Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is reinforcing its reputation for offering the greatest choice of ex-UK departures to cruise guests in 2017/18, with its fleet of four smaller, more intimate ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – sailing from ten convenient regional ports: Southampton, Dover, Tilbury, Harwich, Falmouth, Liverpool, Newcastle, Greenock (Glasgow), Rosyth (Edinburgh) and Belfast.
Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“We know that travel to and from a departure port is a key influencer for guests booking a cruise holiday, and Fred. Olsen is continuing to offer the widest range of regional departure ports of any cruise line, with a total of ten, covering all the important cruise markets of the UK.
“We are also committed to ensuring that we match our departure ports to the right kind of cruise itinerary, meaning that we can offer the shortest duration of Norwegian fjords experience, of just five nights, from the North Eastern port of Newcastle, and a Canaries and Madeira holiday of just 12 nights from Falmouth, in the South West.”
In 2017/18, Fred. Olsen 1,350-guest flagship, Balmoral, will once again be sailing from Newcastle, with a record 13 departures, which is an increase of two sailings on the previous cruise season. Balmoral’s cruise programme from the Port of Tyne will commence on 25th May 2017, with a ‘Five-Night Fjords’ cruise. Other departures include: an 11-night ‘Swedish Fjords & Fjards’ cruise in May 2017 – a ‘fjard’ being similar to a fjord, but characterised ‘by a shorter, shallower, and broader profile’; a 14-night ‘Spitsbergen & the Midnight Sun’ departure in June 2017; and a nine-night ‘German Waterways’ sailing in August 2017. In addition to Newcastle, Balmoral will also be serving the Southern ports of Southampton and Dover in 2017/18.
929-guest Braemar will be serving Southampton and Dover in 2017/18, offering smaller-ship cruising to the UK cruise market on a variety of itineraries, including a 14-night ‘Spain & France Rivers’ sailingin April 2017 – which incorporates the Andalusian celebration of ‘The Seville Fair’, or ‘Feria de abril de Sevilla’ – a 10-night ‘Baltic’ cruise in July 2017, taking in the spectacular ‘Baltic Tall Ships Regatta’ in Klaipeda, and a seven-night ‘Belgium & Holland Rivers’ voyage in November 2017. Braemar will also be making a return to its popular Caribbean programme in 2018, with six fly-cruises between December 2017 and March 2018.
Fred. Olsen’s 880-guest Boudicca will be cruising from the port of Falmouth in April, for its second season, in 2017/18 – offering guests in the South West a 12-night ‘Canary Islands & Madeira’ cruise and a 16-night ‘Amalfi Coast’ adventure – an ideal itinerary for the ‘new-to-cruise’ market, as it only requires 10 days of annual leave. Boudicca will also be offering four sailings from Greenock (Glasgow) and two from Belfast.
Fred. Olsen remains one of the leading cruise lines operating from the port of Liverpool in 2017/18, with a total of 11 calls on board Boudicca, including a 26-night ‘Azores, Bermuda & the America’s Cup’ cruise in June 2017 – which is already proving a best-seller – and an eight-night ‘Lochs of Scotland’ sailing in July 2017.
In 2017/18, Fred. Olsen’s smallest, most intimate ship, 804-guest Black Watch, will be offering departures from Southampton, Dover and Rosyth (Edinburgh), with eight sailings – an increase on the seven available in 2016 – along with two cruises from Harwich and five from Tilbury.
Highlights of Fred. Olsen’s 2017/18 regional departure programme include:
- Balmoral’s 11-night L1711 ‘Swedish Waterways’ cruise, ex Newcastle on 30th May 2017
Balmoral calls first at the coastal town of Lysekil, which offers a distinctive charm, akin to a British seaside resort. Next comes a spellbinding exploration of Sweden’s vast fjordland, taking in majestic Gullmarsfjorden, Färlevfjorden and Saltkallefjorden.
Helsingborg is the next port of call, home to a rejuvenated waterfront, the elegant Sofiero Gardensand a flourishing local food scene, followed by UNESCO-listed Karlskrona. Here, guests can visit the town’s collection of 17th and 18th Century naval architecture, including a charming shipyard. A scenic cruise of the Stockholm Archipelago is not to be missed, with its unique network of nearly 30,000 islands, islets and rocks.
Balmoral then arrives in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, for a two-night stay. Guests will have the choice of visiting the ‘Gamla Stan’, the atmospheric ‘Old Town’, or take in the nearby ABBA Museum, or beautiful Drottningholm Palace, amongst other attractions in this buzzing metropolis.
After a return cruise of the Stockholm Archipelago, guests will then have the chance to witness more spectacular fjords: Älgöfjorden, Hakefjorden, Brattöbadan, Askerofjorden, Halsefjorden, Havstensfjorden and Byfjorden.
The final port of call on this Swedish waterways voyage is Arendal, from where guests can journey to the culture-rich hub of Gothenburg, with its cutting-edge architecture and famous botanical gardens. Balmoral returns to Newcastle.
- Black Watch’s W1713 ‘Greenland, Iceland & Norway Exploration’ cruise, ex Rosyth (Edinburgh) on 21st August 2017
Black Watch first visits Reykjavik, Iceland’s up-and-coming capital, where guests can relax in the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, or seek out the incredible Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.
After a scenic cruise of Angmagssalik Fjord, made all the more momentous by the ship’s smaller, more intimate size, Black Watch then calls at Tasiilaq, on the eastern side of Greenland. Discover fascinating artefacts at the Tasiilaq Museum; go hiking through the rugged, unspoilt landscapes; or travel a short distance across the fjord to uncover the breath-taking Flower Valley.
Iceland’s Akureyri comes next.Here, guests can admire some of nature’s most magnificent creatures in their natural habitat on a whale-watching tour, or pay a visit to Godafoss – ‘Waterfall of the Gods’!
Black Watch then undertakes a cruise of Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland, located off the north coast, and sails past Hrísey, a tiny island set at its heart. The ship continues towards the east coast and glides along the 30km-long Reyðarfjörður, the longest of the fjords along this coastline.
The last call in Iceland is to Eskifjörður, an authentic example of traditional urban life. Here, Mount Hólmatindur, at just under 1,000m tall, is a sight to behold!
Black Watch then makes her way to the first port in Norway, Ålesund, one of the country’s top visitor destinations, with panoramic views from Mount Aksla and the surrounding Sunnmøre Alps.The final port of call on this fjords exploration is picturesque Olden, where guests can take in the majesty of the Jostedalen Glacier and its famous Briksdal branch, as well as the Lovatnet Lake and Olden Church, built in 1759. Black Watch then cruises along the tranquil Nordfjord, and returns to Rosyth (Edinburgh).
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.