Become a Cruise Insider
Tips, deals and more in your inbox.
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Boudicca Review

Boudicca - The Observatory Boudicca - Marquee Deck Boudicca - Standard Cabin Boudicca - Internet Room
62% of cruisers loved it
61 reviews | Write a Review
  • Recently refurbished in 2013
  • Itineraries: Canary Islands, Europe and Caribbean
  • Suited to lovers of old-style, British cruising

Boudicca Overview

Updated by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor
Editor Rating
Editor's note: Boudicca came out of dry dock in late 2013 with a number of new features, including a dedicated coffee and chocolate shop, in the area around the Library on Lido Deck 7 and a new 'Morning Light Pub' on Lounge Deck 6. A new outdoor dining venue called The Grill replaced the poolside buffet area on Lounge Deck 6.

Boudicca is a ship with an illustrious lineage. It began life as Royal Viking Sky, one of the legendary "white ships" owned by Royal Viking Line. That late, lamented cruise line was, in its day, the epitome of elegant and luxurious cruising.

After a varied career operating for NCL, Princess Cruises and Star Cruises (among other lines), Boudicca has found an appropriate berth with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which already operates its sister ship, the former Royal Viking Star, as the popular Black Watch.

Boudicca was "stretched" in the early 80's with the addition of a 91-foot midsection, and while the ship retains a classic profile, it has gained a considerable amount of open-air sunbathing space on the top deck. Boudicca was acquired by Fred. Olsen in 2005, and in 2006, it underwent a refit to bring it in line with the fleet's understated, old-world style. In January 2011, the ship went into dry dock once more for a refit that moved the windowless gym up to Deck 10, which made space on Deck 4 for 17 new inside cabins. A retail outlet, the Port Shop, was added; carpets were also replaced throughout the ship, and enclosed lifeboats were installed.

Boudicca is decked out -- as an aging grande dame should be -- in good quality, discreetly stylish fabrics, although some of the colour schemes are a little dated. But no matter; the ship is well-proportioned and devoid of cheap flashiness and surface glitz, which are the most important things to its target audience of 60-plus Brits.

Ultimately, Boudicca, like other Fred. Olsen ships, is becoming known for its classically British feel. It attracts a different type of traveller from P&O Cruises -- the kind of steadfast Brit who "wouldn't be seen dead" on a big ship and has no interest in casinos or balcony cabins. (The ship does, in fact, offer both.) Although Boudicca is showing her age, these cruises are a treat for travellers who enjoy small, classic ships in a proper and cosy British setting.

Boudicca Fellow Passengers

Expect to meet mostly British couples of a certain age or beyond. It's enjoyable if your idea of fun is a gentle cruise in pleasant surroundings, peppered with gently humorous conversation; it's not so suitable if you're a party animal in search of 24-hour action. The ship does attract single passengers (mainly women), and singles' mingles are held throughout the cruise in one of the lounges. However, on my cruise, they always seemed to happen midmorning, when I was on shore excursions. There are gentleman hosts to dance with the ladies, and they seemed extremely diligent (and dapper), although watching them nip off to the side of the dance floor between numbers to sanitise their hands was a little off-putting -- but good common sense, of course.

Boudicca Dress Code

With effect from 1st July 2013, the line will be streamlining its various dress codes. The line will continue with its traditional Formal Nights -- usually three or four during a two-week cruise -- but the dress code for the remainder of the evenings on board will be simplified to ‘Smart Casual'. The previous dress code of ‘Informal' is being removed. ‘Smart Casual' dress code means jacket and tie, or open-necked shirt, with Chinos or smart, dark-coloured jeans for male passengers. For female passengers, the choice could be an elegant dress or casual separates. Shorts, flip-flops and baseball caps are not welcome on smart casual nights.

There are also a number of themed nights, including rock 'n' roll, tropical, international and nautical, but these last two are being phased out and less emphasis will be placed on the former. Some passengers go to great lengths to dress up on these evenings, the public rooms are decorated, the bar staff and waiters appropriately attired, and the entertainment is also themed. During the daytime, there is a wide variety of wear around the ship, depending on activities undertaken, but swimwear is not welcome in the restaurants and bars.

Boudicca Gratuity

Onboard currency is the pound sterling. Suggested gratuity level is £4 per passenger, per day. This is added automatically to passengers' onboard accounts. Gratuities are not added onto bar purchases or beauty salon treatments.
Next: Boudicca Cabins
Print the entire ship review

Boudicca Member Reviews

Not rated
I took my wife on our first cruise to see if she could be treated like a lady. British hotels are going to the dogs, in general, as far as style and service are concerned, being run by indifferent staff to any old standard. Fred Olsen took my ... Read more
Sailed from Liverpool on the 24th November Cruised towards the Azores for 3 days then we were confined to our Cabins as it was to dangerous to walk about the ship as it bobbed about the stormy Atlantic 4 days. Staff were wonderful but entertainment ... Read more
My husband and I are veteran cruisers, and this was our 35th cruise and 7th with Fred Olsen. We had been on the Boudicca before, in 2008, so we were looking forward to being back on board this lovely little ship again. Embarkation at Liverpool was ... Read more
1 - 3 of 61 Reviews

Boudicca Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Shore Excursions

Explore This Ship

Boudicca Deck Plans Boudicca Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
June 1973/refurbished for Olsen January 2006
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected


Join the Forums Get answers from real cruisers on the forums

Fred. Olsen Ships

Balmoral Black Watch Boudicca Braemar

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.