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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Highlights


Why Go?

Traditional British-style cruising

Friendly atmosphere and efficient service

Departing from several UK ports to worldwide destinations

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7 Night
Norwegian Fjords Cruise

Leaving:
Rosyth
Visiting:
Jondal, Flam ... see more
Ship:
Balmoral
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Rosyth
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Jondal
  • Day 4
    Flam
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Olden
  • Day 5
    Nordfjord
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Geirangerfjord (Cruising)
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Sunnylvsfjorden
  • Day 6
    Hellesylt
  • Day 6
    Seven Sisters Waterfall
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Rosyth
Ship Details

Balmoral - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Friendly environment for mature, young at heart cruisers

Medium sized ship with British country house ambience

Excellent and caring service

Reviews

Balmoral Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.0/5
Cabins3.0
Dining4.0
Service4.0
Value4.0

Editor's Note: Balmoral emerged from dry dock in November 2017. In addition to standard upg...

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5 Night
Uk Cruise

Leaving:
Liverpool
Visiting:
Greenock, Tobermory ... see more
Ship:
Black Watch
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Liverpool
  • Day 2
    Greenock (Glasgow)
  • Day 3
    Tobermory
  • Day 4
    Kirkwall
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Liverpool
Ship Details

Black Watch - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Pros

An elegant and friendly newly-refurbished ship with superb food, service and entertainment

Cons

Public announcements are difficult to hear in some places, and some seatsin the Neptune Lounge have interrupted views of the stage

Bottom Line

A traditionally styled ship with a country house ambience and luxurious seating in public rooms

Reviews

Black Watch Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.5/5
Cabins4.0
Dining5.0
Service5.0
Value4.0

Built in Finland as a six star vessel, this ship started life in 1972 as the Viking Star, and w...

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8 Night
Iberia & France Cruise

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Bordeaux, Bordeaux ... see more
Ship:
Braemar
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Southampton
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Bordeaux
  • Day 4
    Bordeaux
  • Day 5
    Santander
  • Day 6
    Aviles
  • Day 7
    La Coruna
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Southampton
Ship Details

Braemar - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Pros

Low-key, leisurely onboard activities allow time for genuine relaxation

Cons

Passengers will have trouble finding snacks between lunch and dinnertime

Bottom Line

Braemar offers a great mix of activities and downtime for cruisers of a certain age

Reviews
Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.0/5
Cabins4.0
Dining4.0
Service4.0
Value4.0

Braemar is one of the most welcoming cruise ships you're likely to experience. Crew greet passe...

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16 Night
Trans-atlantic Cruise - Air

Leaving:
Barbados
Visiting:
Barbados, Antigua ... see more
Ship:
Braemar
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Barbados
  • Day 2
    Barbados
  • Day 3
    Antigua
  • Day 4
    Tortola
  • Day 5
    St. Kitts
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Ponta Delgada
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Cruising
  • Day 15
    La Coruna
  • Day 16
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    Southampton
Ship Details

Braemar - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Pros

Low-key, leisurely onboard activities allow time for genuine relaxation

Cons

Passengers will have trouble finding snacks between lunch and dinnertime

Bottom Line

Braemar offers a great mix of activities and downtime for cruisers of a certain age

Reviews
Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.0/5
Cabins4.0
Dining4.0
Service4.0
Value4.0

Braemar is one of the most welcoming cruise ships you're likely to experience. Crew greet passe...

