Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Reveals Details of Boudicca Refit

March 16, 2018
Exterior shot of Boudicca

(1:45 p.m. EDT) -- All cabins on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' 880-passenger Boudicca will be totally refurbished in an extensive refit that will also see upgraded public rooms and new dining facilities.

It forms part of a multi-million pound investment by the line and follows refurbishments to sister ships Black Watch, Braemar and Balmoral. The ship will enter dry dock tomorrow, 17 March, at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.

Boudicca, which is a favourite with British cruisers, will then return to the UK for a five-night "Mystery Cruise" departing from Dover on 29 March.

One of the main focuses of the bow to stern overhaul will be stripping out the 462 cabins. They will all have new carpets, soft furnishings, lights and balcony furniture. Additionally, mini-fridges, safes and interactive "smart" TVs will be installed.

Elsewhere, the ship's Morning Light Pub -- a feature across the four-strong Fred. Olsen fleet -- will be moved to the portside of the Secret Garden Cafe. The space vacated by the pub will be converted into the Oriental Tea Room serving exotic teas and other eastern specialities. The Heligan Room restaurant will make way for the Indian Ocean Restaurant, offering the same style of intimate dining as the Orchid Room on sister ship Black Watch.

The guest services area is being renovated to make the area more inviting and user-friendly for passengers, and the refurbishment will also include engineering works and painting of the interior and exterior.

Mike Rodwell, managing director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: "We are very proud of our smaller, classic cruise ships, and we recognise the importance of investment in upgrades and improvements to ensure that guests are always able to enjoy their holidays to the full.

"The upgrades and improvements to Black Watch, Braemar and Balmoral have all been very well-received by both new and existing guests, and we continue to focus on developing and enhancing the onboard experience."

From spring 2018 passengers will be able to sail aboard the renewed Fred. Olsen fleet. Black Watch benefitted from improvement work at the end of 2016 and Braemar and Balmoral were refitted before Christmas 2017.

The upgrades and refurbishments are part of an overall plan to lift the line from mid- to premium and has seen a corresponding increase in fares.

Last month, owner Fred Olsen Jnr. said: "It's more expensive to buy our cruises now and that's important to us as it also enables us to lower the volume of our guests onboard," he said. "More space in the restaurants, more space to book and sit with who you want, more space in the lounges."

--By Jeannine Williamson, Cruise Critic contributor