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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines unveils new patchwork livery on flagship 'Balmoral' to raise awareness of Suffolk Hospice campaign

Press release   •   Apr 01, 2019 07:45 BST

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has unveiled a bright new patchwork livery on its flagship, Balmoral, to help to raise awareness of a fundraising campaign in aid of Suffolk-based St Elizabeth Hospice – ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’.

In line with the Fred. Olsen ethos of continual improvement and upgrading of its fleet, Balmoral has been adorned with an eye-catching new patchwork livery. The vibrant pattern was chosen by Peter Deer, Commercial Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, to reflect the cruise line’s support of the ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ campaign, based around the children’s picture book character, ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’, created by David McKee.

The ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ art project – to raise funds for Ipswich’s St Elizabeth Hospice – will be bringing 55 large Elmer sculptures and 85 ‘young Elmers’ to the county town in Summer 2019, and follows on from the hugely successful ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ trail in 2016. The Parade is once again being run in conjunction with public art event specialists, Wild in Art, and new partner, Andersen Press, who have published ‘Elmer’ for 30 years.

Starting with its flagship, Balmoral, the unique patchwork design will be rolled out across Fred. Olsen’s three other ocean ships – Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – over the coming months.

Fred. Olsen has commissioned its own ‘top secret’ sculpture for the campaign, designed by talented Trimley artist, Angela Ashford. The ‘big reveal’ of Fred. Olsen’s design will take place when the ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ art trail gets under way officially on 15th June 2019.

Peter Deer, Commercial Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“St Elizabeth Hospice provides a vital service within our community, and has provided invaluable support to many of our colleagues and their families over the years, so we are so proud to be supporting ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ as our major local charity campaign in 2019.

“The Hospice needs to generate £10.5 million to run every year, less than a quarter of which comes from the NHS. While we are already sponsoring and commissioning our very own Elmer sculpture for this Summer’s ‘Big Parade’, we wanted to go one step further and do more to promote the work of the Hospice and just how important this campaign is – and what better way to catch everyone’s attention than by showcasing the bold, bright patchwork colours of Elmer on our beautiful flagship, Balmoral, and across the rest of our cruise fleet?”

Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’, said:

“We were thrilled to get Fred. Olsen on board with our campaign as a sponsor over a year ago and we have been so impressed how they have really gone above and beyond in their efforts to be really involved in the campaign; from holding fundraising events at their headquarters in Ipswich, to involving our ‘Patchwork Elmer sculpture’ in all sorts of different events, and now even referencing us in the rebranding of their ships – it really is amazing.

“We were hoping that this year’s art trail would be bigger than ‘Pigs Gone Wild’, but we hadn’t thought in a million years that it would get right round the world!”

Paul Black, PR and Brand Director at Andersen Press said:

“In Elmer's 30th anniversary year, we want to turn the whole country patchwork in celebration, but to work with St Elizabeth Hospice and Fred. Olsen to turn the high seas patchwork is truly beyond anything we imagined. Here’s hoping this beautiful patchwork livery raises lots and lots of money for the Hospice, and spreads a message of friendship and acceptance in each port of call!"

‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ marks the 30th anniversary since the first book on Elmer’s adventures was published by Andersen Press, with St Elizabeth Hospice also celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019. Fred. Olsen celebrated 30 years of being headquartered in Ipswich, Suffolk in 2018.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at For further information on Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, visit the website at


Notes to editors:

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

For Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines media enquiries, please contact: Rachael Jackson, Public Relations Manager, Direct Tel.: +44 (0)1473 292233, E-mail: / Ellis Barker, Public Relations Executive, Direct Tel.: +44 (0)1473 292237, E-mail:

St Elizabeth Hospice

Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk will take place between June and September 2019 raising much needed funds for the vital work of St Elizabeth Hospice. £200,000 pays for approximately one week’s care. St Elizabeth Hospice improves life for people living with a progressive or terminal illness. Our work is centred on an individual's needs, which means specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice. Through medicine and therapy we ease pain; we give life purpose and make life liveable.

For more information on St Elizabeth Hospice, please contact Jennie Hutchinson, Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk Marketing Project Manager on T. 01473 707922 E.

Wild in Art

Wild in Art is one of the leading producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events, which connect businesses, artists and communities through the power of creativity and innovation.

Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Cape Town and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.

Wild in Art events have: Enabled over £10m to be raised for charitable causes / Injected £1.7m into local creative communities / Engaged over 500,000 young people in learning programmes / Helped millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings. The Wild in Art apps powered by Mediaworks are available to download from the App Store and Google | @wildinart | #wildinart

For more information on Wild in Art, please contact Sarah Bartram, Marketing and Communications Executive at Wild in Art on T. 01663 308088 E.

Andersen Press

Andersen Press is a leading independent children’s publisher, and home to some of the biggest names in the world of children’s books, including the much-loved picture book characters Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and the Little Princess. Andersen Press is the publisher of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Susin Nielsen, Julian Clary, David Roberts, Tony Ross, David McKee, and Jeanne Willis. The company was founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge.

For more information on Andersen Press and Elmer, please contact Paul Black, PR Director on T. 0207 840 8710 E.


Elmer remains one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time, selling over 8 million copies worldwide since it was first published by Andersen Press in 1989. Written and illustrated by celebrated children’s author and artist David McKee, the Elmer books have been translated into more than 50 languages with toys and clothing adding to the world of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

Since the first Elmer title debuted in 1989, Andersen Press has developed an internationally successful Elmer publishing programme which spans over 24 original stories and includes board books, activity books and novelty books. A beloved classic and firm family favourite, David McKee’s iconic and brightly coloured patchwork elephant has also inspired a branded merchandise programme which has proven success at retail and is popular in millions of households across the world.

David McKee

David McKee was born in Devon and studied at Plymouth Art College. In the early part of his career, McKee regularly drew and sold humorous drawings to magazines and newspapers such as The Times Educational Supplement, Punch and the Reader’s Digest. David McKee has written and illustrated over 50 picture books for Andersen Press and has penned a number of children’s classics including King Rollo, Mr Benn, Not Now Bernard and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. David McKee loves to paint and now lives in the South of France but regularly visits London.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.