Four of a kind – Fred Olsen Cruise Lines‘ fleet will be together in one place for the first time when they meet in the Norwegian port of Bergen on July 28.
Marching bands and other entertainment will greet the ships’ 4,000 passengers, who will be given the chance to compete in an inter-ship treasure hunt around the city. The crews will take part in a tug of war competition.
The event coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of the first Fred Olsen, who founded a shipping company that operates ferries in the Canary islands and offshore power installations as well as the cruise line.
The 4Bs in Bergen day brings together Balmoral, on an 8-night cruise from Southampton; Braemar, sailing a 14-night voyage from Dover; Boudicca, on a 7-night itinerary from Newcastle; and Black Watch, which sets out from Liverpool for a 9-night cruise.
From Bergen, Balmoral will be continuing to Flåm; Braemar and Black Watch will be meeting up again in Eidfjord; and Boudicca will be sailing to Ålesund.
Managing director Mike Rodwell explained: “We are committed to the city of Bergen on our Norwegian cruises and we have been calling at the port every year since 1997,” adding that the company’s ships have together spent 176 days in Bergen between 2006 and 2015. “We know that the city is a highlight for many of our guests on cruises to our historic homeland.”
The get-together is a one-off. Next year the ships will scatter to the four corners of the world. – with a number of opportunities for long-distance no-fly cruises from the UK.
Highlights of the 2016 and 2017 programme include Balmoral’s 34-night voyage to New England, and a 46-night cruise to central America and the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans.
Braemar has cruises ranging from a 28-night voyage to the Adriatic, visiting the Croatian coast and Venice, and also takes advantage of its shallow draft on a cruise up France’s Garonne, Gironde and Seine rivers, and the Guadalquivir to Seville in Spain.
In total, Fred Olsen’s ships will visit 253 ports in 84 countries during 2016-17 – a record for the line.