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Smaller Ship Cruise Information

Cruise Extras

Whether you're joining Fred. Olsen on board for the first time or are a seasoned cruiser, Fred. Olsen Cruises do their best to ensure that your holiday is a relaxing, enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

Knowing that and no matter how many times you have cruised before – you're likely to have a few questions or queries regarding your holiday before you embark, which is why we've created this handy guide to provide you with any information you might need before setting sail.

We're always willing to go the 'extra mile' to ensure you make the most of your holiday on board our ships, so if you can't find the answers to your questions below please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Fred. Olsen, understands what makes a cruise holiday so special. It's sailing to incredible, 'must-visit' destinations far and wide in pure comfort with like-minded travellers; enjoying fine dining as you glide gently across the ocean; discovering out-of-this-world experiences; and forging friendships which will last a lifetime. This is why they expertly craft every single one of their cruises – from weekend city breaks to around the world voyages – to ensure your time on board with us is simply unforgettable.

Fred. Olsen don't like to make a fuss – you won't hear any shouting about robotic bars and expensive on board thrill rides – and the ships aren't as new as the megaships which are flooding the market. Instead they concentrate on making sure the key elements of your cruise holiday are done right and are committed to making sure that every Fred. Olsen cruise is a relaxing, engaging and memorable experience. Using extensive knowledge of the industry, and making the most of our smaller-sized ships, Fred. Olsen aim to help you discover the best of every destination you visit. Fred. Olsen will take you closer to spectacular cities, tucked-away villages, breathtaking wonders and more, offering scenic cruising through stunning size-restricted fjords, rivers and canals along the way.

And, with departures from 10 ports around the UK, you'll have the chance to explore parts of England, Scotland and Ireland before embarking on your cruise. So, not only do you get to visit some of the world's most spectacular destinations with Fred. Olsen, you may also have time to discover many of Britain's most iconic towns, cities and attractions too.

We're sure that embarking on your first Fred. Olsen cruise will an exciting and enjoyable experience, however if you feel apprehensive or unsure about trying something new we'll do all we can to put your mind at ease and help you settle in as quickly as possible.

The 'New to Cruising' programme has been created to provide you with all the information you might need during your first cruise on board Fred. Olsen ships. The programme includes get-togethers with other first-time cruisers and meetings with 'New to Cruising' representatives. There's no need to worry about anything when you cruise with Fred. Olsen.

'New to cruising' Guided ship tours: As you'll be new to Fred. Olsen and their ships, we recommend you take the opportunity to join a guided ship tour to familiarise yourself with your new 'home from home at sea'. Friendly staff will help you find the restaurants, bars, lounges, outside deck spaces and much more; and are happy to answer any questions you have along the way.

'New to cruising' get together: The 'New to Cruising' get-together is a great way of meeting fellow first time cruisers who may have the same questions and queries as you, or people looking for new friends and companions to enjoy their holiday with. Tips on how to make the most of your cruise are also offered.

'New to cruising' representative: 'New to Cruising' representatives will be on hand every day throughout your holiday. Available at selected times and places, they will be happy to answer your questions and offer any advice you require.

If you're new to cruising with Fred. Olsen and wish to take advantage of the services listed above, simply call us on 07 55876701 or 1300 786 863 or E-mail: res@fredolsencruises.com.au

Unfortunately the 'New to Cruising' programme isn't available on mini-cruises, however staff will of course be happy to help in any way they can on these sailings.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines do their utmost to ensure cruise holidays are not just hugely enjoyable, but great value too. The benefits included in each cruise package are listed below and, as you'll see, there's a lot - so you can just relax and get on with having a good time!

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Wondering what to expect during a typical day on board one of Fred. Olsen's Cruise ships?

There is something to suit everyone and and daily programmes are designed for guests to dip in and out as much and as little as you like.

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Dining to suit every taste...

Enjoy a taste of award-winning food, made the way you like it.

One of the highlights of a Fred. Olsen cruise is the food. Expert chefs produce great dishes night after night. Every day menus are something special, with appetisers like herb-marinated salmon or crab cocktail and indulgent main courses like sirloin steak with a choice of sauces, pan seared red snapper with scallops, slow roast duckling confit or balsamic braised lamb shank.

Of course there are vegetarian dishes and healthy choices too, with an emphasis on fish dishes inspired by their Norwegian heritage; so even if you're watching your diet, you're in for a treat!

The desserts are every bit as tasty (think white chocolate parfait or mango apple tart) and the sugar free option means no-one has to miss out.

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What to Pack

A Fred. Olsen cruise holiday is all about relaxing and here's a guide to 'what to pack' for the various activities on board and ashore.

