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Get Even Closer with Fred. Olsen’s RIB Rides

21st August 2018

To help cruisers get even more out of their holiday, Fred. Olsen Cruises offer some incredibly thrilling and invigorating RIB rides during cruises onboard Black Watch and Boudicca. A RIB - Rigid Inflatable Boat – can take you into the heart of the action in no time at all, enabling you to see some beautiful views and enjoy once in a lifetime experiences.


At the start of one of Fred. Olsen’s RIB shore tours, those onboard will be given a brief overview of what to expect, but the details and hidden treasures will be kept quiet to ensure that the adventure is full of exciting surprises. The trip will last between 60 to 90 minutes, during which you could be transported to a tranquil scene of hills and fjords, a dolphin playground, or to see an imposing glacier, to name a few possible outcomes!



Each individual experience is likely to differ from the next, with the driver of the RIB reacting to the surroundings. They might pause or travel slowly if approaching wildlife, or there might be chances to rev up and speed through the waters in an adrenaline-fuelled ride.

The RIB rides allow cruisers to get up close and personal with new destinations, exploring them in such a way that no detail is missed. Imagine being taken right up to a sparkling waterfall, or to the shores of what seems like an undiscovered beach. Or you could get close enough to luscious forestry to see eagles soaring and woodpeckers chittering away on the trees.



From 2019 RIB rides will be offered wherever and whenever possible onboard the two Fred. Olsen cruise ships, but the excursions will be subject to local weather conditions and port restrictions. It’s possible to book the tours at an additional cost, simply speak to your sales advisor when you have secured a cruise booking. Take a look at our range of Fred. Olsen 2019 cruises to find out where in the world you could discover next.

Onboard the newly refurbished Fred. Olsen Black Watch

24th May 2017

Updated August 2019

Fred. Olsen has been operating for nearly 170 years now with British style and Norwegian heritage. Focusing on a more traditional style of cruising, without the gimmicks or quirks many are becoming familiar with, Fred Olsen’s Black Watch is a friendly and familiar home away from home whilst at sea. Having undergone an extensive refurbishment in November 2016, we were keen to see the newly improved Black Watch. We sent Gavin from our Marketing Team to sunny Southampton to explore this homely ship. Gavin describes his thoughts as he steps onboard with Fred. Olsen for the first time.


The choice of dining venues onboard Black Watch is exceptionally varied, from the 5 course a la carte menus of Glentanar through to the alfresco dining offer at The Poolside. If you’re a fan of the buffet then head along to Brigadoon where you’ll find Scottish themed décor and a host of international cuisine throughout your cruise. If you want to enjoy the same meals being served in Glentanar but in a more intimate setting then head along to The Orchid Room or for a real treat, why not check out The Black Watch Room. Here you’ll find an extra special a la carte dining experience with dishes such as steak and seafood cooked to order.



If you just fancy a sweet treat, then definitely make your way to the Bookmark Café where you’ll find a sumptuous selection of chocolates calling out your name.


From single rooms all the way through to suites, there is plenty of choice onboard Black Watch. All the rooms come with amenities you would expect from a land based hotel room including TV, hairdryer, air conditioning and tea and coffee making facilities. All the rooms feature en-suite with shower and there’s plenty of room for you to get ready for that special occasion. If you prefer a view though, it’s worth booking a balcony, with the option of either a private balcony or a terrace balcony which is perfect for a spot of people watching.



However for that little bit of luxury, how about a suite? With that extra space to make your stay even more comfortable and luxurious, you will really feel like you have your very own home away from home.


Entertainment & recreation

Now whether you want to just chill out by the pool, take in a movie, watch a show or sip on a cocktail as you watch the sunset, there is the option for you on Black Watch. How would you like an afternoon tea in the Observatory Lounge? Or perhaps you’d prefer a glass of wine or a pint as you soak up the rays at The Marquee Bar, Black Watch’s alfresco bar. Of course, there are all the deck games to enjoy along with board games, card games and even some gaming tables if you fancy trying your luck.



If you prefer to sit back and be entertained, why not head along to the Marina Theatre which is Black Watch’s onboard cinema, here you find the latest in 3D technology plus some very comfy seating. Or, if you prefer your entertainment live, head along to the Neptune Lounge, where you can sit sipping your glass of wine as you relax to the feast of music, dance and comedy entertainment.


Lasting impressions

Holding just 804 guests, Black Watch is the perfect place to unwind in intimate, charming surroundings. With the super friendly and accommodating staff and the welcoming and warm atmosphere wherever you go on the ship, it’s no wonder that Fred Olsen’s Black Watch see's such high repeat passenger numbers. From the moment you walk on board you will feel right at home and be able to enjoy your cruise in true comfort, so you can just sit back and soak in everything the ship has to offer!


Cruises onboard Black Watch | More about Fred. Olsen


Fred. Olsen have many loyal customers, find out why with our top 6 reasons to sail with Fred. Olsen.

6 reasons to cruise with Fred. Olsen

23rd May 2017

Updated August 2019

Fred. Olsen masterfully blends a uniquely Norwegian heritage with a distinctly British style. Defining and redefining the cruising experience for almost 170 years now, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line know exactly what makes your cruise holiday so special - and that is why guests return time and time again to relive their treasured onboard experience.


