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7 Fred. Olsen Arctic Cruise Reviews

Was hoping to see the Northern Lights and we weren't disappointed. The embarkation at Liverpool was seamless. Our cabin was ready for us and within 30 minutes of arriving at the terminal to check in we were outside on the deck with a ... Read More
Was hoping to see the Northern Lights and we weren't disappointed. The embarkation at Liverpool was seamless. Our cabin was ready for us and within 30 minutes of arriving at the terminal to check in we were outside on the deck with a gin and tonic in hand. The trips through the Scottish islands were a real bonus both ways - plenty to look at as we cruised. The northern Norwegian islands were really stunning. We benefited from unusually calm seas (apart from one force 10 which saw us the last couple standing (apart from the crew) in the Observatory lounge). Some of the sunsets were almost unbelievable due to the arctic light and crossing the arctic circle whilst swimming in the well-heated pool was a particular highlight. We mostly travelled independently in the ports and it was easy to do so. The highlight was our 'Chasing the Northern Lights' tour. It was a 90 minute drive to get to our 'favoured' viewing point but once we were there, the lights put on a fantastic display. They were right overhead, there had been a solar burst and the night was clear. These conditions gave what our guide said was one of the top five northern light experiences he had ever seen. Truly awesome and something I will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 5th cruise on Boudicca. She is our favourite ship of the 4 we have sailed with over 8 cruises, 6 with Fred Olsen. After a disappointing experience 2 months previously on Columbus (Cruise and Maritime), we were excited to be ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on Boudicca. She is our favourite ship of the 4 we have sailed with over 8 cruises, 6 with Fred Olsen. After a disappointing experience 2 months previously on Columbus (Cruise and Maritime), we were excited to be back on the 'fabulous Boudicca' as the Captain likes to call her i his daily briefing from the bridge, We were not disappointed - in fact, this cruise exceeded our expectations. There are very few cruises to Greenland at all, due the their very short summer. Fred did 2 this year, and we felt very privileged to be able to spend a day cruising through Prins Christainsund in lovely weather, whereas apparently the Black Watch had been unable to do so 3 weeks earlier due to the amount of ice still breaking away and clogging it up. The views of glaciers, mountains and icebergs were jaw-dropping, especially the icebergs! We did a complete circumnavigation of one estimated by the experts from the Bridge to be around 180m long and 70m high. A few days later we did an Ice Fjord tour organised by Fred, using small motor cruisers operated by locals, who took us up very close to some enormous and spectacular bergs. We were even able to reach out and touch one! The small towns of Qaqatoq and Tasilaq were both extremely interesting with small but very informative museums and attractive churches and brightly coloured houses. This is a fragile, sparsely ihabited country due to the Arctic climate. Two lecturers on board gave very interesting lectures on the ports and shore tours, and on the history and culture of the Inuit people. As has always been our experience, the food and service on Fred's ships is superb, and our fellow passengers friendly and interesting. We noticed a larger number of 'younger' passengers (in their 40s and 50s) and 3 children - it was a delight and a refreshing change to engage with them. I was also more impressed than on previous trips with the quality of the Boudicca Show Company, whose singing, arrangements and dance routines were impressive. Many thanks in particular to all the incredibly hardworking waiting staff in the dining rooms, for whom nothing is too much trouble, especially our waiter Jaydeep, also Vincent, Jeronimo, Alihandro and Roshan, the assistant maitre d'. IN fact, all the staff deserve far more than they get. Despite the long hours of often probably repetitive work, they always have a smile. We can't wait to go back on this lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
After seeing the fjords of Norway on a previous cruise, we wanted to go further afield and see the fjords of Greenland too! We had a suite on Deck 9. Departure from Liverpool a bit odd -- the building is temporary and I think they are ... Read More
After seeing the fjords of Norway on a previous cruise, we wanted to go further afield and see the fjords of Greenland too! We had a suite on Deck 9. Departure from Liverpool a bit odd -- the building is temporary and I think they are building a proper one soon. A bit delayed, but Fred not to blame for the triathalon and road closures. Gorgeous weather as we left. We would have really appreciated it if they had opened the pool and jacuzzis given that it was glorious weather, and seemed a shame not to watch Liverpool receding from the jacuzzi. Weather stayed glorious the whole trip. The Faroes was interesting, with lovely scenery as we left and a well-planned route so we could appreciate it. We had a nice coach trip, saw some typical villages, beaches, a wide selection of scenery from sounds and fjords to the tops of hills and wonderful panoramas. Reykjavik, Iceland we went on another coach trip, got to see lava fields and boiling mud, plus a viking museum. Very good coach tours at both ports, a nice wide range of scenery and good guides. There is a limit to how much you can see in just a day or an afternoon, but I felt they were well thought-out, and the guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Greenland and Prince Christian Sound were absolutely amazing! The scenery at points was so stunning you felt you couldn't take anymore, and needed to go inside for a little lie down with the curtains closed! Good narration and lectures on the ship. Overall, absolutely stunning, things I will remember for many years. And on top of all that, we had a stunning display of northern lights one night (unusual for summer). We were very, very lucky with the weather, both terrestrial and solar! Port visits in Greenland were very good too, although facilities very limited since it is Greenland, we got to see real working ports and met some real people! Cabin was very nice. We went for formal dining and the food was really excellent. But best of all were the staff (waiters, cabin stewardess etc) who did a really marvelous job. A few niggles as regards opening the pools and keeping them open until the scheduled time, and lack of waiting staff near the pools (I don't think they thought so many people would be in the pool whilst we sailed around Greenland!). A fabulous cruise route, amazing scenery and if you are very lucky with the weather................... Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This is the 2nd Fred Olsen cruise for me 1st from Southampton and latest from Newcastle which is only a 2hr drive or less from my home town Doncaster. The ship Balmoral is fantastic, a Premier Suite cabin very very good, dining superb, ... Read More