What to pack for your cruise holiday

Packing for your cruise holiday with Fred. Olsen is simple. The dress code is designed to ensure you feel relaxed and comfortable during your days and evenings on board, as well as your time ashore. This guide is designed to help you decide what to pack for your cruise holiday.

Evening wear

Evening wear is simple on a Fred. Olsen cruise. Most evenings are smart casual with a few formal nights for the chance to dress up. And just to add some fun to the cruise, there may also be some optional theme nights on longer sailings.

Formal evenings

Depending on the length of your cruise holiday there will be one or more formal evenings whilst you are on board. This is your chance to 'dress to impress' and add glitz and glamour to your dining experience.

Most men opt to wear either a dinner jacket, or dark suit and tie. Ladies are often seen looking fabulous in anything from a cocktail-style dress to a full-length ball gown.

All Fred. Olsen cruise ships feature a casual dining experience for those guests who do not wish to join the formal evenings. Dress code for these restaurants is smart casual every evening.

Smart casual evenings

Most evenings during your cruise holiday will be smart casual evenings so you can feel relaxed and comfortable whilst enjoying your dinner. For men, a pair of trousers, chinos or smart (dark) jeans, coupled with a polo shirt or shirt is perfectly acceptable. Some guests prefer to wear a jacket or tie which is also fine. The choice is yours.

Ladies' dress can often range from tailored trouser suits and stylish dresses to casual separates and summer dresses.

Please note: trainers, T-shirts, shorts and tracksuits are not allowed in the restaurants for evening dining. Fred. Olsen reserve the right to decline entry to those who refuse to show this courtesy to their fellow guests.

Day wear on board

Whether enjoying the sea views from the deck, or participating in the many activities available, Fred. Olsen want you to feel at ease. Casual wear is perfectly acceptable for your days on board with many guests opting for shorts and a T-shirt or polo shirt while cruising in sunny climes, and a pair of light-weight trousers and a sweater or jacket for cooler daytime temperatures.

Whilst on deck, bathing suits are a must to ensure you can make the most of the pools and Jacuzzis on board. A pair of flip flops or sandals are advisable as the decks can sometimes get very warm (and please take care, as the decks can be slippery). A T-shirt and casual shorts is often preferred for lounging by the pool. And don't forget your hat, sunglasses and sun cream, as the sun can be a lot stronger at sea.

Dress is smart casual during lunch time and as a courtesy to their fellow cruisers, guests are asked not to wear bathing suits or vests in the restaurants. However, smart shorts and a T-shirt are perfectly acceptable.

Day wear ashore

The weather can vary greatly depending on your destination and the time of year you cruise. For warm weather destinations like the Canaries, Mediterranean and the Caribbean, typical summertime wear such as T-shirts, shorts or swimwear are fine. For Shore Tours that include visits to churches, museums or cathedrals, it is advisable to dress a little more conservatively.

For cruises to cooler destinations, a pair of trousers, a jumper or jacket and a raincoat are recommended, as the weather can be changeable.

Whichever type of cruise you choose to embark on, a pair of comfortable walking shoes is strongly recommended to explore some of the fabulous destinations you will be visiting in comfort.

Are you wondering which travel documents you need to bring on board with you? Do you want to know whether there's on board Wi-Fi so you can stay in touch with your friends and family back home?

All of this information and much more can be found on our Travel Information page, which has been created to provide you with everything you need to know for a memorable and care-free cruise holiday with Fred. Olsen.

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Cruise tickets

Once you've have provided your must-have travel information on the Guest Information Form (this can be found in My Cruises, once you've made your booking) we can send you your cruise tickets.

Please be aware that we're unable to send you your cruise tickets without the completed Guest Information Form, so please don't forget to complete the information online or send it to us, as you may not be able to board your cruise ship otherwise.

Luggage tags will be sent separately to you

Your passport

It's just the normal holiday rules to follow when bringing your passport on board a cruise. Make sure it's full and valid. You'll need six months validity from the date you return home.

Special passport advice (St. Petersburg, Russia).

You'll need your passport with you at all times in St.Petersburg, as you'll pass through immigration when leaving and getting back onto your cruise ship.

Your visas

If you need a visa on your cruise, this will be highlighted on your confirmation invoice. Do double-check with your travel organiser, Embassy or Consulate if you are unsure of anything. It is the responsibility of all Non-British passport holders to ensure that they are in possession of a valid passport, and any necessary entry visa or permits for their chosen cruise. If you are unsure whether you are required to obtain such documents you MUST contact your travel organiser, or the relevant Embassy or Consulate for advice.

