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Stephen and Claire Ward
Stephen and Claire Ward

Press release -

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ guests run, walk, cycle and swim 34,849 miles in aid of RNLI

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines guests and crew ran, cycled and swam a staggering 34,849 miles – the equivalent to the distance of their Around the World in 80 Days cruise.

The challenge onboard Borealis came after guests, husband and wife, Stephen and Claire Ward, from Wellington in Somerset, set themselves a feat to complete 10 marathons each to raise money for the RNLI.

To help the couple towards their fundraising, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines challenged fellow guests and crew to see if they could travel the 30,828 miles of their cruise by walking, running, cycling, swimming or any other means before the end of their trip in May.

Claire managed to complete an incredible 24 marathons – almost 629 miles – during the 80-day cruise.

She said: “Completing the challenge was a great achievement for me and to have the Captain and Entertainment Manager, together with Stephen, all present to watch me cross the finish line was extra special.

“The RNLI is a charity close to mine and Stephen’s hearts as a close friend of ours sadly lost his life to cancer about 18 months ago. He always supported the RNLI and had cause to call on their help on a couple of occasions.

“The cruise was certainly a once in a lifetime experience for me and was meant to be a special cruise for us both. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case with Stephen unable to board the ship at the last minute.

“However, I would like to add a special thank you to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines for the help in getting Stephen on board in Acapulco to be able to finish the cruise with me which was obviously fantastic for both of us.”

Sammie Firbanks, Entertainment Manager on Borealis, who orchestrated the challenge on board, said:

“Our guests and crew achieved an incredible feat by managing to travel a distance of 34,849 miles, far more than the original target.

“There was a real show of togetherness to work with Stephen and Claire to reach their goal, all while raising money and awareness for the RNLI, with whom we have worked with for more than 50 years.”

Guests completed sponsored laps of the deck and logged miles walked ashore as they explored destinations, while crew completed sponsored relay races in the pool.

As a united team effort, Stephen, Claire, guests and crew raised £6,618 for the RNLI.

Jayne George, Fundraising Director at the RNLI, said:

“The commitment of RNLI supporters never ceases to amaze me, and Stephen, Claire and the other guests on board Borealis have taken it to a new level.

“Stephen and Claire’s challenge to run the equivalent of 10 marathons each, and the guests’ target of 30,000 miles are truly astonishing feats. Fundraisers like these are the lifeblood of the RNLI – the money they raise powers our rescues on beaches and from lifeboat stations.”

The cruise followed as closely as possible in the footsteps of fictional explorer Phileas Fogg. Borealis took guests to Europe, Egypt, India, Singapore, Japan, Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia and the Caribbean.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit, or to make a donation, visit


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