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About Us - Cruise Abroad

Cruise Abroad, proudly reselling Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in Australia, is one of this country's leading cruise line representation companies. 

For your next cruise holiday, come to the experts. Cruise Abroad is a wholesale travel company established in 1995 exclusively for selling cruises.

We specialise in the sale and marketing of a number of small expedition ships worldwide and you can be confident we will be in consultation with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines to find the ideal cruise for you.

As the worldwide demand for cruising grows, so too do the choices. Cruise ships vary in size and amenities and the array of itineraries available now visit every corner of the globe. We believe it is important to deal with a cruise specialist who can help select the ship that will best suit you. The cost is too large to get it wrong, you can't exchange this product.

Our cruise consultants have experienced most of our ships first hand, allowing them to offer you knowledge and customer service that we believe is second to none.

We can also help in arranging Group or Conference Cruises or find one to meet your special needs.

At the click of a button, this site will give you access to our latest special offers and last minute deals.

About Us - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has defined and refined the cruise experience, and judging by the number of passengers that come back time and again, seem to have styled it to perfection.

The company originated in Hvitsten, a small town on Oslofjord in Norway, in 1848 when three Olsen brothers – Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas – bought their first ships and began an international shipping company.

Now into the fifth generation of the family, they operate companies skilled in various aspects of the cruise and passenger shipping trade as well as aviation, ships’ crewing, shipbuilding and offshore industries.

Aside from the transportation industries, the Fred. Olsen group also has interests in the luxury hotel sector, estate management, property development, and electronics companies.

Offices for the company are spread throughout the world, although the company headquarters remain firmly in the family’s hands in Oslo and Tenerife. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is based in Ipswich in Suffolk.

Company Reg. No: 2672435
Registered Name & Office: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd, 2nd Floor, 64-65 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2NU.
Place of registration: England and Wales
VAT Number: 927 5336 08

Fred. Olsen History

The Olsen family business can be traced back to 1848.  Here, a young shipmaster called Fredrik Christian Olsen (known as the First Fred. Olsen) entered shipowning on his own account.  His earliest vessels were wooden schooners of little more than 50 gross tons.  Life was never easy and Norwegian owners and sailors had a harder time than most, with conditions in the winter months can be very harsh and dangerous.  By the time the first Fred. Olsen died in 1875, 10 of the 22 vessels which he had owned had been wrecked whilst in his service.  His brothers Petter and Andreas also went into the business, with small fleets of sailing vessels, starting in 1852 and 1860 respectively. 

It was Petter's son, the Second Fred. Olsen, (actually Thomas Fredrik) who established the Olsen name as one of the most significant in Norwegian shipping.  He was a practised seaman who had assumed command of one of his father's vessels at the age of 23.  He was then given management of two of his father's ships, and over the next few years, added others to his fleet.  The biggest of these was the Canadian-built ocean-going full-rigger Morning Light

It was not until 1896 that, on behalf of a newly-established company called A/S Bonheur, the second Fred. placed an order for a steamship.  She was a 1,000 tonner, and he called her Bayard after one of the vessels with which he started his shipowning career.  Since then, it has become a family custom that most of the ships should have names beginning with the letter 'B'.

It was in 1899, after the death of his father, that the second Fred. transferred his office from Hvitsen to the capital city, Christianna (later renamed Oslo).  He was now beginning his rapid ascent to become one of the country's most important shipowners.  In Oslo, there is a street named after him:  Fred. Olsens Gate, which is where the offices are partly accommodated, in a picturesque house dating back to 1710.  In the early 1920's the Olsens entered the fruit-carrying trades from the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean and the Canary Islands to London and Continental ports.

The second Fred. Olsen's first serious venture into the passenger business came in 1901, when he acquired the Færder Steamship Company, whose ships still had provision for raising sail in case of a breakdown.  Each of them had accommodation for not much more than 100 passengers.

The Brabant was the first of a notable new generation of passengers ships, which was taken delivery of in 1926.  She had a gross tonnage of 2, 335 and was the Olsen's biggest passenger ship so far, with accommodation for up to 70 first class passengers amidships, and could carry 30 third class travellers in less comfortable quarters at the stern.  She also had space for 2, 500 tons of cargo in two substantial holds.  She was a more modern looking ship than her predecessors and had one of the newly-fashionable cruiser sterns which were more easily constructed and maintained.

The second Fred. Olsen died in January 1933, which was a blow to the firm, as it came at such a difficult time.  He had achieved so much, starting in a very small way but becoming one of the most important shipowners in a country which was certainly not short of vigorous entrepreneurs.

During the latter half of the 1930's, the Olsen brothers were able to restore some of the momentum which had been lost during the Great Depression; with introducing several notable new vessels into their fleet of 'fruiters'.  Also around this time, the funnels on Olsen ships which had been painted black with a red band bearing the family's flag on either side, were evolving, and became buff yellow.  The flag, white with its swallow tail and with a blue dot and a diagonal blue bar, had first been flown by the second Fred. Olsen on his racing yacht in the 1890's.