If you don't have the right travel documents, you may be refused carriage, or you may be subject to fines by local immigration authorities.

We don't want you to miss out on your holiday, so please always check if you're not sure what you need to bring along.

CruiseAbroad and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are pleased to recommend specialist cruise insurance providers Holiday Extras for insurance cover of their cruise holiday.

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We're sure you'll always feel thoroughly spoilt on board Fred. Olsen's fleet of smaller, friendly cruise ships, however if you're looking for a little extra pampering, treating yourself to a relaxing treatment in the soothing surroundings of the Atlantis Spa is the ultimate indulgence.

Although a relaxing and indulgent experience on board Fred. Olsen's ships is paramount, it's important for many guests to have ways to stay in shape as they explore the world.

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Excursions (Shore Tours) cover a wealth of attractions in every destination, helping you make the most of your time in port! To ensure you do not miss out on a single experience when it comes to exploring and enjoying the destinations visited, we suggest a little planning in advance. The team have done their homework and prepared an exciting collection of cruise excursions for you to choose from.

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, in conjunction with Studio O, is pleased to offer you the opportunity to have a professional portrait session on your next cruise.

Studio O, the latest addition to our on board photography service, offers a relaxed an informal environment within which your cruise memories will be captured. And by bringing together the skills and experience of our photographers, they will ensure they create your perfect picture.

And a Fred. Olsen cruise is the ideal time to have your photographs taken, you are relaxed, well rested and enjoying your time on board! So why not take advantage of your professional photographers on board and have a more relaxed informal portrait session during your next cruise?

Cruise Portrait - An Ideal Gift

Portraits are an ideal gift for loved ones, or why not consider giving a portrait session as a gift for a friend or family member who will be taking a Fred. Olsen Cruise?

A variety of different packages are on offer to suit your requirements, with albums and ready to frame print collections, all at affordable prices.

Fred. Olsen is renowned for great value cruises, with almost everything included in the price you pay for your holiday. Now you can save even more with our All Inclusive Upgrade, which offers guests the chance to enjoy a selection of beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks from just £10 per person, per night*. By upgrading to All Inclusive, you can treat yourself to premium drinks and cocktails at half price too

Start your day with a refreshing glass of juice by the pool; round off the evening with a G&T; or simply indulge throughout the day – after all, you are on holiday! You can relax with that extra drink or two, safe in the knowledge that there's no need to worry about the bar bill at the end your holiday. It's all part of experiencing a hassle-free cruise with Fred. Olsen

*All Inclusive prices are quoted per person, per night. Festive Sailings, Speciality Sailings and Mini-Cruises are available at a higher rate.

What is included in your All Inclusive Upgrade:

In the bar
  • Selection of soft drinks by the glass: post mix Pepsi, lemonade, tonic water, juices and mineral/spring water.
  • Selected red and white house wines by the glass.
  • Selected branded beers in cans or on draught.
  • House spirits: white rum, gin, vodka, whisky and brandy.
In the restaurants & buffet areas
  • Selection of soft drinks, mineral/spring water & juices by the glass.
  • Selected red and white house wines by the glass.
  • Selected branded canned beer(s).
  • Regular tea & coffee
Premium drinks are discounted too:
  • 50% discount off premium & branded drinks, red and white wines (not Champagne or sparkling wine), cocktails, bottled water (rooms or public areas).
All Inclusive Upgrade Terms and Conditions
  • *Those booked under a concession will be charged at rate advised when booking
  • Excludes all flights and transfers (unless otherwise advised).
  • Excludes shore excursions unless stated otherwise in the tours programme.
  • Excludes Traditional Afternoon Tea & Wine Fayres (chargeable at full price).
  • Excludes Cafe Venus chocolates and beverages; all speciality coffees.
  • Excludes mini bar drinks and drinks ordered from room service (other than those listed in the room).
  • Excludes drinks brought ashore.
  • Drinks inclusive package must be purchased for the full duration of the cruise, by all guests sharing a room.
  • Discounted drinks package must be pre-booked at least six days prior to the cruise.
  • Not available on cruises over 35 nights duration.
  • The upgrade is not available to book once on board Mini cruises.
  • All Inclusive Upgrade offer covers selected beer, wines, spirits and soft drinks.
  • The selection of drinks may be subject to change without prior notice.
  • All drinks are subject to availability.
  • Any additional expenditure will need to be paid separately before disembarking.
  • There is no refund or cash alternative for this offer.
  • Cruises may be excluded at FOCL's discretion.
  • The All Inclusive Upgrade must be taken by all guests on a booking, including any children.
  • Which drinks are included in the All Inclusive Upgrade?
  • Bars:
  • Selection of soft drinks by the glass: Post mix Pepsi, lemonade, tonic water, juices and mineral/spring water.
  • Selected red and white house wines by the glass.
  • Selected branded beers in cans or draught.
  • House spirits from the following range: Rum, Gin, Vodka, Whisky and Brandy.
  • Restaurant/Buffet Areas:
  • Selection of soft drinks, mineral/spring water & juices by the glass.
  • Red and white House wines by the glass.
  • Selected branded canned beer(s).
  • Discounted Drinks
  • Guests with the All Inclusive Upgrade are also entitled to 50% discount on premium and branded drinks, wines (excluding champagne or sparkling wine) cocktails, and bottled water (in cabins or public areas).
  • The following are not covered within the All Inclusive Upgrade Offer:
  • Shore Tours
  • Tips
  • Beauty salon treatments
  • Casino
  • Champagne and sparkling wine
  • Premium drinks and branded drinks (available at 50% discount once upgrade purchased)
  • Cocktails (available at 50% discount once upgrade purchased)
  • Mini bars and cabin service, other than those listed in the cabin service menu
  • Drinks taken ashore
  • Specialty teas and coffees
  • Premium Traditional Afternoon Tea Service & Wine Fayres
  • Wines that are not listed in the All Inclusive package
  • Medical expenses
  • In cabin shopping
  • On board shops
  • Other optional spend, during travel to the ship and while on board, are not included.

