When you think of a cruise ship, you probably picture a huge boat packed with thousands of people, with swimming pools, cinemas, and even driving ranges. While a lot of modern cruises are like that, there are also plenty of options for a more personalized experience, like Fred Olsen Cruises.

Some people love having tons of activities and being surrounded by lots of people, but that’s not for everyone. Sometimes, you just want to chill out and relax in comfort without the big crowds.

As a Fred. Olsen cruise travel agent I’ve put together this article to help you learn what sets this cruise line apart, why you should consider it, and everything you need to know about their ships, facilities, and more.

🛳️ Review:

I went on a Fred Olsen Cruise to the Norwegian fjords, and it was awesome! The smaller ship size let us visit some cool, less crowded ports. Overall, it was a great holiday, and I can’t wait to book my next cruise with Fred Olsen. – Linda, Manchester

Let us wade through the 1000’s of cruises for you!

Jo, our cruise travel agent will personally search for the right cruise for you.

Family playing cards on a Fred. Olsen Cruise Line

What Really Makes Fred Olsen Cruise Line Different?

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has some standout features that make it unique in the world of cruising. Here’s what sets it apart:

Smaller, More Intimate Ships

Unlike the massive floating cities of other cruise lines, Fred Olsen Ships are smaller, which means fewer passengers and a more intimate, friendly atmosphere. You’ll get to know your fellow travellers and the crew, making the whole experience feel more personal.

Unique Itineraries

Because of their smaller size, Fred Olsen Cruise Ships can access ports that bigger ships can’t. This means you get to visit unique destinations and enjoy off-the-beaten-path experiences that you might not get with other cruise lines.

Rich Maritime Heritage

Fred Olsen has a long history at sea, dating back to 1848. This heritage brings a sense of tradition and classic nautical charm to their ships, combined with modern amenities for your comfort.

All Ships in the Fred Olsen Fleet

All Ships in the Fred Olsen Fleet


Ship NameCapacityLength (m)Year BuiltHighlightsInternet Cost
Balmoral1,3252181988Five restaurants, two pools, Atlantis Spa£10 per hour
Braemar9291951993Coral Club, Library, Neptune Lounge£12 per hour
Bolette1,3382372000Five restaurants, Atlantis Spa, theatre£10 per hour
Borealis1,4042371997Seven restaurants, two pools, Jacuzzis£10 per hour
Black Watch (retired)8202051972Two restaurants, Observatory LoungeN/A
Boudicca (retired)8802071973Three restaurants, Fitness CentreN/A
New Ships Due Fred Olsen Fleet

New Ships Due

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is always looking to better their fleet with new additions. While no specific new ships are due in the immediate future, the company continually upgrades and refurbishes its existing ships.

Adults Only or Family Cruise on Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Adults Only or Family Cruise?

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is mostly aimed at adults, offering a laid-back and classic cruising vibe. But they do have options for families too, especially during school holidays.


Fred. Olsen is perfect if you’re after a quiet, adult-focused trip. It’s popular with older travellers and couples who want a chilled-out holiday without the hustle and bustle of kids running around.

Family-Friendly Options

While it’s mainly for adults, Fred. Olsen does welcome families on certain cruises during school holidays. These trips have activities and entertainment to keep the kids happy, so everyone can enjoy their holiday.

Solo traveller enjoying their time on a Fred Olsen Cruise.

Singles and Solo Travellers

If you’re travelling solo, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is a great choice. They offer plenty of activities and opportunities to meet other solo travellers, so you never feel alone.

  • Solo Cabins: Some ships have single cabins, so you don’t have to pay extra for double occupancy.
  • Social Activities: There are lots of organised events, like solo traveller meet-ups, so you can mingle and make new friends.
  • Dining: You can choose to dine alone or join others at a shared table, making it easy to socialise.