Onboard, enjoy the taste of award-winning cuisine curated by expert chefs, made just the way you like it. From speciality restaurants to everyday dining, you can enjoy freshly prepared food every day, complimented with a fantastic selection of handpicked wines. Be treated to an exceptional entertainment experience for you to enjoy every evening. Each night there’s something different, with fantastic live shows ranging from toe-tapping cabaret to hilarious stand-up comedy and interesting port talks from knowledgeable experts, providing you with the very best information for when you venture ashore.

With personalised and attentive service, comfortable and cosy mid-sized ships and many inspiring itineraries that explore some of the world’s most incredible destinations, Fred. Olsen ensures your time onboard is simply unforgettable. We explore some of the some of the reasons why our customers choose to cruise with Fred. Olsen.



1. Enjoyment promise

With the benefits of Fred. Olsen’s Enjoyment Promise, it’s the perfect time to try cruising with them. Simply book at least 12 weeks in advance on cruises of five nights or more and if you find that it’s not for you within a day or two of stepping on board, just let them know and they will promise to arrange and pay for flights back to the UK from the next port and repay the cost of your cruise.

2. British nature of the cruise line

Everything onboard is in pound sterling, so you needn’t worry about currency fluctuations if you decide to indulge in a health and beauty treatment or two. Of course, British favourites such as Afternoon Tea are available to enjoy onboard where guests can gaze out from the Observatory Lounge accompanied by the sweet sounds of a pianist and other musicians. Feast on a selection of Taylors of Harrogate premium teas, dainty pastries, elegant finger sandwiches and warm scones with cream and jam.



3. Cruise from your local port

For a relaxing and stress-free cruise from beginning to end, enjoy a fantastic no-fly sailing from any of Fred. Olsen’s 5 main UK ports. Conveniently located right on your doorstep, there’s no need to endure lengthy journeys or busy airport queues.

Take a look at Fred. Olsen’s cruises from Dover, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southampton and Edinburgh.

4. Benefits of smaller sized ships

As well as being able to cruise from more local ports, Fred. Olsen’s smaller, understated ships are able to visit ports that much larger vessels cannot reach. From the exotic wonders of Asia to the breathtaking scenes of the Arctic, there are endless destinations across the world just waiting to be explored. Just take a look at some of Fred Olsen’s new exotic fly-cruise destinations below.

Plus, if you prefer a more welcoming, home-from-home, country house feel then Fred. Olsen is likely to be more for you than other, larger cruise lines. Fewer guests mean that Fred. Olsen can provide the personalised, attentive service that many guests prefer, so don’t be surprised when the team know the little things that matter, like your name or your favourite tipple!



5. Black Watch refurbishment

In November 2016 Black Watch entered dry dock for an extensive refurbishment, ship-wide enhancements and upgrades to many of the cabins, suites and public areas. The main focus for Black Watch’s refurbishment was to update the current 423 cabins across the ship, including the addition of new interactive TV systems with on demand content and in-room safes and mini-bars, as well as new bedding, bed frames and mattresses, and the total refurbishment of all cabin bathrooms.

See cruises on Black Watch.

6. Award-winning reputation

We’ve highlighted some of Fred. Olsen’s best bits, but don’t just take our word for it. Fred. Olsen have consistently won numerous awards year on year including in the categories of ‘Best for Itineraries’, ‘Britain’s Best Cruise Line for Food 2015’ and silver awards for ‘Best Small Ships Cruise Line’ and ‘Best Cruise Line for Customer Service’. As of May 2017, Fred. Olsen held an impressive 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Feefo from over 5,500 reviews from the past year, awarding the cruise line with a Gold Trusted Merchant Accreditation. We think this award-winning reputation is a good indication of why many people who try Fred. Olsen once, returns again in the future.


If this sounds like the cruise line for you, read more about Fred. Olsen and start planning your own little getaway cruise. 

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The Most Popular Cruise Destinations of 2009

30th December 2009

As another year of cruising comes to an end, we thought we'd take a look back at 2009 and the most popular cruises and destinations. Unsurprisingly, our number one cruise destination is the Mediterranean - with a huge range of cruise lines and itineraries featured in this diverse and fascinating region. With many Med cruises departing from UK ports, there's often no need to fly and this certainly keeps the cost down. Royal Caribbean's, Independence of the Seas sailings from Southampton reflected this trend, and made her our most popular ship of 2009. Packed with stunning leisure and entertainment options, the Independence delighted cruisers on voyages to the Med and the 5th most popular destination, the Canary Islands.

Our 2nd most popular destination is the Baltic, Fjords and Scandinavia. A growing market, the stunning sights and history of the Northern Europe are proving a favourite with cruisers. Almost all cruise lines offer itineraries in this region now, with Fred. Olsen and Cruise and Maritime Voyages offering superb traditional voyages on more intimate sized ships, for an absorbing experience.

The Caribbean is our third most popular destination and there's nothing better than a spot of island hopping under sun-kissed skies. Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, premium quality sailings in have proved extremely popular in this region, as have P&O Cruises British style cruises and Royal Caribbean's action packed adventures. In fourth place we find European short break cruises. These cruises offer a great taster of what a cruise line has to offer, with Ireland, Bruges & Amsterdam amongst the most popular ports of call.

Outside the top 5 we find more specialised cruises like the transatlantic crossing and world cruises. Cunard Line are undoubtedly the leaders in the transatlantic voyage with their decadent Southampton to New York sailings. The world cruise sector offers chance to be a part of an epic journey, to discover Australasia, the Far East or closer to home. 'Once in a lifetime' destinations like the Panama Canal, South America and Alaska also make our top 10 destinations with Dubai - a relatively new and fast growing destination for cruise holidays.

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