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Cruise ships head to port as industry becalmed amid coronavirus uncertainty

PUBLISHED: 15:40 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:29 29 May 2020

The Fred.Olsen fleet is heading to Rosyth as future cruises were put on hold pending further updates on the coronavirus lockdown  Picture: FRED.OLSEN

The Fred.Olsen fleet is heading to Rosyth as future cruises were put on hold pending further updates on the coronavirus lockdown Picture: FRED.OLSEN

Fred.Olsen

Four Fred.Olsen cruise ships are being brought back into shelter as the industry waits for the coronavirus tide to turn.

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The ocean ships, which currently lie in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, are set to begin their move to Babcock’s Rosyth facilities near Edinburgh from Thursday, May 28 “to allow for more efficient running of the vessels”, the Ipswich-based cruise company said.

The Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch sailed to the Firth of Forth when Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announced its pause in operations on March 13.

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Managing director Peter Deer said: “When we paused our operations back in March, we had an initial date of May 23 to resume cruising again.

“Unfortunately, this has not been possible, and so we have had to reconsider the running of our four ships until such a time that we can set sail once again.

“Moving our ships to Babcock’s Rosyth facilities and having them alongside in port allows us to run a more efficient operation, including the general maintenance of the ships, crew changes and refuse collection.

“I would like to thank Forth Ports for all of their support over the past two months while our ships have been at anchor in their waters. We are looking forward to returning to Forth Ports, Port of Rosyth, when our normal cruising operations can resume.”

Last month, the cruise lines company confirmed it would be extending its pause in sailings beyond May 23 in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It continues to assess all upcoming cruises on a weekly basis, it said.

Guests booked onto cancelled sailings will be contacted at least 30 days prior to their departure date, it said.

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