🛳️ Review:

As a solo traveller, Fred Olsen made me feel at home. The single cabins were perfect for me and didn’t cost extra. I joined solo traveller meet-ups and made some great friends. This was my first cruise, and Fred Olsen has set a high bar for future trips. – Michelle, London

Medical Facilities on Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Medical Facilities

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ensures you’re well taken care of with their onboard medical facilities. Each ship has a medical centre staffed with qualified doctors and nurses, ready to assist with any health concerns. 

Dress Code on a Fred Olsen Cruise.

Dress Code

On a Fred Olsen Cruise, the dress code is pretty relaxed during the day, but there are a few guidelines to follow in the evenings:

  • Daytime: Casual wear is perfectly fine. Think shorts, t-shirts, and swimwear when you’re by the pool.
  • Evenings: Depending on the night, you might need to dress up a bit more. There are typically a few formal nights where you’ll want to wear your best evening attire. On other nights, smart-casual is the way to go.

Let us wade through the 1000’s of cruises for you!

Jo, our cruise travel agent will personally search for the right cruise for you.

Gratuities and Tipping on a Fred Olsen Cruise.

Gratuities and Tipping

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Automatic Tips: Gratuities are added to your onboard account automatically, so you don’t have to worry about tipping every time you receive service.
  • Optional Adjustment: If you feel the service was exceptional or not up to par, you can adjust the gratuity amount at the reception desk.
  • Guideline: The current rate is about £5 per person per day, which is shared among the crew.

🛳️ Pro Tip: Secret Pop-Up

I discovered that the Observation Lounge often has secret pop-up events like stargazing nights or impromptu live music sessions.

Facilities & Activities on Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Facilities & Activities

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Spa: Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, facial, or other spa treatments. The spa area is designed to help you unwind and rejuvenate.
  • Gym: Stay fit with modern gym equipment and fitness classes. Whether you prefer cardio, weights, or group workouts, there’s something for everyone.
  • Games: Enjoy a variety of games, from board games to shuffleboard. It’s a great way to have fun and meet new people.
  • Library: Spend some quiet time in the well-stocked library. You’ll find a selection of books and comfortable seating for a peaceful reading session.
  • Adventure and Sports: There are plenty of options for those who love adventure, including deck sports and fitness activities. Stay active and have fun with fellow passengers.
  • Workshops and Classes: Join workshops and classes on various topics, from arts and crafts to cooking and dance lessons.
  • Shopping: Explore the onboard shops for souvenirs, clothing, and essentials.

🛳️ Pro Tip: Bridge Tour

If you ask the crew nicely, you might get a behind-the-scenes tour of the ship’s bridge. It’s not advertised, but they sometimes make exceptions for curious passengers. It’s a fascinating way to see how the ship is operated and meet the captain!

Entertainment on Fred Olsen Cruise Line


Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Theatres: Enjoy live performances, including musicals, plays, and comedy shows. The onboard theatre is a great place to unwind in the evenings.
  • Casinos: Try your luck at the casino, featuring a range of games like blackjack, poker, and slot machines. It’s a fun way to spend your evenings.
  • Bars and Lounges: There are several bars and lounges where you can relax with a drink, listen to live music, or join in themed parties. Some popular spots include the Observatory Lounge and the Neptune Lounge.
  • Dancing: Hit the dance floor at one of the dance venues. Whether you prefer ballroom dancing or a lively disco, there’s something for everyone.
  • Cinema: Watch a movie in the onboard cinema. From the latest blockbusters to classic films, there’s always something to enjoy.

🛳️ Pro Tip: Galley Tour

Try visiting the galley during off-peak hours. Sometimes, the chefs are happy to give you a quick tour and even share cooking tips or recipes from the ship’s menu.

Restaurants and Dining Options on Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Restaurants and Dining Options

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Main Dining Room: Enjoy a range of delicious meals in the main dining room, with a menu that changes daily. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served with plenty of options to choose from.
  • Speciality Restaurants: For a more unique dining experience, visit one of the speciality restaurants. These may require an additional fee but offer gourmet cuisine and a more intimate setting.
  • Casual Dining: If you prefer a more relaxed meal, there are casual dining options available, including buffets and cafes. Perfect for a quick bite or a laid-back meal.
  • Room Service: Enjoy the convenience of room service, available 24/7. Whether you want breakfast in bed or a late-night snack, you can have it delivered right to your cabin.

