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Top secret! Major General Peter Williams hosts an ‘Espionage’ theme aboard Fred. Olsen’s ‘Africa & Algarve’ cruise

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Top secret! Major General Peter Williams hosts an ‘Espionage’ theme aboard Fred. Olsen’s ‘Africa & Algarve’ cruise

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering a winter sunshine cruise with a difference this December, perfect for those who have always wanted to find out what the ‘real’ James Bond is like! Black Watch’s 10-night W1324 ‘Africa & Algarve’ cruise, departing from Southampton on 10th December 2013, will offer guests an intriguing theme of ‘Espionage’, through the cruise line’s award-winning onboard enrichment programme, Vistas. This fascinating topic will be hosted on board by Cold War specialist, Major General Peter Williams, as the cruise takes guests around the attractive coasts of Portugal, Spain and Morocco, where it visits Tangier, with its legendary reputation for international spying.

After studying History at Cambridge University, Major General Peter Williams spent more than 30 years in the British Army (Coldstream Guards) and enjoyed an unusually varied career. As an Infantryman he carried out ceremonial duties in London, spent two years in the mountains of Oman, served twice in Northern Ireland and commanded an armoured infantry battalion based in Münster, Germany. In the early 1990s, he wrote speeches for the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, an American General.

During the Cold War, Major General Peter Williams specialised in intelligence. After studying Russian and German, he spent more than four years in the 1980s in Berlin and East Germany, in effect working as a military spy.

In the 1990s, Peter served in the former Yugoslavia, and from 2001 to 2002, he served first on the Western European Union Military Committee, and then on the European Union Military Committee. His final military posting was from 2002 to 2005 in Moscow, where he started up, and led, NATO’s Military Liaison Mission to the Russian Federation, working on military co-operation projects with the Russian armed forces. He retired from the British Army in December 2005.

As well as speaking to a variety of audiences about his career and experiences, Peter now trains British military diplomats, and is Editor of The Guards Magazine, the in-house journal of the British Army’s Household Division (Household Cavalry and Foot Guards).

This spy-themed cruise visits some very attractive ports in Portugal, Spain and Morocco. First is Portugal’s elegant capital, Lisbon. Its many palaces, gardens, churches and cafés offer a mix of attractive architectural styles; the Ponte 25 Abril is very similar in design to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The next port, Portimăo in the Algarve, is a relaxed seaside town at the centre of the local sardine industry, so there is no shortage of fine seafood restaurants and cafés to enjoy, alongside the pretty harbour.

Next stop is Gibraltar, ever-popular with visitors from the UK, who enjoy its British ambiance, but with much better weather than we enjoy at home! The majestic Rock of Gibraltar soars 425 metres out of the sea and a trip to the top allows magnificent views, as well as the chance to explore the mysterious caves and, of course, meet the resident Barbary Apes.

The next port, Ceuta, is an autonomous Spanish enclave in North Africa; here, Monte Hacho offers panoramic views of the city and its coast, with views across to Gibraltar. It is a unique blend of African and European influences.

Tangier, in Morocco, is the next port, and it is ideally-suited to a cruise with an ‘Espionage’ theme. It is said to have a legendary spying history, and has often been used as the location for spy fiction and films – including two James Bond films, and, most recently,  ‘Inception’ in 2010, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.  

The last call on this sunny winter cruise is the Spanish port of La Coruna, with its array of architectural styles, from the medieval to the modernist. The Torre de Hercules, believed to be the world’s oldest lighthouse, towers over the shoreline. There is also a scenic old quarter that is well worth a visit, with fine galleries and museums. Black Watch then returns to Southampton.

Prices for this most unusual cruise start from £899 per person, based on two adults sharing in inside, twin cabin Grade ‘I. This price includes all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes, as well as all Major General Peter William’s Vistas talks and lectures.

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

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Ellis Barker

Ellis Barker

Press contact Public Relations Executive Public Relations +44 (0) 1473 292237

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has defined and redefined the cruise experience, and judging by the number of passengers that come back time and again, we seem to have styled it to perfection

The company originated in Hvitsten, a small town on Oslofjord in Norway, in 1848 when three Olsen brothers – Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas – bought their first ships and began an international shipping company.

Now into the fifth generation of the family, they operate companies skilled in various aspects of the cruise and passenger shipping trade as well as aviation, ships’ crewing, shipbuilding and offshore industries.
Aside from the transportation industries, the Fred. Olsen group also has interests in the luxury hotel sector, estate management, property development, and electronics companies.

Offices for the company are spread throughout the world, although the company headquarters remain firmly in the family’s hands in Oslo and Tenerife. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is based in Ipswich in Suffolk.

Company Reg. No: 2672435
Registered Name & Office: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd, 2nd Floor, 64-65 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2NU.
Place of registration: England and Wales
VAT Number: 927 5336 08

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