As with any holiday, staying healthy helps you enjoy your time to the full.

Medical Facilities for your peace of mind - all Fred. Olsen cruise ships have a Medical Centre offering primary and emergency care, with a doctor and/or nurse on call at all times. All cruise ships have two qualified nurses on board.

The Medical Centres charge for consultations, prescriptions and room visits. A scale of charges is displayed in each Medical Centre: charges will be billed to your on board account.

If you are bringing medication with you, please bring adequate supplies to last for the duration of your cruise. Please ensure you pack medication in your hand luggage if required en route to the vessel. A copy of any regular presciption would also be useful in the event of a medical emergency. Sharp boxes are available on request.

Please make sure that any serious pre-existing medical condition that could adversely affect your cruise is brought to the attention of our Medical Department well in advance of your cruise departure.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines pride themselves on providing guests with a memorable cruise holiday experience, with your comfort and safety at the fore.

Attention to your security extends throughout your cruise holiday, whether that's your transfers to and from your cruise ship, within the cruise terminals, whilst on-board your cruise ship, on a shore tour, or on a flight if you have opted for a fly-cruise package.

Your room card is your personal ID card for the duration of your cruise and must be presented to security staff every time you board or leave the vessel.

At all times, guests are expected to follow the direction of the vessel's Master who will take the appropriate action to ensure the safety, security and well-being of all our guests. Ultimately, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines reserve the right to disembark any guest refusing to adhere to policies. Additionally, guests are expected to comply with all laws of the destinations visited.

Safety and security is everyone's responsibility. Should you become aware of potentially dangerous or illegal behaviour during your cruise it is asked that you report it immediately to the ship's Security Staff or any other cruise ship management.

Crew members are not permitted to socialise with guests beyond their professional duties, and are not permitted in guest rooms unless in the performance of their duties. Guests are not permitted in crew-only areas. We ask you to please adhere to these policies.

Guests must not tamper with any of the vessel's equipment unless specifically directed to by crew member. Any other behaviour deemed as unsafe or offensive, including failure to follow security instructions, will not be tolerated

Keep in touch on your cruise

Whilst on board you will be able to use your mobile, tablet and other wi-fi enabled devices to connect with friends and family at home. You can choose to buy pay-as-you-go or day packages, allowing you to email friends and family, keep up to date with the news and upload your photos as you cruise! Simply connect to our wi-fi once aboard, select your package and any charges will be billed directly to your on board account.

Please be aware that this service is operated over a satellite connection, therefore speeds can be slower than you would experience at home, and is subject to service operation.

For more information regarding our on board wi-fi and internet services, just ask at Guest Services.

Important information for guests requiring assistance with mobility.

Going Ashore - Your safety and wellbeing on Fred. Olsen cruise ships is a main concern and we want you to be as comfortable as possible when leaving and getting back on board.

Some ports will require guests to go ashore by tender, i.e. with access down the steps of a gangway.

There are 25 steps from your cruise ship to the tender on all our vessels (except Braemar where there is a maximum of 7). Please ask about your particular cruise at the time of booking.

