60's Rockers Join Fred. Olsen for Black Prince Farewell Cruise

March 24, 2009
When Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines kicks off the first in a series of fall 2009 farewell cruises for the 11,209-ton, 441-passenger Black Prince -- the classic vessel with over 40 years of cruise experience -- passengers will get a taste of the early 60's Liverpool music scene.

During a 10-night "Round Britain" cruise departing from Liverpool on September 9, The Merseybeats, the 60's Liverpool-based hitmakers who played alongside the Beatles during the Fab Four's early pub and club days, will provide the onboard entertainment. The besuited group, known as much for its fashion sense as its music, churned out hits such as "It's Love That Really Counts" and "I Think of You." (Click the image to watch a video of "Milkman.")

The voyage sails roundtrip from Liverpool on September 9, and includes stops in Belfast, the Hebrides' capital Scrabster, Chatham (first and last ever visit for the ship), St. Peters Port, Falmouth and Dublin before returning to Liverpool. There will be three more farewell cruises following the "Round Britain" voyage: a three-night mini-cruise from Liverpool to Southampton; a 10-night "Historic Home Ports" cruise roundtrip from Southampton; and a final 14-night Canary Islands cruise roundtrip from Southampton.

Fred. Olsen decided to retire Black Prince in the face of the stringent new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) safety requirements, which go into effect on 1 October 2010. The line determined that the cost of overhauling the aging ship to comply with the updated rules was prohibitive. No word of a buyer has yet been announced.

--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor