Ipswich cruise firm's vote of confidence

FRED Olsen Lines is one of the success stories of recent years in Ipswich as the cruise business has taken off around the world.And now the company has shown a big vote of confidence in the future of the business with the announcement that it is taking delivery of an essential new cruise liner, the Balmoral.

FRED Olsen Lines is one of the success stories of recent years in Ipswich as the cruise business has taken off around the world.

And now the company has shown a big vote of confidence in the future of the business with the announcement that it is taking delivery of an essential new cruise liner, the Balmoral.

She may have been launched in 1988, but over recent months the Balmoral has been extended and updated in Germany, and now she is ready to bring a touch of real class to Caribbean cruising.

Next year the Balmoral will undertake her first world cruise under the Fred Olsen flag.

Cruising is a form of holiday that is growing in popularity. It is no longer seen as the preserve of the well-heeled mature market.

More cruise liners are going to more exotic and less well-known locations.

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Fred Olsen cruises bring an essentially British quality to cruising, even if many of its passengers are from the other side of the Atlantic.

The Balmoral and her sister ships the Braemar and the Black Watch have a particularly Scottish feel to them.

In a world of corporate giants dominating the cruise industry, it is good to know that an Ipswich-based company has developed such a successful niche of the market.

Fred Olsen deserves all the success it has been receiving over recent years - and has every reason to look to the future with confidence.

OBESITY has rapidly become the big public health issue - and talking point - of the 21st century and today two new announcements address the question of overweight children.

A new report suggests that genes are at least as important as what children eat in determining whether youngsters are overweight.

And the government is to spend millions of pounds on training school cooks how to prepare more healthy meals.

Both developments are interesting - but parents must not see the news about genes as an excuse not to worry about their children's diet.

And school cooks must remember they need to provide meals children want, as well as meals that are nutritious.

There's no point in creating a healthy school menu of salad and pasta if all the youngsters shun in and bring in packed lunches of high-fat cheese sandwiches, crisps, and cakes.

BEETROOT juice might not be everyone's idea of the perfect cocktail, but there is new evidence today that this red liquid really does have great health benefits.

Apparently it increases the blood flow and some cultures have seen it as a great aphrodisiac.

The health properties were enough to persuade several people in Ipswich to try the juice, and most found it more palatable than they had expected.

But anyone who does follow the advice and goes out to buy a bottle of beetroot juice should be very careful of one aspect of this liquid.

Don't spill a drop because nothing stains quite like beetroot!