Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will be waving a fond farewell to industry stalwart, Lol Nichols, the company’s General Sales Manager, in January 2016, after an impressive 43-year career within the travel and cruise trade, 21 years of which have been spent with Fred. Olsen. Lol will be leaving Fred. Olsen to pursue a sunshine retirement in his home in Mallorca, and to indulge his love of travel and enjoy leisure time with family and friends.
Lol joined Fred. Olsen in 1994, when the company operated only one ship, the iconic Black Prince. Lol’s remit at the time was to promote the diverse range of cruise lines for which Fred. Olsen acted as the UK General Sales Agent (GSA), including Star Clippers.
When Fred. Olsen acquired a second ship, Black Watch, in 1995 – effectively increasing the cruise line’s own capacity by some 180% – the GSA activity was scaled back to just Star Clippers, with the company and Lol’s focus shifting to promoting the new Black Watch programme, along with Black Prince. Before Black Prince was retired in 2009, Fred. Olsen was successfully selling and operating cruises across five ships.
Lol took over his most recent role at Fred. Olsen – as General Sales Manager – in 2000, which has led to him playing a pivotal part in developing the company’s relationship with the important travel trade, and overseeing the Sales team, both in-house and field-based.
Lol Nichols, outgoing General Sales Manager at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“The main highlight of my time at Fred. Olsen has to be the great people who I have worked with, both within the company and externally within the cruise industry and travel trade at large, making lots of friends along the way. I will be sorry to leave, but also excited at the prospect of moving to my house on Mallorca, where I have been spending an increasing amount of time in recent years.
“I have been in travel for all of my career, and consider myself fortunate to have worked within such a vibrant and exciting industry, enabling me to visit so many amazing places around the world.
“I will be leaving Fred.'s soon after what will have been a very successful year for the company, and I wish my Sales team and all of my colleagues the very best for the future. I look forward to continuing to follow the cruise and travel industry closely – and Fred. Olsen's progress within it – as a consumer and guest!”
Lol started his career in travel in 1972, at the age of just 17, working for Thomas Cook in a branch in Oxford Street, London. Two years later, he joined Thomson Holidays, where he remained for almost 20 years, in a range of roles within the Sales Division. Lol then decided to join the cruise industry, firstly with a brief stint at Costa Cruises, before arriving at Fred. Olsen in 1994.
Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“We are very sad to be saying goodbye to such a close colleague as Lol, but of course, we all wish him the very best in Mallorca, and we cannot blame him for wanting to take it a bit easier in the sun after such a fast-moving and eventful career!
“As Fred. Olsen has expanded over the years, so Lol has grown with us, and he has handled every new challenge in a professional, enthusiastic and efficient manner. He has earnt great respect throughout the travel and cruise industry, and he is a popular and much-loved character, who we will all miss a very great deal.”
Lol’s successor as General Sales Manager at Ipswich-based Fred. Olsen is currently being sought.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.