On health and safety grounds, wheelchair-users or those requiring more than minimal assistance to board/alight a tender will be unable to go ashore on these occasions.

Each cruise detail page highlights the tender ports on individual cruise itineraries.

Fred. Olsen are committed to ensuring that all our guests are able to make the most of their experience on board and crew make efforts to assist guests as much as they can. Fred. Olsen's four ships conform to the latest health and safety legislation and regulations under the Flag of Registry of the ship, and in accordance with the IMO (International Maritime Organization) convention to ensure Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS).

Under SOLAS Regulations, for each guest reliant on, or registered to take, a wheelchair on board a Fred. Olsen ship, two crew members are automatically assigned to assist in the event of an emergency on a 24-hour basis (two crew members on three eight-hour shifts). These crew members will go to the guest room immediately in the event of an incident and will oversee the evacuation of the guest. If an emergency occurs during the day on board the ship, wheelchair guests will be assisted from their respective locations, which are likely to be in the visible public areas of the ship.

All crew members specifically assigned to assist guests with wheelchairs are fully trained for this purpose.

General Mobility Information Guide

Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines warmly welcomes guests dependent on the use of a wheelchair/scooter for mobility on all vessels within their fleet. However, with the very different nature of a holiday at sea when compared to one on land it is very strongly recommend you are accompanied by an able-bodied companion who is responsible for providing any assistance that you may require both on board and ashore. On board staff are unable to offer any sustained or long term assistance. If you opt to travel alone but it transpires that you are unable to cope on board you will be required to meet with a senior officer to discuss the situation, and in extreme circumstances asked to disembark the vessel at your own expense. If in any doubt prior to departure as to whether Fred. Olsen can safely accept the guest for passage, the right is reserved to insist a guest is accompanied by an able-bodied companion.

The number of guests either reliant upon the use of a wheelchair/scooter, or with reduced mobility, that can be accepted is governed by the number of crew assigned to assist disabled/mobility impaired guests in the unlikely event of an emergency. This is in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation's convention on ‘ Safety of Life at Sea ‘ (SOLAS), governing the safe evacuation of a vessel within 30 minutes of the emergency alarm being sounded. This regulation is not superseded by the EU Passenger Bill of Rights Regulation 1177/2010, effective 18 December 2012, concerning the rights of guests when travelling by sea or inland waterways.

Other guests who request to bring a wheelchair/scooter solely to assist them in covering significant distances ashore will therefore be restricted from using their wheelchair when the vessel is at sea. These chairs will be stored safely in the vicinity of the gangway by Security Officers. Owing to limited storage space, the number of wheelchairs/scooters that can be accepted for this purpose is strictly limited.

Adapted Rooms

A limited number of rooms on each ship have been adapted to facilitate more comfortable occupation for such guests. ( 4 on Black Watch, Boudicca, Braemar and 9 on Balmoral). Only these rooms have wide thresholds to facilitate the acceptance of a wheelchair/scooter.

However, it must be stressed that these rooms have been modified based on original specifications as opposed to purpose built, and consequently may still pose difficulties to those guests fully reliant upon a wheelchair.

For example, bathrooms on Black Watch have a small ‘ ridge' to negotiate in the shower area which retains the shower water. This can hinder the manoeuvrability of a wheelchair. On Braemar the adapted rooms are not recommended to any wheelchair bound guest, owing to the very limited turning circle within the room, restricting easy access to the ramped bathroom entrance.

For all adapted rooms, there are no handrails in the main room area, only in the shower/WC. A rail is provided to assist with use of the WC and a fixed seat is provided in the shower. In effect the entire floor of your bathroom acts as the shower tray. Your dedicated Stewardess will naturally clean and dry the floor as required. Bed and toilet heights are relatively low, however, an additional mattress and/or raised toilet seat can be requested. All rooms have a telephone link with both the ship's Guest Services and Medical Centre.

Guests are welcome to bring or privately hire additional equipment, such as hoists if required. With prior approval from FOCL the delivery/collection and safe use of such equipment will be entirely the responsibility of the individual.

In our opinion, Boudicca is the most wheelchair friendly vessel in the fleet owing to the very generous room dimensions and layout.

Wheelchair/Scooter specification

In all cases guests must supply their own wheelchair/scooter. On safety grounds such devices weighing in excess of 25kgs unladen, cannot be carried ashore at any ports of call, unless easily dismantled with each part weighing no more than 25 kilos. Again, in line with SOLAS regulations, wheelchairs must not be left unattended at anytime in public areas and/or corridors.