In 1951, the first of the new ships started on her maiden crossing from Oslo to Newcastle - she was called Blenheim, in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, who had been born at Blenheim Palace, the Churchill family seat.

The second ship followed two years later, and was given the name Braemar, which was a tribute to the British Royal Family.  The new ships were relatively small, but were among the most striking-looking liners of their day. 

In 1955, at the age of 26, the third Fred. Olsen suddenly found himself assuming the daunting task of managing and developing the family empire, after his father Thomas Olsen became ill.

The Black Watch entered joint service for Fred. Olsen and Bergen Line in 1966, and made her first voyage from London to the Canaries for Fred. Olsen in the September of that year.  The following month, delivery of Black Prince was taken, and joined her sister on the Canary Islands route.  The new weekly Canary Islands passenger service proved to be an enormous success.

The Olsens were no strangers to the cruise market, as for years they had been selling winter voyages to Madeira and the Canaries as round trips to the sun.  However, the aim was to attract a wider range of passengers.  The 'new' Black Prince would, it was hoped, attract younger, more active holidaymakers, many of whom might never have cruised before.  One aspect of her former self would not change - with the age of mega-cruise ship already dawning, brochures emphasised that she was a smaller, more intimate and more friendly ship than most.

The re-modelling of Black Prince increased her gross tonnage to 11, 209, with 125 new rooms built into much of the space which had formerly been occupied by either cars or cargo.  Black Prince started her new career in 1987, when she sailed from Southampton for Cadiz, Casablanca, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Gibraltar and back to Southampton.  The master on that first cruise, and many later ones, was Captain Thor Fleten, who, over the years came to be associated with the ship.  A sociable man, much liked by his passengers, is often credited with having set the friendly tone which became one of Black Prince's most endearing characteristics. 

From 1987 to 1996, Black Prince was a 'singleton' - a one-ship operation.  In 1996, the Olsens found their ship, one they had been eyeing for some time.  She had been completed in June 1972 as the Royal Viking Star, the first of three sisters built for Royal Viking Line.  In 1994, she was transferred to another company within the Kloster group, the Greek-managed Royal Cruise lines and became their Star Odyssey.  Once bought, and following her refurbishment, Black Watch's standard capacity became 761, with a maximum occupancy of 843.  She was refitted in 2005, for the replacement of her old engines, and fourteen new balcony suites were created, and more rooms on Bridge Deck given balconies.

By the start of the Millennium, the success of Black Watch and the continuing popularity of Black Prince prompted Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines to seek a third vessel.  In early 2001, the 19, 089 gross tons Crown Dynasty was found.  She was sent to Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg to be thoroughly refurbished.  She was specifically designed for 7-day cruises in the Caribbean, which suited the Olsens, and was given the traditional name of Braemar.  The advent of Braemar gave the Olsens the opportunity of adding fly-cruises to their programme.

2005 was a significant year for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.  Not only was Black Watch sent to be re-engined and upgraded, but almost simultaneously, they surprised the cruise world by announcing the purchase of one of her sisters.  This was the former Royal Viking Sky, with a gross tonnage of 28, 078.  Completely refurbished, a very elegant ship has emerged, well able to regain much of the regard in which she was held in her distinguished early years.  Boudicca, named after Boadicea, the great English queen of the Iceni tribe, first cruised in 2006, and fittingly visited the Canary Islands.  She has since established herself as a popular member of the fleet, running a varied programme of cruises of different lengths.

History information taken from The Fred. Olsen Line and It's Passenger Ships, by Anthony Cooke.

Pricing Policy

There are two pricing options available, which give you the opportunity to make the right choice for you when booking your cruise. Anchor Fares offer excellent value for money, although have some limitations and restrictions. Freedom Fares offer the best choice, benefits and flexibility, including choosing your room number and dining time. Where cruises are available with Anchor Fares, you can still book a Freedom Fare if you would prefer more flexibility.

The table below gives a list of all that's included with Freedom Fares and Anchor Fares, so you can make the right cruise choice for you.

BENEFITS BY FARE TYPE FREEDOM FARES  ANCHOR FARES
Restaurant - confirmed at time of booking* Yes No
Dining time - confirmed at time of booking* Yes No - small charge per person, per night charge to choose dining time
Dining choice - table size may be requested (not guaranteed) Yes No
Room category Yes Yes
Room grade - chosen at time of booking Yes No**
Room number - chosen at time of booking Yes No
Deposit (bookings before 90 days of departure) 15%  100%
Standard cancellation fee Standard 100%
Oceans Discount - as applicable, based on membership level♦ Yes No
Booking transferable to another cruise (once only per booking) ♥ Yes No
Oceans benefits on board♦ Yes No
Priority for room upgrades (complimentary or charged, when available)☻ Yes No
Priority booking for pre-booked Shore Tours♥ Yes No
Free Fred. Olsen shuttle bus to local centre (where operating)► Yes No
Priority embarkation in UK departure ports Yes No
Priority debarkation at end of cruise (available on request, not guaranteed) Yes No

* Subject to availability
** Grade can be chosen on selected cruises, please ask at time of booking
♦ Subject to Oceans Club terms and conditions
♥ Subject to availability, terms and conditions apply
☻ Room upgrades are subject to availability and may be complimentary or payable
► Free shuttle bus is to the local centre and is not offered where the local centre is within walking distance. Excludes shuttle buses charged for by the port.

