(7 p.m. BST) -- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announced it intends to have three of its fleet of four vessels restart cruise operations in March and April of next year – with its 1,325-passenger flagship, Balmoral, starting even sooner.
The exact date has yet to be confirmed for Balmoral first; Fred. Olsen stated in a press release that a "return to the water" date for the ship will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Balmoral's cruises are currently cancelled to 9 December 2020.
Fred. Olsen also plans to restart cruises aboard its 924-passenger Braemar in March.
The company made the announcement Thursday along with the news that Bolette and Borealis will enter service in March and April of 2021. The two vessels are taking over for Black Watch and Boudicca, which will be retired. Bolette will assume Boudicca's sailings from Dover, while Borealis will take over Black Watch itineraries departing from Liverpool.
Itineraries aboard the two new vessels, which were purchased from Holland America Line in July, will be available for booking on 7 September for Bolette and 15 September for Borealis.
"We have really missed taking our guests on their holidays this year," said Fred Olsen Junior, chairman of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. "Without our guests, there is no vibrancy, no life and no fun on board our ships, and we can't wait to be able to offer them the award-winning cruises for which we are renowned once again."
Cruises aboard Black Watch and Boudicca are still available for reservation in the meantime. All passengers booking itineraries on either ship will have their cruise automatically transferred to either Bolette or Borealis.
Bolette and Borealis -- the former Amsterdam and Rotterdam -- are currently undergoing a technical refit in Rotterdam before sailing to Rosyth, Scotland for further work and repainting into their new Fred. Olsen livery.