Drinks Packages & Costs

Fred Olsen offers a range of drinks packages to make your cruise even more enjoyable:

  • All-Inclusive Package: This package covers a wide selection of beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks. It’s a great way to budget for your trip and enjoy your favourite drinks without worrying about the bill.
  • Wine & Dine Package: Perfect for wine lovers, this package includes a bottle of wine with dinner each night, plus discounts on additional bottles.
  • Soft Drinks Package: Ideal if you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, this package offers unlimited soft drinks throughout your cruise.
Accommodation Choices on Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Accommodation Choices

  • Inside Cabins: These budget-friendly cabins offer all the essentials you need for a comfortable stay. They don’t have windows but are perfect if you plan to spend most of your time enjoying the ship’s amenities.
  • Outside Cabins: Enjoy a view of the sea with these cabins, which come with either a porthole or picture window. They offer a bit more space and natural light.
  • Balcony Cabins: These cabins feature a private balcony where you can relax and enjoy the ocean views. They provide more space and comfort, perfect for a more luxurious experience.
  • Suites: For the ultimate in luxury, choose a suite. These spacious accommodations include separate living areas, larger balconies, and upgraded amenities. Suites often come with extra perks like priority boarding and concierge service.
  • Single Cabins: These are designed specifically for solo travellers. They offer all the comforts of regular cabins but are smaller and don’t require a single supplement fee.
Swimming Pools on Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Swimming Pools

  • Main Pool: The main pool area is a great spot to relax and enjoy the sun. With plenty of loungers and a bar nearby, it’s perfect for a leisurely day.
  • Jacuzzis: In addition to the main pool, there are several Jacuzzis where you can unwind and soak your cares away.
  • Adults-Only Pool: Some ships have an adults-only pool area, offering a quieter space for relaxation without the bustle of families and kids.
  • Indoor Pool: On some ships, you’ll find an indoor pool, perfect for a swim regardless of the weather.
No-Fly UK Ports Fred Olsen Cruise Line

No-Fly UK Ports

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has no-fly cruises departing from various UK ports. Here are the ports you can depart from:

  • Southampton
  • Dover
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  • Rosyth (Edinburgh)
Destinations Fred Olsen Cruise Line


Here are some of the places you can visit:

  • Europe: From the scenic fjords of Norway to the historic cities of the Baltic, explore the rich culture and beautiful landscapes of Europe.
  • Mediterranean: Enjoy the sunny climates and stunning coastlines of the Mediterranean, visiting iconic spots like Greece, Italy, and Spain.
  • Caribbean: Relax on the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean, with stops at beautiful islands such as Barbados, St. Lucia, and Antigua.
  • Asia: Experience the diverse cultures and vibrant cities of Asia, including destinations like Japan, Singapore, and Thailand.
  • Africa: Discover the unique wildlife and breathtaking landscapes of Africa, with cruises to South Africa, Namibia, and more.
  • Americas: Explore the diverse regions of the Americas, from the vibrant cities of the United States to the natural wonders of South America.
  • Arctic and Antarctica: For the adventurous, embark on a journey to the polar regions, witnessing the stunning ice landscapes and unique wildlife.

Let us wade through the 1000’s of cruises for you!

Jo, our cruise travel agent will personally search for the right cruise for you.


Drawing of Fred. Olsen Boudicca

The Fred. Olsen cruise ship Boudicca is no longer in service. Boudicca was decommissioned in 2020 and sold to a Turkish company to serve as a hotel ship. However, in 2021, the ship was sold for scrap and subsequently dismantled at the Aliağa Ship Recycling Facility in Turkey. Still a lovely drawing I think.