General

In general, and particularly on guest accommodation decks, wheelchair users will encounter shallow gradient ramps and shallow risers as a result of the vessel's construction and location of fire and water tight doors. Similarly, public areas and Promenade Decks are accessed via shallow ramps or a gradual slope. Subject to the vessels superstructure, not all doors leading on to open deck areas will be suitable for wheelchair users. Staff will be happy to offer advice on the most practical exit/entrance for you. While all ships have public lifts to all guest decks, excluding Sun Deck, these do have restricted space for wheelchairs, particularly for the larger motorised type. Please bear in mind that most doors leading to outside decks are non-automated and to serve their purpose are very heavy and could not be negotiated by a wheelchair/scooter user unless accompanied by an able-bodied companion.

Embarkation/Disembarkation

Regrettably, owing to the non-availability of either an overhead air-bridge or sloped gangway in the regional ports of of Avonmouth, Liverpool and Rosyth Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are physically restricted from getting guests fully confined to their wheelchair on board. In these ports the guest must be able to manage a stepped gangway with the minimal of assistance of either a crew member or their suitably able bodied travelling companion. The angle of gangway is subject to the tidal conditions. In general regional port facilities fall short of those found in the major cruise hubs. Also unless the overseas ports have an overhead air-bridge facility, it may not be possible to disembark wheelchair confined guests.

Tender Service

At times where a physical berth cannot be allocated in a port the ship may have to anchor off and utilise a ship to shore tender service. We regret that on safety grounds wheelchair confined guests will be unable to go ashore. Please note that on these occasions there may be up to 24 steps down to the tender platform. Fully collapsible wheelchairs can be carried on board a tender, but the guest in question must be able to board the tender with the minimum of assistance. Whereas tender ports are generally known in advance of arrival and as detailed in both our brochure and on our website, unforeseen circumstances on the day may necessitate such a service should the original berth become unavailable for whatever reason.

Shore Tour Programme

Unless able to climb the steps of a coach, it will not be possible to participate in the programme of organised shore excursions we offer for sale on board. This includes tours with minimal walking involved at destination. We also cannot guarantee easy wheelchair access to all attractions visited on shore tours, or access to shuttle buses provided by the local port authority.

Please however contact our Shore Tours Department should you wish to explore private tour arrangements with suitable transport.

Deaf and visually impaired Guests

As with mobility impaired guests it is strongly recommended that guests are accompanied by an able-bodied companion to assist them both on board and ashore.

Whereas infra-red hearing loops are fitted on all vessels, with headsets available from Guest Services, for use in the main ‘Show Lounge', please note that this headset system is not suitable for people who wear permanently inserted hearing devices; and none of the rooms feature any additional emergency equipment such as flashing lights or ‘bed shakers' that can be used in the event of an emergency. In the event of an emergency specifically trained and assigned crew will come directly to your room. However, please provide advance notice of any serious hearing impairment.

Fred. Olsen aim to provide the best possible customer care to everyone who cruises with them.

Customer Care - Staff will do everything possible to make you feel relaxed the moment you step on board, and will do their best to make sure your cruise is as satisfying, memorable and enjoyable as possible.

If you have any customer service issues or items of lost property whilst on your cruise, please speak to Guest Services

Your cruise holiday booking information will provide the latest medical advice, depending on the ports of call for your chosen cruise.

Health Advice

You may well be cruising to the exotic and the tropical, so do make sure you have the right vaccinations. Check your cruise holiday booking guide. We'd suggest that you speak to your GP to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

Be safe on shore

Remember that some foreign countries have different hygiene and safety standards, so take care when you're on shore - especially with local food and drink. ‘Common sense' is always the watchword.

Sunburn

Take care to avoid sunburn and UV light reflection from the water as well as from the sun, as this is more likely when you are at sea.

Pack a Health Travel Kit

You may want to consider packing some of the following items when taking a cruise:

  • Sunscreen of at least SPF15
  • Plasters
  • Hand gel
  • Insect repellant
  • Anthihistamines
  • Anti-Diarrhoea pills
  • Sea sickess tablets

It's the people you're with that make any experience special and travelling as a group makes for a great holiday: you can share all the unique moments you'll have along the way with friends old and new. There's no better way to do this than on a Fred. Olsen cruise.

If you're a member of an association, club or corporate group, or you have friends or family travelling together, you'll find Fred. Olsen's smaller, more intimately sized ships suit group travel particularly well. Larger groups can even make ‘full ship group' bookings and enjoy an exclusive cruise on board our ships. No matter the size of your party, you and your travelling companions can cruise in confidence, knowing that every aspect of your holiday has been taken care of.