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168 Night
World Voyage Cruise

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
La Coruna, Madeira ... see more
Ship:
Boudicca
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Dover
  • Day 3
    La Coruna
  • Day 6
    Madeira (Funchal)
  • Day 7
    Tenerife
  • Day 8
    Tenerife
  • Day 9
    Tenerife
  • Day 9
    Las Palmas
  • Day 12
    Mindelo (Sao Vicente)
  • Day 13
    Cape Verde
  • Day 18
    Cruising
  • Day 21
    Tristan da Cunha
  • Day 25
    Walvis Bay
  • Day 26
    Luderitz
  • Day 28
    Cape Town
  • Day 29
    Cape Town
  • Day 30
    Cape Town
  • Day 32
    Port Elizabeth
  • Day 34
    Richards Bay
  • Day 38
    Mayotte
  • Day 39
    Nosy Be
  • Day 42
    Seychelles
  • Day 43
    Seychelles
  • Day 44
    Seychelles
  • Day 44
    Seychelles
  • Day 48
    Maldives
  • Day 50
    Colombo
  • Day 53
    Port Blair
  • Day 54
    Port Blair
  • Day 56
    Phuket
  • Day 57
    Phuket
  • Day 58
    Phuket
  • Day 59
    Sabang
  • Day 61
    Singapore
  • Day 62
    Singapore
  • Day 65
    Semarang
  • Day 67
    Lembar
  • Day 68
    Komodo Island
  • Day 69
    Bali
  • Day 70
    Bali
  • Day 71
    Bali
  • Day 74
    Broome
  • Day 78
    Perth (Fremantle)
  • Day 80
    Albany (Australia)
  • Day 83
    Penneshaw
  • Day 85
    Melbourne
  • Day 86
    Melbourne
  • Day 88
    Hobart
  • Day 90
    Sydney (Australia)
  • Day 91
    Sydney (Australia)
  • Day 92
    Sydney (Australia)
  • Day 94
    Brisbane
  • Day 95
    Great Barrier Reef
  • Day 96
    Great Barrier Reef
  • Day 97
    Townsville
  • Day 98
    Cairns
  • Day 99
    Cairns
  • Day 100
    Cairns
  • Day 102
    Alotau
  • Day 104
    Madang
  • Day 105
    Wewak
  • Day 109
    Ambon
  • Day 111
    Komodo Island
  • Day 112
    Bali
  • Day 113
    Bali
  • Day 114
    Bali
  • Day 117
    Singapore
  • Day 119
    Phuket
  • Day 121
    Yangon (Rangoon)
  • Day 122
    Yangon (Rangoon)
  • Day 126
    Colombo
  • Day 127
    Colombo
  • Day 128
    Colombo
  • Day 131
    Kochi (Cochin)
  • Day 132
    Kochi (Cochin)
  • Day 134
    Mormugao (Goa)
  • Day 135
    Mormugao (Goa)
  • Day 136
    Mumbai (Bombay)
  • Day 137
    Mumbai (Bombay)
  • Day 138
    Porbandar
  • Day 141
    Dubai
  • Day 142
    Khasab
  • Day 143
    Muscat
  • Day 145
    Salalah
  • Day 150
    Aqaba
  • Day 151
    Aqaba
  • Day 152
    Suez Canal
  • Day 153
    Suez Canal
  • Day 154
    Jerusalem (Ashdod)
  • Day 155
    Limassol
  • Day 157
    Crete (Heraklion)
  • Day 158
    Athens (Piraeus)
  • Day 160
    Malta (Valletta)
  • Day 162
    Alcudia
  • Day 163
    Cartagena (Spain)
  • Day 164
    Malaga
  • Day 166
    Almeria
  • Day 169
    Dover
Ship Details

Boudicca - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Pros

Old-style cruising with traditions such as set dining times, dressing up and afternoon tea

Cons

Passengers under 60 and families will feel out of place

Bottom Line

Perfect if you are of a certain age and after a quintessentially British experience

Reviews

Boudicca Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.0/5
Cabins3.0
Dining4.0
Service4.0
Value5.0

Boudicca is a ship with an illustrious lineage. It began life as Royal Viking Sky, one of the l...

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In the age of the mega corporation, it's refreshing to see that a family-owned cruise company can continue to survive and thrive.

Fred. Olsen Awards

Editors’ Picks Awards

2018 Best Itineraries
2018 Best Shore Excursions
2017 Best Itineraries
2017 Best for Solo Travellers
2016 Best Itineraries
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines -- still owned and operated by the family that originally founded it back in the 19th century -- is a prime example of the power and pull of tradition.

