Kirkwall, historic capital of the Orkney Islands, celebrated a milestone 1,500th cruise call on 10th August 2016, with the arrival of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Black Watch. The ship arrived from Nanortalik, Greenland, as part of her 26-night W1610 ‘Arctic’ cruise, which set sail from the UK on 17th July 2016.
Black Watch’s visit to Kirkwall – voted ‘The UK’s Best Port of Call’ in cruise industry awards – also coincided with the welcoming of the city’s 750,000th cruise guest, Mr. Paul Revis of Middlesex, who was awarded this prestigious honour out of nearly 700 ‘Arctic adventurers’ on board the ship!
Mr. Revis, with his wife, Margaret, were treated to a VIP tour of Kirkwall’s many attractions – including Neolithic Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar, as well as St Magnus Cathedraland the Italian Chapel – and were presented with commemorative gifts by Orkney’s Harbour Master, Mr. Brian Archibald.
A VIP Reception was hosted on board Black Watch by the Ship’s Master, Captain Åge Danielsen, who presented Councillor James Stockan, Chairman of the Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, with a specially-commissioned watercolour painting of Black Watch sailing in Kirkwall Harbour by renowned artist Andrew Dibben, from East Anglia, where Fred. Olsen has its Head Office. An impressive Black Watch-designed cake took pride of place during the reception, which Fred. Olsen donated to a local charity after the event.
As part of the celebrations, the Port of Kirkwall hosted a ‘Taste of Orkney’ food-and-drink experience on the quayside, and cruise guests were also invited to take part in a Black Watch-themed treasure hunt around Kirkwall. For the ship’s departure, quayside entertainment was provided by the Kirkwall City Pipe Band and Just Dance troupe.
Clare Ward, Senior Commercial Planning Manager at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“It is a great honour for Fred. Olsen to be chosen to celebrate Kirkwall’s significant cruise achievements this Summer. We enjoy a very successful partnership with the Port, and this is one of our guests’ favourite cruise calls in the UK.
“We know that our guests will thoroughly enjoy all the festivities that the city of Kirkwall has laid on, and we would like to thank everyone involved in making this such a very special day for us all.”
Michael Morrison, Business Development Manager, Marine Services, Orkney Islands Council, said:
“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are a strong supporter of the Orkney Islands as a cruise destination and have been coming to Kirkwall for many years as part of their ‘Around Britain’ and ‘North Atlantic’ itineraries.
“We are all quite delighted that the port call of the Black Watch today has delivered this historic double milestone in Orkneys cruise story and we now look forward to the arrival of our one millionth cruise ship passenger in 2020.”
From Kirkwall, Black Watch continued to Tilbury, Essex, where she concludes this Arctic cruise on 12th August 2016.
Fred. Olsen will be making a total of 10 additional calls to Kirkwall between September 2016 and the end of 2017, with Black Watch and her sister ship, 880-guest Boudicca.
Mr. Paul Revis, Kirkwall’s 750,000th cruise guest (2nd right), and Mrs. Margaret Revis, cut the impressive Black Watch-designed cake with Brian Archibald, Orkney’s Harbour Master (far left), Captain Åge Danielsen, Master of Black Watch (2nd left), and Councillor James Stockan, Chairman of the Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, on 10th August 2016.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.