We reserve the right to change or withdraw cruise prices, offers and/or itineraries on this website or in our brochures, at any time without prior notice.  Prices may go up or down, and prices may rise in subsequent editions of our brochures, at any time up to the departure date of a cruise.

Promotional offers from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and/or travel agents depend on a variety of factors such as the date of booking, popularity of the cruise and travelling period. 

Freedom Fares are designed so that guests can benefit from the best choice of rooms and relax knowing their holiday is planned out. 

Freedom Fares

Freedom Fares offer the best in choice, benefits and flexibility, including being able to choose your room number. Please see below for a list of all that's included:

  • Your choice of restaurant is confirmed at time of booking*
  • Your choice of dining time is confirmed at time of booking*
  • Your table size at dinner can be requested (but not guaranteed)
  • Room grade can be chosen at time of booking
  • Room number can be chosen at time of booking
  • 15% deposit on bookings before 90 days of departure
  • Standard cancellation fee
  • Oceans Discount - as applicable, based on membership level**
  • Booking transferable to another cruise (once only per booking)
  • Priority booking for pre-booked Shore Tours*
  • Oceans benefits on board*
  • Priority for room upgrades (complimentary or charged, when available)*
  • Free shuttle bus to local centre (where operating)
  • Priority embarkation in UK departure ports
  • Priority debarkation at end of cruise (available on request, but not guaranteed)

* Subject to availability
** Subject to Oceans Club terms and conditions
Room upgrades are subject to availability and may be complimentary or payable. Free shuttle bus is to the local centre and is not offered where the local centre is within walking distance.

Anchor Fares

Anchor Fares have been designed to offer guests a simplified pricing structure and clear update on the latest promotional prices available from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

As Anchor Fares offer guests specially reduced prices, the following terms and conditions are applicable:

  • Full payment is required at the time of booking
  • 100% cancellation charges apply - no refunds are permitted
  • Non-transferrable to any other cruise once booked
  • No room number and / or room grade is provided at the time of booking (room number will be advised on the cruise ticket)
  • Oceans Cruise Club discounts are not combinable with Anchor Fares. Oceans points will be earned however.
  • Dining sitting will be allocated at our discretion and will be advised within the cruise ticket. Anchor Fare guests can choose to book a specific dining sitting at the time of booking for a supplement of £2.00 per person per night.
  • Table sizes cannot be requested when booking on an anchor fare.

Environmental Policy

LOOKING AFTER THE ENVIRONMENT

With most of the world’s surface covered by water, it is important that this valuable resource is nurtured and looked after so that it remains healthy for generations to come. Fred. Olsen is committed to following the guidelines and practices set down by global  environmental authorities to help promote this goal to protect our marine environment. Similarly, they acknowledge their responsibilities towards the air that we all breathe. To this end, Fred. Olsen aim to operate all vessels in the most environmentally friendly way possible.  

In addition, Fred. Olsen recognises its obligations and responsibilities to the destinations visited by their vessels, and to this end work in partnership with ports and local service providers to do as much as possible to support the local economy, provide employment, and maintain environmental standards wherever in the world their ships are located.

This company maintains compliance with international and national laws and regulations with careful management of environmental practices.

In support of this philosophy, the company currently:

  • Monitors its management systems to ensure compliance with international requirements.
  • Institutes environmentally friendly systems in its land based offices and on board its vessels.
  • Meets, if not exceeds, regulatory requirements on marine and air pollution.
  • Implements practices and procedures to address the environmental impact of their operation.

Fred. Olsen Awards

Fred. Olsen always do their  best to give you the holiday of a lifetime – but guests and travel industry experts are the best judges. That’s why it’s so pleasing that the dedication and hard work of Fred. Olsen staff have been recognised in many awards over the course of 2015, including: Best for Itineraries; Britain’s Best Cruise Line for Food 2015; silver for both Best Small Ships Cruise Line and Best Cruise Line for Customer Service; and five categories in the influential 2015 Cruise Critic UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards. Although a small company, Fred. Olsen were joint-second in the most recent Which? Cruise Survey, receiving a rating of 85%: an achievement all staff and crews are immensely proud of.

Finally, and most importantly, in over 14,000 reviews from past guests, 95% rated Fred. Olsen Excellent or Good, with Feefo awarding a Gold Trusted Merchant Accreditation – in recognition of excellence in customer service – for the second year in a row. Perhaps that’s why most people who try Fred. Olsen once choose to cruise with them again. There’s never been a better time to get on board with Fred. Olsen.

 

 

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