Cruise line firm expands its fleet while ships locked down

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 18 July 2020

The Bolette, which is now part of the Fred.Olsen fleet  Picture: FRED.OLSEN

The Bolette, which is now part of the Fred.Olsen fleet Picture: FRED.OLSEN


A cruise line company is expanding – in spite of lockdown.

The Borealis, which is now part of the Fred.Olsen fleet  Picture: FRED.OLSENThe Borealis, which is now part of the Fred.Olsen fleet Picture: FRED.OLSEN

While its Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines fleet of ocean ships – the 1,325-guest Balmoral, 924-guest Braemar, 853-guest Boudicca and 799-guest Black Watch – are laid up at Babcock’s Rosyth Facilities in Scotland, the Ipswich firm has snapped up two more vessels.

The Bolette and Borealis – which previously sailed under the names Amsterdam and Rotterdam – have been purchased from Holland America Line.

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The ships – which can carry up to 1,380 and 1,404 guests respectively, which join the other vessels in Scotland awaiting the all-clear to sail when coronavirus crisis restrictions are lifted.

The cruise operator – which is looking to strengthen its brand and evolve cruising on the other side of the pandemic – said the acquisitions would ensure the cruise line returns to the water in a stronger position.

Chairman Fred Olsen Junior said he was “delighted” at the purchases, which demonstrated the firm’s confidence in the future.

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“We have chosen these vessels as they will fit seamlessly into our existing fleet of small ships, each carrying under 1,500 guests, bringing with them new and larger public areas whilst not compromising on our small ship experience.

“The naming of the vessels is important to us. Bolette and Borealis are both names of ships we have had in years gone by.

“This increase in our capacity demonstrates our confidence in the future. With over 170 years of seafaring history, we have sailed through many difficult periods. With these new additions to the fleet, we will come out of this current situation stronger than ever, ready to deliver the award-winning itineraries that we are famous for.”

Managing director Peter Deer said: “This is an exciting chapter in the history of our company, and I know that our loyal and returning guests will be looking forward to exploring our new ships as soon as they can.

“Of course, we also hope to attract new guests to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and we look forward to demonstrating the exceptional service that makes us the best UK cruise line for repeat business.”

The two new ships will enter the fleet later this year following a rebrand.

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