Its story began in 1848, when Frederik Christian Olsen, one of three seafaring brothers living in Hvitsten, a small town on Norway's OsloFjord, bought two schooners. His brothers Petter and Andreas who, like Frederik, worked as ships' captains, quickly followed suit, as Petter acquired the sailing brig Thilda in 1852, and Andreas became the family's third shipowner in 1860.

Between them they founded a powerful shipping dynasty, building up a large fleet of trading ships that carried cargo and line passengers around the Mediterranean, the North Sea and the Americas. Today the company operates ferry services in the Canary Islands and owns a controlling interest in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, which built the Titanic.

In 1966, the company started to build a presence in the cruise business after acquiring the Black Watch and the Black Prince, two 10,000-ton combination cargo, car and passenger ships. While Black Prince spent the summer months operating ferry services from the United Kingdom to Norway and Holland, in the winter months the ship carried holidaymakers on sunshine cruises from the U.K. to the Canary Islands, and the Fred. Olsen cruising brand was born.

The company now operates four cruise ships year-round and is famed for creating a "British country house" atmosphere at sea, with the emphasis on cosy intimacy and very traditional cruising that eschews the glitzier facilities of more contemporary lines.

Top Fred. Olsen Ships

Onboard

Expect a cosy, traditionally British cruising experience on a Fred. Olsen ship. The onboard currency is Pounds Sterling; interior decor is comfortable and attractive but not flashy, and evening entertainment is muted and fairly old fashioned (singing, dancing and cabaret).

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line's ships are relatively small, and they look like traditional cruise ships, rather than floating hotels. Drinks remain affordable; passengers still change for dinner (into black tie on formal nights) and the highlight of each evening is a five-course meal, which will be of decent quality and pleasantly served by friendly Filipino staff.

The atmosphere is friendly, the service is efficient but unobtrusive, and the decor is familiar and relaxing, with ample seating in the public rooms.

On sea days, passengers bask on deck and watch the world go by over a good book from the ship's library, or participate in a rather good Vistas special interest program, which offers classes in a range of subjects from gardening to wine appreciation, history to wildlife watching and painting classes.

In a nutshell, passengers in search of around the clock action need not apply. These ships will suit lovers of old-style cruising, who enjoy peace, quiet and the gentle art of conversation.

Fellow Passengers

Fred. Olsen passengers are predominantly British and their average age is 67, though on some ships -- notably Braemar -- that drops in the summer months when children's activity programs are offered to please doting grandparents who want to spend some quality time with their loved ones.

During school holiday time, it's not unusual to find several generations of families all cruising together; groups of friends who first met on an Olsen cruise and make an annual date for a reunion are also a common sight.

The line has recently begun marketing some ships and some trips to North American passengers; Balmoral and Braemar, especially, have been tweaked to appeal to both sensibilities though the line has not lost its inherent Britishness in its effort to appeal more widely.

Fred. Olsen Fleet

There are four ships in the Fred. Olsen fleet: Balmoral, Black Watch, Boudicca and Braemar. Balmoral entered service in 1988 and was operated by Norwegian Cruise Line before being bought by Fred. Olsen. A 99-foot extension was added to the mid section, and the extended ship was launched in 2008 (tonnage: 43,537, passengers: 1350).

Black Watch entered service in 1972 and was operated by Royal Viking Line before being acquired by Fred. Olsen in 1996 and refitted in 2009 (tonnage: 28,613, passengers: 804).

Boudicca entered service in 1973, was operated by Royal Viking Line, stretched in 1982 by adding a 91-foot mid-section, and acquired by Fred. Olsen in 2005. It was refitted in 2011 (tonnage: 28,388, passengers 880).

Braemar entered service in 1993 as Crown Dynasty, was acquired and refurbished by Fred. Olsen in 2001 (stretched by 102 feet) and refitted in 2008 (tonnage: 24,344, passengers: 929).

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