In recent years, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has offered an increasing number of itineraries that combine elements of ocean and river cruising. The line’s mid-sized ships are much smaller than the majority of ocean-bound vessels, therefore making them able to access a range of smaller islands and narrower waterways. Delighted passengers have been able to embark on cruises out of the UK that combine coastal destinations and scenic delights of a range of rivers including the Seine, Guadalquivir, Gironde, Garonne and many more.
With this style of cruising proving ever-more popular, Fred. Olsen has decided to make the move into river cruising by purchasing their first river-specific vessel. Transporting cruisers to a bygone era of sailing, the new vessel will be named ‘Brabant’, which plays homage to the line’s legacy. ‘Brabant’ is also the name of a former passenger ship, which sailed for Fred. Olsen in the 1920’s.
The 156-guest vessel will be chartered from Amadeus River Cruises and will operate sailings along the Danube and Moselle rivers. In total, there will be 30 departures from April to November in 2018, with durations ranging from five to 25 nights. Examples of itineraries include a five-night ‘Springtime Dutch Discovery’ fly-cruise via London – taking passengers from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf.
Built in 2006, the 110metre-long vessel is made up of four decks, with fewer than 80 rooms and suites and is staffed by 40 crew members. Upon completing the transfer, Brabant will offer a total of four grades of cabin on the ship including the Juliette Balcony Suite, Juliette Balcony Room Mozart, Juliette Balcony Room Strauss and Standard Room.
Her classic design and structure are in-line with the line’s ocean-bound vessels. She is much smaller than the majority of river cruise vessels but offers a unique sense of style, elegance and atmosphere – which is hoped will be similar to that of a country house hotel. Similarly, the main language on board the ship will be English and all on board transactions will be made in sterling. However, unlike the ocean-bound vessels, dinner will be served in a single sitting.
Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Justin Stanton, said: “We specialise in creating a “home-from-home” atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time.”
Unlike the larger vessels, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines appeals to holiday-makers seeking a sense of tradition. The family-owned line is determined to stay true to its legacy and history and this is, in turn, striking a chord with passengers, who book time and time again.
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