Fred. Olsen’s four ships converge on Bergen

All four ships in Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet have come together for the first time in Bergen today (Tuesday).

Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch carrying almost 4,000 passengers have converged on Norway’s second city for a joint ‘Four Bs in Bergen’ celebration.

All four ships arrived in the port of Bergen at 8am and will depart at 6pm.

The Fred Olsen Company originated in the village of Hvitsten, outside Oslo, in 1848, when three Olsen brothers – Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas – bought their first ships and began an international shipping company.

The company is now into the fifth generation of the family.

Managing director, Mike Rodwell, said: “This is a very special occasion for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, and we know that the city of Bergen is looking forward to welcoming our fleet on this unique day.

“We are committed to the city of Bergen – known as the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’ – on our Norwegian cruise itineraries.

“The Olsen association with Bergen can be traced a long way back, probably as far as the original Olsen brothers themselves, and we shared in a very successful partnership with Bergen Line during the 1960s and 1970s.

“In fact, the number of days that Fred Olsen ships have spent in Bergen from 2006 to 2015 is 176 in total, and we know that the city is a highlight to many of our guests on cruises to our historic homeland.”

Three Fred Olsen ships to be revamped before Christmas

Three Fred Olsen ships to be revamped before ChristmasThree Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ ships – Black Watch, Braemar (pictured) and Balmoral – are to be refurbished before Christmas.

The vessels are all due to enter dry dock in Hamburg in November and December in preparation for the forthcoming winter cruise season.

Work has started with 804-passenger Black Watch ahead of a 14-night mystery cruise departing from Tilbury on November 15. An additional 27 balcony cabins are being built as part of the revamp.

The 929-passenger Braemar will arrive in Hamburg on November 12 for work prior to a three-night cruise to France from Southampton on November 20.

Balmoral’s dry dock work starts on December 9 with the 1,350-passenger ship leaving the shipyard for a two-night pre-Christmas sailing from Southampton on December 19.

The line’s managing director, Mike Rodwell, said: “We experience extremely high demand for balcony cabins across our fleet, and in particular on board the smaller-sized Black Watch, and our new balcony terrace cabins are an innovative response to this.

“We are also looking forward to being able to give guests the experience of fine coffee and chocolates on board Balmoral and Braemar, as they have already been enjoying on Boudicca and Black Watch.

“Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is pleased to be returning to Blohm+Voss for this important work. Balmoral and Braemar are both well-known to the Hamburg shipyard, as they both underwent mid-section extensions in 2007 and 2008 respectively.”