Balmoral has been extensively refitted to serve as a Fred Olsen ship – carrying 1,348 passengers, she is also the biggest ship to sail for them.View cruise deals View details
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is a family-operated company with a fleet of four ships, all of which have a strongly Scottish ambience. Unlike other larger ships and lines, Fred Olsen says it is proud of the intimate world it offers, where modern-day conveniences sail in harmony with traditional values. You can expect a cosy, traditionally British cruising experience on a Fred. Olsen ship, where the onboard currency is Pounds Sterling, interior decor is comfortable and attractive but not flashy, and evening entertainment is muted and fairly old fashioned. Fred. Olsen’s slogan is ‘it’s all about the people’ and this line has a very specific appeal to a very specific audience.
The Fred. Olsen Cruise Line fleet, of much loved ships, the Black Watch, Braemar, plus the modern Boudicca and Balmoral, offer 4 different types of cruise holiday experiences all with exceptional friendly service. It is a company tradition that all ships' names begin with the letter B and that the ships will remain mid-sized and that it will acquire older ships rather than build new ones.
Black Watch and Boudicca formerly cruised for Royal Viking before joining the Fred. Olsen fleet, and the two ships, which were built in the early 1970s, have been lovingly refurbished. A new era for Fred. Olsen began with the introduction of Balmoral, which previously sailed for Norwegian Cruise Line. The ship, which joined the fleet in 2008, underwent a major refurbishment prior to its introduction that included a lengthening and the addition of new features, such as the Morning Light pub and a splashy new sundeck along with an expanded spa. Following in its footsteps, Braemar, has sailed for Fred. Olsen since 2001 but after a Balmoral-style refurbishment and stretching, she re-entered the fleet in July 2008 sporting similar new accoutrements.
As Fred. Olsen offer a generally smaller type of cruise ship, service is more attentive than you would find on some larger cruise lines. Every night Fred. Olsen cruises provide lively and diverse onboard entertainment, chefs will ensure everything is cooked to your liking, and likewise the bartenders will mix your cocktails exactly as you please.
- Brand history – founded in 1848, this family firm has survived into the era of massive cruise corporations by having a distinctive identity
- Signatures of the line – down-to-earth values, sterling as ship currency and a faintly cosy or ‘classic’ feel to activities that appeals particularly to the British
- Number of ships – four
- Best for – the average on board age is 67, so these are ideal cruises for those who like a relaxed pace and lots of calmer activities
- Special dining features – five course dining every night, and people ALWAYS change for dinner
- Special suite features – nothing much, this is a line that offers cosiness rather than luxury
- Special kid features – none to speak of. Given the average age of the passengers, this is not a line likely to appeal to children
- Entertainment features – excellent low-key entertainment, good lectures and erudite and intelligent fellow passengers who organise their own fun
- Spa and fitness features – a basic spa and gym are complemented by excellent service from attentive staff
- Routes – with a focus on home-porting in the UK, Fred Olsen sails generally to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The line has recently started offering world cruises too