As a family-run company, Fred. Olsen prefer a more personal style of service and take time to get to know guests and what they want from their holiday, providing a friendly, more sociable environment for guests so they can experience a memorable cruise without ever feeling overcrowded. You won't find long queues for dining and entertainment venues, or gimmicks such as climbing walls and wave machines. Instead you'll discover comfortable lounges and bars, fantastic open-decks and plenty of other places to relax and take it all in – perfect for group travel.

Group Leaders Travel Free

One of the best benefits of Group Travel with Fred. Olsen is that you can earn free places on our cruises, depending on your booking and the size of your group. Once you hit your group passenger target (usually between 15 and 30 guests, depending on the cruise chosen) you will be given a free cruise place as the group leader.

Depending on your cruise chosen, you may be able to earn multiple free places, so the more people you book, the more free places you could receive. Plus specially reduced rates can be offered to partners of group leaders wishing to share the same room.

Travel with a group & your party can enjoy a choice of the following added value benefits*

  • Free on board spending money
  • Free group drinks party, including wine, sherry, soft drinks, & cold canapes (subject to minimum numbers).
  • Preferential group dining on request (subject to availability).
  • Private group Afternoon Tea on request.
  • Group photograph on request.
  • Exclusive use of on board facilities, such as the Card Room, lecture areas, & meeting rooms for private activities, on request.
  • Free support arranging exclusive group shore tours on request.
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Accounts

One card is all you need

To make your cruise as effortless as we can, you can use your cruise card to pay for any of the services on board you might like to use, except foreign currency exchange or playing at Gaming Tables.

Using your card on board

You will be given an on board cruise card when you check-in for your cruise holiday. Just present your debit or credit card and sign a receipt - and keep a copy for your reference. Anything you pay for will be automatically charged to your account and debited from your card when you leave the cruise. You can keep up to date and check your balance at any time.

Most credit cards are accepted - Diners Club, Eurocard, Mastercard and Visa. (Acceptance of American Express cards is currently unavailable.) All credit card payments have a 1.5% surcharge. Debit cards are accepted with no surcharge.

Unfortunately the acceptance of Maestro, Solo, Electron or travel agent debit cards or pre-paid currency or travellers cheque cards is not available. American Express paper Traveller's cheques are accepted. The currency on board is Sterling, so if you're settling your account in cash, then Sterling will be required.

Cruise ship currency

Currencies for most of the ports of call visited are carried on board and available to purchase from Reception.

Air-conditioning on your cruise ship

Fred. Olsen keep you feeling fresh from the deck, with all public areas and rooms fully air conditioned.

Cruise at just the right room temperature. You'll find an individual temperature control in your room, so you can warm up or cool down just as you like.

B

Beauty Salon

All Fred. Olsen cruise ships have fully equipped beauty salons - the Atlantis Health and Spa - which is perfect for pampering and special treats. They offer a wide range of services including hairdressing, manicures, massage and spa treatments. Please visit the beauty salons on board to view the full range of treatments available. You would be well advised to book treatments for formal nights as soon as you get on board as these days are normally extremely busy. On the first night of your cruise there will be a Spa Tour with free raffle and refreshments.

On both Balmoral and Braemar information on the available treatments can be viewed on FOi (Interactive TV) by visiting 'General Information' from the main menu and selecting 'Beauty and Health'.

Beds & Bedding

Throughout your cruise holiday, your room beds will be made up for you by your stewardess whilst you are enjoying your evening meal. Bedding configurations vary across the fleet, so please check your confirmation invoice for details. Many rooms on Braemar, Boudicca and Balmoral can be configured as either a twin or double, and this will be detailed on your confirmation invoice where applicable.

Bureau de Change

Fred. Olsen offer fantastic competitive rates on foreign currency - delivered to your cruise ship prior to the start of your cruise holiday. All Fred. Olsen cruise ships operate a bureau de change facility on board, where foreign currency can be purchased or sold. This facility is located at the Reception Desk. All major currencies are stocked based upon the itinerary of the cruise, with no commission charged and with rates comparable to high street banks or bureau de change. You may purchase foreign currency with travellers cheques or cash. Alternatively, you may use your payment card to buy Sterling to then purchase foreign currency for which a charge of 3.5% will be applied. (Please note that owing to local restrictions some currencies cannot be carried).

C

Card Room

A designated card room is available on board each cruise ship and Bridge tuition is offered on many Black Watch, Balmoral, Boudicca and Braemar cruises by qualified instructors.

Casino

There is a small gaming area on all Fred. Olsen vessels where you can try your hand at Blackjack and Roulette. Please note that games of chance may not be charged back to your room account.

