Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Highlights

  • Traditional British-style cruising
  • Friendly atmosphere and efficient service
  • Departing from several UK ports to worldwide destinations
  • Small- to medium-sized ships able to dock in smaller ports
  • Fred. Olsen News: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Announces First River Cruise Programme, Debuting April 2018

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Fleet (4)

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).

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.
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