- Family-owned Fred.Olsen prides itself on its traditional cruise offering
- The company promises you will enjoy your trip or they will fly you home
- Its style is familiar for those who sailed on SS Canberra in its 1960s heyday
News of huge ships boasting an ever-expanding array of ‘fun’ activities seems to dominate the cruise news.
So you could be forgiven for assuming there is no longer a place for a traditional family-run operator priding itself on holidays that nurture time-honoured attractions offered with old-fashioned courtesy.
To differentiate its highly individual holidays, Fred.Olsen has set out its ‘Fred.Olsen Difference’: ‘We don’t have the newest ships,’ says the company which began in 1848 and remains family-owned.
Relaxed approach: Passengers enjoy a game of quoits on board one of Fred.Olsen’s ships
‘We don’t have zip wires, wave machines or climbing walls. We don’t have celebrity chefs or cocktail mixologists.’
It is at pains to stress what it does have is ‘long-serving crew carefully chosen for their friendly, caring, welcoming personalities, “real ships” regularly improved so they cater for your every need, cuisine prepared by chefs who care about their craft, not their egos, and – most importantly – a passion to show you the very best of the world’.
The company says it is so confident you’ll enjoy ‘the whole experience’ that if it’s your first time on a Fred.Olsen cruise and within a couple of days you find it’s not for you, they will arrange for a flight back to the UK from the next port and provide a refund.
The Fred.Olsen experience offers quintessentially British cruising.
The firm’s founding brothers Fredrick, Andreas and Peter, who established Fred.Olsen in 1848
Things to put any newcomer at ease include the fact that onboard currency is Sterling and the interior design – like the evening entertainment of cabaret and relaxed dancing – is familiar and comfortable.
Regular passengers delight in the fact that Fred.Olsen ships keep alive the sort of cruising familiar to anyone who remembers the likes of the legendary SS Canberra in its 1960s heyday.
There are four ships – Balmoral, Black Watch, Boudicca and Braemar – and they operate itineraries that visit places which offer excellent excursions.
Balmoral’s seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, departing from Newcastle on July 30, 2017, is popular, with prices from £999pp.
Another bestseller is Braemar’s 14-night French & Spanish Rivers cruise, departing Southampton on June 10, 2017, and costing from £1,699pp.