This is the 2nd Fred Olsen cruise for me 1st from Southampton and latest from Newcastle which is only a 2hr drive or less from my home town Doncaster. The ship Balmoral is fantastic, a Premier Suite cabin very very good, dining superb, entertainment especially Lisa Harman who is an excellent pianist and superb singer/activities very good/ service with smiles from the waiters and excellent choice of food. Ports excellent,did 3 tours which were excellent. Yes I would and have booked a cruise for 2017 with Fred Olsen on the Balmoral. My husband & I cruised on the QE2 and I have cruised with Cunard alone twice and with my 98yr old Aunt (who was in a wheelchair) on the Balmoral in 2013, help was given at every stage. My last cruise from which I recently returned, I took my friend for whom it was the first time cruising and everything came up to expectations. I would highly recommend a cruise with Fred Olsen. Norma B. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The cruise headed north to Alta in northern Norway seeking the Northern Lights and offering scenic cruising and port calls en route. Despite a few minor niggles the cruise was successful, enjoyable and generally well-run. The ... Read More
The cruise headed north to Alta in northern Norway seeking the Northern Lights and offering scenic cruising and port calls en route. Despite a few minor niggles the cruise was successful, enjoyable and generally well-run. The itinerary was suited to the nature of the cruise; the ports of call were appropriate and the scenic cruising in the fjords was magnificent. Embarkation was slow. We queued standing for almost an hour but once checked in we were on board without much further delay. I was part of a Mr Bridge party so spent much of my time on board at tutorials on bridge or playing the game. My attendance at other talks was limited but those I was able to attend were good. The Arctic weather limited deck games but I participated in a couple of quizzes and other activities which were generally well organised. Evening dining in the Ballindaloch restaurant was very good and a couple of evenings in the Palm Buffet were also good. Breakfast and lunches were also of a good standard; not much variety at breakfast but the lunch menus had good selections and the buffet food was better than on other cruises. Entertainment was varied and of variable standard but there was usually something to enjoy each evening. Daytime entertainment included quizzes, at which I failed miserably, and other activities which I did not have time to try. Talks on Norway were amusing and informative but the port lectures, as often, seemed to feature more on the excursions (many of which were already sold out) than any background to the ports themselves. Other lectures were available but I was not able to attend or not interested in them. Excursions were generally well organised and available at typical cruise prices. One excursion on which I participated left the ship late and was curtailed but my comments to the Excursions Manager resulted in a partial refund and apology, which I considered a reasonable response. Disembarkation was swift and efficient (I was amongst one of the first groups to leave) and the valet parking service was efficient. Overall a very good cruise which has left me happy to sail again with Fred Olsen when a solo cabin is available at a reasonable price. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We sailed from Newcastle on 2nd August on Boudicca on what was to be a wonderful experience exploring the Arctic. Having sailed on Boudicca twice before, we knew that we would be happy with the ship and apart from the cabin being in ... Read More
We sailed from Newcastle on 2nd August on Boudicca on what was to be a wonderful experience exploring the Arctic. Having sailed on Boudicca twice before, we knew that we would be happy with the ship and apart from the cabin being in much need of a refurb, we were not disappointed. The crew on Boudicca are the most friendly we have ever encountered on our 30+ cruises and the food was excellent as always. The itinerary was wonderful., the highlight for us being our 3 ports of call in Greenland- Nanortalik, Narsak and Qaqortoq. Never having been close up and personal with glaciers and icebergs, we both marvelled at the sights we saw. Fortunately for us, the weather was pretty good and the sun shone at the rights times. I would thoroughly recommend an Arctic cruise to anyone who cruises for the scenery and wildlife. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The ship was fantastic, small but very friendly as you got to know lots of people. The food the entertainment and all the staff were fantastic. This was my first cruise and I worried that there may not be enough to do.What a joke we ended ... Read More
The ship was fantastic, small but very friendly as you got to know lots of people. The food the entertainment and all the staff were fantastic. This was my first cruise and I worried that there may not be enough to do.What a joke we ended up running from deck to deck in order to do all the quizzes, table tennis and every thing else we wanted to do. The out door pool even though we were in the Arctic was 30 degrees so we swam nearly every day. The cabin was amazing but we did have a suite. Some of the information was incorrect. We were told we could get on the ship early due to our suite.We got to Dover early and that information is wrong you have to wait like every body else.We took priority disembarkation and this was excellent we got off the boat at least 2 hours before everybody else. The cruise was excellent except we never knew exactly where we were. The day sheet for all the on board entertainment was great but we needed one to tell us where we were passing and where we were. We took the drinks package. For me that was fine but for my sister it was a waste of money. Strongbow cider was included but Kopperberg cider which cost 5 pence more was excluded so she had to pay 50% of the price every time but she could drink rum and brandy until she fell over. Read the small print before you pay. DO NOT BOOK ANY TRIPS WITH THE CRUISE COMPANY. They are a total rip off. Example in Bergen a trip to the Funicular including price up and down £40. Distance from ship a slow 5 mins walk. Return trip £10 on the Funicular. Do the maths yourself. And this was a cheap trip most were at least £90 each and you did not get the right time off the ship and you had no time at the attraction. The Atlantic Road was fully booked up price £80 each. We got a taxi and did it alone for less than £50 for the 2 of us. The ship photos are good but expensive choose carefully but the video is great. All the services on the ship were amazing nothing was too much trouble. I would do another Fred Olsen Cruise but not book any trips. Research them before you go and do it yourself. Would recommend the Braemar to anyone it is a first class ship with a great crew and Captain. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
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