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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' new ship Borealis, on first international sailing of 2021. Credit: Richard Lovelock
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' new ship Borealis, on first international sailing of 2021. Credit: Richard Lovelock

Press release -

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines becomes first operator to complete international sailing as Borealis returns to UK from Iceland

Fred. Olsen has become the first cruise line to complete an international voyage since the resumption of cruising, as Borealisreturned to the UK from Iceland this morning.

New ship Borealis set sail for the rugged landscapes of Iceland on Saturday, 14th August with around 800 guests on board. It was the first international voyage to set sail from British waters since all UK cruise operators paused their operations in March 2020.

The cruise called into Reykjavík, Ísafjörður, Eyjafjörður and Seyðisfjörður, and guests were able to leave the ship and explore ashore in organised shore excursions.

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“This is a big achievement not just for us, but for the cruise industry. Being the first international sailing, this cruise was not without its challenges, but we worked very closely with the Icelandic authorities to ensure all went smoothly and, of course, safely, both for our guests and crew and those living and working in the ports we visited.

“It is the first time in 17 months that anyone has been able to explore overseas on a cruise again, and our destinations team worked closely with our shore tour providers to help as many guests as possible have safe yet genuine experiences ashore and enjoy the natural wonders of Iceland.

“Of course, as a cruise line with a fleet of smaller ships, we know that the joy of the journey is just as important as the destination. Our journey planners curated an itinerary to showcase some of Iceland that is best seen from the water, from the rugged landscapes of Hornstrandir King and Queen Cliffs and scenic sailing into Seyðisfjörður, as well as some lovely sights of whales and other marine wildlife.

“This is a real milestone for Fred. Olsen, and we can’t wait to welcome guests back on board for international sailings throughout the rest of the year and beyond.”

Borealis in Iceland. Credit: Richard Lovelock

There were a number of procedures that Fred. Olsen and guests needed to complete to make this sailing to Iceland possible, including pre-registration forms and testing prior to arrival into Iceland and before returning to the UK. All guests were also required to be fully vaccinated by the Icelandic government.

The cruise line currently has two ships sailing, Borealis and new flagship Bolette, both of which are offering more international sailings from September.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit fredolsencruises.com. Book online, call our Reservations team on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm), or contact your ABTA travel agent.

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Ellis Orchard

Ellis Orchard

Press contact Public Relations Manager Public Relations 07557672265
Georgina May

Georgina May

Press contact Public Relations Executive Public Relations
Lauren Gardner

Lauren Gardner

Press contact Public Relations Manager Public Relations 07546807099

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

At Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines we are very proud of our smaller ships – Bolette, Borealis and Balmoral - and the imaginative and unusual itineraries they allow us to offer. Every cruise is hand-crafted from scratch by our team of in-house Journey Planners to make sure you are not only visiting the best destinations, but at the best time to experience them.

For us, it’s not just about where we go but how we take you there. We put as much time into planning scenic cruising as we do in choosing the destinations themselves. On board, our Signature Experiences showcase the history, culture, nature and flavours of the destinations you’ll visit – from Treats of the Region, where you can enjoy local delicacies, to our Sky at Sea star-gazing sessions where you can relax with a hot toddy out on deck while our astronomer talks you through the night sky.

Plus, with each ship carrying 1,300 guests or less, our ships are small enough for us to offer a warm, friendly and personal service where nothing is ever too much trouble, as we visit a host of exciting ports in every corner of the globe.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Fred. Olsen House, White House Road
IP1 5LL Ipswich, Suffolk
United Kingdom