Fred Olsen Cruises

Fred Olsen Cruises

Ipswich-based Fred Olsen Cruise lines is comprised of four ships: The Balmoral, The Boudicca, The Black Watch and The Braemar. Originall founded by three Norwegian brothers in 1848, and run from Oslofjord in Norway, it was Thomas Fredrik "Fred" Olsen (1857-1933) who transformed the company from a fairly small outfit into a mighty multinational providing ocean transport and ship building. At the forefront of his designs for the company was the provision of, above all else, a high quality service.

Fred Olsen Cruises is still in family ownership, with Anette S. Olsen at the helm, who is Fred Olsen's daughter. She has been CEO since 1995, but the apparently indefatigable Fred Olsen still brings the benefit of his vast experience to the chairmanship of the company. The Fred Olsen group covers such diverse interests as ship building, luxury hotels, property development, electronics and renewable energy.


Balmoral Balmoral

The Balmoral (named for the eponymous estate after joining Fred Olsen Cruises in November 2007) underwent a large refurbishment at the hands of Blohm and Voss, the Hamburg shipyard, before her maiden cruise for Olsen early in 2008. Her first voyage took her to her new Florida base where she began cruising the Caribbean. The refit made the Balmoral into the Olsen fleet's largest ship in terms of passenger capacity and also added 60 new balconied cabins for their enjoyment.
Boudicca Boudicca

With capacity for more than 850 passengers, Boudicca still has space to spare. Public areas present British historical themes, as they do in her sister ship Black Watch. This theming has led to a devoted following from British passengers particularly, and many return time and again to sample the Boudicca's delights. She remains one of the most popular ships in the fleet.
Black Watch Black Watch

Centre stage on the Black watch is The Neptune Lounge featuring the Black Watch Orchestra, offering a full complement of comedians, musicians and dancers, with a stage and dance floor for evening use. During the day the Neptune Lounge hosts bingo games, lectures from guest speakers and a wide range of communal activites. The Lido Lounge, also with its own dance floor, is the venue for cabaret acts, whereas if you just want to relax and take in the spectacles of the sea you should head for the Observatory Lounge above the bridge. One feature of Fred Olsen Cruises' onboard activities is that they theme most of their dance shows according to their specific destinations, so if you are cruising to St. Petersburg you'll have every opportunity to take part in some russian dancing.

If you feel like a bit of reading or a confab with fellow guests, the quiet atmosphere of the Braemar Room is ideal for you. Situated in the Black Watch's former dining area, it offers plump chairs and comfy couches together with a bar for your convenience. The Braemar Room is named for the former Fred Olsen ship, SS Braemar. Aptly, the Braemar's figurehead takes pride of place in this lounge. The Black Watch offers four opportunities for dining - weather permitting, you can eat al fresco at the Marquee Pool Bar - this is casual dining offering staples such as fish and chips or burgers. There is a buffet-style arrangement at the Garden Cafe, the Orchid Room offers the same menu as the Black Watch's Glentenar Restaurant although it is smaller, and The Glentenar Restaurant also offers a buffet. If you are appreciative of the military tradition you will have gleaned that this ship is named for the Black Watch Regiment. Fine examples of the Regiment's memorabilia can be found in Piper's Club, a small convivial bar.

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