There’s no place for Liverpool in Fred. Olsen’s new cruise schedules

/, Cruise News/There’s no place for Liverpool in Fred. Olsen’s new cruise schedules

While cruising from and around the UK continues to enjoy an unprecedented surge in popularity, one port looks like losing out.
Even Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, a stalwart for many years, is about to give Liverpool the cold shoulder.
Launching the company’s new 2012-13 brochure at a reception in London yesterday evening, Marketing Director Nigel Lingard made a particular point of listing the departure points to be used by his four ships – all of which will be based in the UK year-round from next summer.
In addition to Balmoral sailing from Southampton and Braemar and Black Watch from Dover, Boudicca will be operating regional departures from Greenock, Rosyth and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Not Liverpool, however. “They still haven’t got their act together, so we are pulling out, ” said Lingard.
In 2007 the city built a £20 million cruise terminal on the World Heritage waterfront directly in front of the Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building, and this year it will be visited by ships ranging in size from the 590-passenger Astor to the 3,100-passenger Crown Princess, which was in port yesterday and returns twice during the summer.
But the terminal can only be used for day visits and not for embarking and disembarking passengers at the beginning or end of a voyage.
Olsen ships have had to use the inadequate facilities at the nearby commercial harbour in Langton Dock, where the rudimentary terminal is overshadowed by a mountain of scrap metal – and they’ve had enough.
Highlights of the new brochure include a 112-night round the world marathon on Balmoral, taking in the Suez and Panama Canals and visiting Mexico, Tahiti, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Oman; and an 80-night voyage around Africa to the Indian Ocean on Black Watch. Both depart from Southampton in January 2013.
A Baltic Christmas markets cruise in December 2012 will take Black Watch to St Petersburg just before the port freezes up for the winter, and Boudicca will sail up the River Amazon in January 2013 before returning to the UK and setting off in search of the Northern Lights.
Fares have been increased by about eight per cent, but now come with a guarantee that no fuel surcharges or supplements will be added, and a money-back promise in the unlikely event that fuel prices fall to the levels of 2010.
While he was full of enthusiasm for the new cruises, and basking in the glow of record repeat bookings, there must have been a tinge of sadness behind Lingard’s presentation – he retires at the end of November after 23 years with the company.
Maybe then he’ll be able to find the time to take an extended voyage himself.

By | 2011-05-27T12:41:56+00:00 27 May 2011|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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