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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen operates 4 ships which are older and smaller than many of the new super liners, but they do appeal to many people who like the more traditional British style cruising. They offer mainly ex UK departure cruises, with a small number of fly cruises to the Canary Islands and further afield. They also offer some world cruises, which include the option of flying out to join the ships to do one or more sectors of the world cruise. The ships in the fleet are: –

  • Balmoral
  • Braemar
  • Black Watch
  • Boudicca

While the Balmoral carries 1,350 passengers, the other 3 ships each carry well under 1,000 passengers. There are some short videos at the bottom of this page, which I made to give you a real feel of what it is like onboard the different Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ships.

For 2018 you can also choose from a selection of European river cruises with Fred. Olsen River Cruises.

On a Fred. Olsen cruise the friendly crew get to know you and remember your your favourite drinks. They also remember your name, not just on that cruise but when you return in subsequent years. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they do everything possible to make your cruise enjoyable for you.

Fred. Olsen is a great choice if you holiday on your own, as they have more than 200 single cabins across the 4 ships, ranging from inside to junior suites. They also have a number of singles hosts on each cruise, who will arrange meetings so that you can get to know other solo travellers if you wish to. There will also be dance hosts so that you never have to worry about finding a partner for the next waltz.

Fred. Olsen even offers the opportunity on some departures to cruise around the UK & Ireland without a passport. 

There is a big range of accommodation to choose from, ranging from inside cabins to Premier Suites, with all having tea and coffee making facilities. If you would like to see some of the areas onboard, follow the link to to see Ian Warren in a short video of Balmoral which was filmed when he was a reporter for the Travel Weekly magazine.

Dining is open seating for breakfast and lunch, with traditional first and second sitting for dinner. There is an alternative venue for casual dining for all meals if you wish. All four ships have a small restaurant called ‘The Grill’ (Black Watch Room on the Black Watch), serving a la carte breakfast and lunch. In the evenings it has a more formal setting, and serves made-to-order specialities, including seafood dishes, lobster and prime cut sirloin. Advance reservations are recommended, and there is a supplementary charge for dining in this restaurant.

The Activities onboard include swimming pools and Jacuzzi’s, table tennis and deck games, golf nets, card room, library and internet centre, fitness centre and beauty salon, as well as shops and boutiques.

Read about the Drinks Package available on most Fred. Olsen cruises

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offer Freedom Fares and Anchor Fares. When you book a Freedom Fare you have the flexibility to choose your cabin grade, cabin number, restaurant, dinner sitting and table size at the time of booking, subject to availability. As long as you book more than 90 days before departure you will just pay a deposit of 15% (£750pp for Grand Voyages). Oceans Club members will also be able to take advantage of booking discounts and onboard savings, subject to membership levels and the Oceans Club terms and conditions. Other benefits can include such things as priority for upgrades, free shuttle bus in port etc.

Read my reviews of BalmoralBoudicca, Black Watch and Braemar

See my Facebook albums of the photos I took on BalmoralBoudicca, Black Watch and Braemar

If you would like to see just how much things have changed over the years, both in cruising and fashions, click on the following link to take a look at the Fred Olsen Lines Madeira & Canaries brochure for the 1976/77 cruise season.

I made the following videos which show the popular itinerary ‘Lochs of Scotland’, and also brief tours around the ships in the fleet.


About Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

There is a common misspelling of Fred Olson.

(Page updated December 2016)