New ship joins Olsen fleet

IPSWICH-based cruise line Fred Olsen has a new cruise ship, it was announced today. Balmoral is the fifth ship to join the Fred Olsen fleet and enters service on February 13 following an extensive refit, including lengthening, that will make her the largest of the fleet and the first Fred Olsen ship to carry more than a thousand passengers.

IPSWICH-based cruise line Fred Olsen has a new cruise ship, it was announced today.

Balmoral is the fifth ship to join the Fred Olsen fleet and enters service on February 13 following an extensive refit, including lengthening, that will make her the largest of the fleet and the first Fred Olsen ship to carry more than a thousand passengers.

The cruise line, which has headquarters in Whitehouse Road, took possession of the ship, the former Norwegian Crown in November 2007.

Jill Channing, spokeswoman for Fred Olsen said: “She has undergone an extensive refit and refurbishment, including the insertion of a newly constructed 30 metre mid-section, at Blohm & Voss GmbH Hamburg.


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“Balmoral's first cruise 'Sailing South to Florida' departs Dover on February 13, visiting the ports of La Coruna and Santa Cruz, before heading south across the Atlantic to the Caribbean islands of Antigua, St Maarten and Tortola, arriving in Miami where Balmoral will then be based for a season of Caribbean fly/cruises - a first for the cruise line.

“The 1,340-passenger ship will still maintain the Fred Olsen tradition of smaller ships, with friendly personal service and a relaxed and very British atmosphere on board.”

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The extended capacity created by the fifth ship means Fred. Olsen will have two ships operating Caribbean fly/cruises - Balmoral and Braemar - and in 2009 will be offering two World cruises aboard Balmoral and Black Watch.

Mrs Channing added: “The lengthening of Balmoral will allow for more balcony cabins and an increased number of single cabins, which are always in demand.

“There will be two swimming pools, a wider choice of restaurants and dining styles, and extensive facilities including gym and fitness rooms, internet room, card and gaming rooms and an art gallery.

“The main formal restaurant - the Ballindalloch - reflects the Scottish naming of the ship, while the Morning Light Bar is named after a Fred. Olsen sailing ship dating from the 1890s.”

Are you a fan of cruising? Which is your favourite liner? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Balmoral is named after the Queen's summer residence in Aberdeenshire.

She was delivered to Royal Cruise Lines in 1988 by the shipyard Meyer Werft in Papenburg under the name Crown Odyssey.

After the takeover of Royal Cruise Lines by Norwegian Cruise Lines 1989, the ship was renamed Norwegian Crown.

In 2006, she was sold to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

Subsequently, the cruise ship was chartered by Star Cruises/ Norwegian Cruise Lines until November 2007.

After the reconstruction at Blohm + Voss Repair, the cruise ship will resume its voyages under the name Balmoral.

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