the dining options

From the elegant furnishings to the mouth-watering menu, dining on a Fred. Olsen Cruise is a stylish affair. Each ship has a main restaurant, offering nightly five-course à la carte meals with an impressive range of choices. Other evening dining choices include Asian-inspired Colours and Tastes on Bolette, the Indian Ocean Room on Borealis, the smaller and more intimate Spey & Avon restaurants on Balmoral and The Grill on Braemar. 

You can also enjoy relaxed breakfasts and light lunches in one of the cafes or bars. And, if you’ve still got room, there’s a luxury afternoon tea option, served in porcelain teapots by Fred. Olsen’s white-gloved waiters. 

Cabin amenities 

Cabin options range from lower-priced interior cabins to spacious premier suites. However, all cabins have some nice home-from-home touches, including tea & coffee making facilities, a mini-fridge, hairdryer, interactive smart TV, phone and climate control. Every guest also benefits from a daily turndown service provided by the Cabin Stewardess.

Other things to note

Dress codes: Daywear is mainly casual, although beachwear is not suitable for the dining rooms. And, depending on your onshore excursions, you may wish to dress more conservatively if visiting religious places. Evenings are mostly smart casual, but there’s also the opportunity to attend some formal nights if you like to dress up in your cocktail dress or dinner jacket.

Wi-Fi: A range of Wi-Fi packages are available for you to connect to the internet and stay in touch with family and friends. 

Gratuities: These are not included in your cruise package but are automatically added to your onboard account (typically at £5.00 per person, per day). However, these charges are voluntary and can be removed if you choose. You can also prepay your gratuities if you prefer.

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