Fred Olsen Cruise Lines puts shipbuilding programme on hold

Image result for braemar cruise ship

The boss of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines said its shipbuilding programme has been put on hold amid high prices for slots in yards across the world.

Chairman Fred Olsen Jnr revealed in 2018 that the line was looking to place an order for a 600-passenger ship to expand to its existing four-ship fleet.

Olsen Jnr, pictured, said it was “not all doom and gloom” as the line had refurbished ships Braemar, Balmoral and Black Watch last year and plans to revamp Boudicca this autumn.

“We had a serious look last year at a small ship,” he said. “We are staying calm for the moment. We do have a shipbuilding programme, but the prices are high in the shipyards.”

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines targets ‘exploration’ cruise growth

Managing director Peter Deer, who took over from Mike Rodwell last year, said it was his job to put the concept together and persuade Olsen Jnr and his family to invest in a new vessel.

However, he added: “We know that the moment is not right today. We are getting better with creativity but it will take some time before we get there with that. Bear with us, we are going in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, Braemar was prevented from docking in La Romana in the Dominican Republic last week due to “a small number of influenza-like cases on board”.

Olsen Jnr admitted that the line was working hard to provide reassurance to customers over the spread of coronavirus during these “troubling times”.

“We’re trying to provide reassurance so that they do not get scared,” Olsen Jnr said. “We just need to reassure the public and tell them to go and enjoy their holiday.”

The line has launched a new “booking reassurance guarantee”, allowing passengers to cancel their cruise for free and change to another sailing in the same year.

The deal applies to new bookings made from March 4 until May 5.

“It is important that we work together so people continue to travel,” Deer added. “Risk is everywhere…let’s carrying on cruising.”

 

UPDATE- MSC Cruise Statment

STATEMENT REGARDING MSC OPERA

04/03/2020

UPDATE: 04 MARCH 2020

Health Authorities in Austria today informed us that a passenger of Austrian nationality, who had cruised with us on MSC Opera in the East Mediterranean from 17 to 28 February, tested positive yesterday, 3 March, for COVID-19. This passenger returned directly to Austria through northern Italy on 28 February immediately after disembarking from his cruise in Genoa, Italy.

MSC Opera earlier today arrived in Piraeus, Greece, and we promptly informed the Greek Health Authorities about this reported case and asked for their guidelines. We requested at the same time that passengers, as a precautionary measure, remained on board while awaiting guidance from the local authorities.

We shared with the local health authorities the ship’s full medical records as well as the medical and travel history records of the former Austrian passenger.

The Greek health authorities gave MSC Opera permission around 13:00 CET to sail from Piraeus, Greece, and continue its journey to its next scheduled port in Corfu, Greece. No additional health measures were required to be taken and the ship is currently sailing as planned.

There are no passengers or crew members currently on board the ship who have reported any flu-like symptoms.

The health and safety of our passengers and crew will always remain our top priority.

Fred. Olsen Launches 108-Night World Cruise for 2021

Boudicca at Doha

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is launching its new 108-night world cruise for 2021 aboard the Black Watch, sailing on Jan. 8, 2021 on the Boudicca.

Guests booking prior to May 31 can look forward to free gratuities and an onboard credit.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said:

“This exceptional ‘Around the World’ sailing, aboard 880-guest Black Watch, will allow guests to explore and enjoy diverse landscapes, cultures and wildlife, right across our magnificent planet.

“And what’s more, guests will be able to return to the ship and refresh themselves in the bar, unwind with a treatment in the Atlantis Spa, or enjoy an action-packed shore excursion, all on Fred. Olsen, with up to £600 per person free on board spend. We will even pay for your tips! This inspirational voyage – taken from Fred. Olsen’s eagerly-awaited 2020/21 cruise program – is particularly exciting, as it is the first time that guests will have the option to set sail on such an epic exploration from Liverpool.

“With scenic cruising, spectacular sights and culture a-plenty, this ‘Around the World’ voyage has all the makings of a truly sensational holiday, sure to create memories to last a lifetime.”

Prices start from £10,799 per person.

Ports of call: Southampton, UK – Oporto (from Leixões), Portugal – Funchal, Madeira – Santa Cruz, Tenerife – Santa Cruz, La Palma – Bridgetown, Barbados – St John’s, Antigua – Road Town, Tortola – Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos – Havana, Cuba – Colón, Panama – Cruising Panama Canal – Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica – Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia – Fakarava, French Polynesia – Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia – Raiatea, French Polynesia – Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia – Crossing the International Date Line – Nuku’alofa, Tonga – Savusavu, Fiji – Mystery Island (Inyeug), Vanuatu – Noumea, New Caledonia – Sydney, Australia (two-night stay) – Burnie, Tasmania, Australia – Melbourne, Australia – Albany, Australia – Perth (from Fremantle), Australia – Surabaya, Java, Indonesia (overnight stay) – Singapore (overnight stay) – Sabang (Weh Island), Sumatra, Indonesia – Colombo, Sri Lanka – Kochi, Kerala, India – Mormugao, Goa, India – Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (overnight stay) – Aqaba, Jordan – Cruising Suez Canal – Haifa, Israel (overnight stay) – Limassol, Cyprus – Valletta, Malta – Malaga, Spain – Southampton, UK

This is the fourth itinerary to be teased from Fred. Olsen’s 2020-2021 cruise program, which will be launched in full in March 2019.

Qatar Opens Cruise Season with Arrival of Boudicca

Boudicca at Doha Port

The 2018-2019 cruise season kicked off in Qatar with the Boudicca from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines docking at Doha Port last week.

The season, which continues until April 2019, is expected to see nearly double the number of cruise ships that arrived in the 2017-2018 season, according to a statement.

Of the 43 ships scheduled to call in Doha Port, 10 ships will be making their maiden calls to Qatar. Some 140,000 guests are expected.

There will also be five days with two calls, according to a press release.

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar’s major transport services provider, Mowasalat, recently signed an MoU to further develop tourist transport services, ensuring the growth in cruise tourism demand is matched with flexible and reliable transportation.

Qatar is expecting to receive 200,000 cruise visitors by the 2019-2020 season and has plans to turn Doha to a turnaround port.

QTA recently signed an agreement with the AIDA and Costa to place Qatar on the two companies’ winter itineraries as well as to cooperate in designing special promotion packages for their passengers.