Fred Olsen Line ship visit – BOREALIS, LIVERPOOL, November 2022.

“The joy of the journey is just as important as getting to the destination”

I’ve recently enjoyed a fact-finding visit aboard the Fred Olsen line’s Borealis.

Fred Olsen offers bespoke travel experiences aboard relatively small ships and say they are “proud to sail their own course”.

It’s often said there’s a cruise holiday for every taste and Fred Olsen certainly have some great offers coming up.

A forthcoming highlight is bound to be an “Around the World in 80 days” themed adventure.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Jules Verne’s’ famous novel, Borealis will be sailing from Southampton and calling at many of the ports Phileas Fogg was said to visit on his epic journey.

This includes a visit to Egypt, 100 years after the opening of Tutankhamun’s Tomb.

If 80 days is too much. you can join for part of the journey.

I travelled to Liverpool to find out more about the Fred Olsen and their ships.

My train saw me arrive in Liverpool early and, while awaiting boarding, I got to chat to two lovely ladies who had just disembarked from the previous cruise.

They’d enjoyed a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords and I was surprised to learn that in late November they went as far north as Tromso, a city within the Arctic Circle. For three consecutive nights, clear skies allowed them to enjoy the spectacular natural phenomena of the Northern Lights.

Now on to my Fred Olsen experience.

Over a welcome cup of tea and pastries, I had a 30-minute chat about Fred Olsen.


Fred Olsen is a Norwegian family-owned cruise line based in the UK.

They own 4 ships;

The Braemar – 900 capacity

The Balmoral – 1,250 capacity

The Boletta – 1,400 capacity

The Borealis – 1,400 capacity

They are classed as a small cruise ship company and Fred Olsen believes smaller is better. 

The line has a high retention rate when it comes to clients, with many rebooking their next cruise on board. 

They firmly believe in their motto ‘The Olsen Way’ which includes mission objectives such as: 

  • Proud to sail their own course
  • Smaller is better
  • Scenic cruising
  • Hand-crafted itineraries
  • Customers are travellers not tourists
  • The joy of the journey is just as important as getting to the destination
  • Travel Respectfully
  • Travel in the best of company.

The Borealis includes four cabins adapted for people with limited mobility.

It also has two speciality restaurants that you can dine in for only £10pp if booked before your cruise.

Smaller ships mean they have more accessibility and get into ports worldwide larger ones can’t.

Solo cabins are available on most sailings without a supplement.

The average age demographic for Fred Olsen cruises is 63-65, however, on the Borealis that comes down to the mid-50’s on certain cruises.

John’s thoughts

As mentioned earlier, a popular saying in the cruise industry is ‘there is a cruise out there for everyone’ If you like the big cruise line companies like Royal Caribbean, NCL, MSC, which appeal to a multi-generational family age group, including young families, and boast the latest Virtual Reality arcades, Fred Olsen may not be for you.

However, if you want a cruise where you can immerse yourself in the local environment, join in cookery classes using ingredients from the region you are in, just like for the two lovely ladies I met, Fred Olsen is for you.

Another feature, which may be a big plus for some readers here, is the availability of sailings from a local port, including sailings from Liverpool, Southampton and Newcastle.

Do you want to know more about the Olsen Way?

☎07887 610491


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