New ports around the world, additional disembarkation points in the UK, voyages of a lifetime, and free drinks – they are all included in Fred Olsen’s 2013-14 cruise programme, announced this week with the release of a new brochure.
The company’s four ships – Black Watch, Boudicca, Balmoral and Braemar – will be visiting a total of 240 ports in 77 countries. Twelve of them will be maiden calls: Haugesund and Bronnovsund in Norway; Vaasa in Sweden; Husavik in Iceland; Boulogne, France; Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco; Townsville, Australia; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Nawiliwili, Hawaii; Osaka and Hiroshima, Japan; and Yangon, Myanmar (Burma).
Several of the new destinations are part of a 104-night world cruise on Balmoral, leaving Southampton on January 5, 2014. Travelling east via Spain, the Mediterranean and Egypt, the cruise visits Oman before heading across the Indian Ocean to Mumbai and on to Myanmar, Singapore and Hong Kong.
From Japan the ship crosses the Pacific via Hawaii and calls into San Diego, California, before transiting the Panama Canal to the Caribbean and then home. Fares start at £8,999.
Black Watch will undertake its longest-ever voyage, a 114-night marathon departing January 14, 2014 and circumnavigating South America before crossing to New Zealand and Australia, returning to the UK via India, Jordan and Egypt. Fares from £9,799.
Closer to home, Harwich, and Belfast join Dover, Southampton, Portsmouth, Newcastle upon Tyne, Greenock and Rosyth as departure ports in the UK for 2013, and Liverpool’s new terminal facilities mean it will return to the schedules after a couple of years’ absence.
Sales and marketing director Nathan Philpot said: “Harwich has been on our radar for some time, following a series of successful transit calls. Its direct rail links with London make this an extremely easy port to access.”
Black Watch will make three cruises – from three to 17 nights – from Harwich to the Baltic, Norway and Lapland, and a mini-cruise next June.
Boudicca returns to the Mersey to operate 10 voyages between April and August, and will also sail a 12-night Iberian cruise from Belfast.
The free drinks are included on four fly-cruise itineraries on Braemar – but hurry: to qualify, bookings must be made by July 31 this year. Choose from:
- A seven-night Canary Islands Discovery cruise departing on February 17, visiting Tenerife, Lanzarote and La Gomera. From £799.
- The 11-night African Beaches and Tropical Islands itinerary on February 24, to Dakar (Senegal), Banjul (The Gambia), and the Cape Verde Islands. From £1,099.
- A 10-night Morocco, Madeira and the Canaries voyage on March 7. From £999.
- And the eight-night Lisbon and the Canaries cruise on March 17 from Tenerife to Dover. From £699.
Philpott said: “”With this added drinks package, these cruises offer exceptional value for money and it will be easier for our guests to budget and allow more leeway for spending on other holiday extras, such as shore excursions.”.