Children's Facilities

On peak holiday cruises, a variety of family orientated childrens activities are arranged. These activities will include arts and crafts, disco's, treasure hunts and similar events, which will be advertised in the Daily Times on board. Separate family pool times will also be advertised.

Whereas these activities will be run by team of hosts and hostesses, they will not be supervised and will require the parent/guardian to be in attendance at all times. These activities are designed to promote family fun, and whilst the target age is 5-11 years, all family members are welcome.

Babysitting
There is no babysitting service offered during your cruise holiday.

Church Services

After breakfast on Sundays a Christian service with prayers and readings will be held, led by the Cruise Director. During Christmas cruises, Easter cruises and World cruises there will be a Chaplain on board all Fred. Olsen cruise ships who will lead multi-denominational services.

D

Daily Times

Each evening during the course of your cruise holiday, a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your room, detailing events and timings for the following day. This will include time zone changes and dress code guidelines.

Dancing

There will be plenty of opportunity to practice and show your dancing skills during your cruise holiday. From ballroom to line dancing and dancing the night away in the disco, there is the variety to suit all tastes and skills. Dance classes are often held throughout each cruise holiday, details of which will be advertised in the daily newsletter, the Daily Times. Dance hosts are on board all cruises to make sure single Guests are never too long without a dance partner.

Dietary Requirements

To help you enjoy every aspect of your cruise holiday Fred. Olsen happily cater for the following dietary requirements; diabetic, gluten/ wheat free, dairy free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, low fat/ cholesterol and low salt. All we ask is that you kindly provide 6 weeks advance notice. For anyone with food allergies/ intolerances you will have the opportunity early in the cruise to meet with either the Maitre d' or Executive Chef to discuss any special requests.

Dining

Once you have embarked your cruise ship, the Maitre d' on board allocates your final dining table arrangements. Your preferred dining time, early 6.15pm or main 8.30pm will be confirmed, subject to availability, at time of booking. When you arrive on board you will find a Restaurant Seating Card in your room, which will advise you of your table number and dining time. A buffet breakfast and lunch will also be served in the Palms Cafe on both Braemar and Balmoral, the Braemar Garden Cafe on Black Watch and Secret Garden on Boudicca. Weather permitting food may also be available from outside deck areas.

The main restaurants are:

Black Watch - Glentanar Restaurant

Boudicca* - Four Seasons and Tintagel Restaurants

Braemar - Thistle and Grampian Restaurants

Balmoral - Ballindalloch, Avon and Spey Restaurants.

Ballindalloch is the main restaurant on Deck 6, whilst the Avon and Spey are more intimate restaurants on Deck 10. Menu and service are identical.

Mealtimes are as flexible as possible - after all you are on holiday. Breakfast is normally served between 7.15 and 10.00am, and lunch between 12.00 and 2.00pm in the main restaurants. A buffet breakfast and lunch will also be served in the Palms cafe on both Braemar and Balmoral, Braemar Garden Cafe on Black Watch, and weather permitting in the Poolside Cafe and Marquee Bar on Black Watch.

Open Sitting evening dining is offered as an informal option in the Braemar Garden Cafe on Black Watch, The Secret Garden on Boudicca, and The Palms Cafe on both Braemar and Balmoral. These informal restaurants operate on a self service basis, but a bar service is available.

Check your Daily Times for opening hours. Please note that all restaurants on board operate a no smoking policy.

*Boudicca also features ‘The Grill' an all fresco dining experience, open subject to weather conditions poolside on Deck 6. This is open for breakfast and lunch, but in the evening is a ‘reservation only' dining experience for which a small supplement applies

Disability and Reduced Mobility

General Mobility Information Guide

Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines warmly welcomes guests dependent on the use of a wheelchair/scooter for mobility on all vessels within their fleet.* However, with the very different nature of a holiday at sea when compared to one on land it is very strongly recommend you are accompanied by an able-bodied companion who is responsible for providing any assistance that you may require both on board and ashore. On board sustained or long term assistance is not available . If you opt to travel alone but it transpires that you are unable to cope on board you will be required to meet with a senior officer to discuss the situation, and in extreme circumstances asked to disembark the vessel at your own expense. If in any doubt prior to departure as to whether the guest can be safely accepted for passage, Fred. Olsen do reserve the right to insist a guest is accompanied by an able-bodied companion.

The number of guests either reliant upon the use of a wheelchair/scooter, or with reduced mobility, that can be accepted is governed by the number of crew assigned to assist disabled/mobility impaired guests in the unlikely event of an emergency. This is in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation's convention on ‘ Safety of Life at Sea ‘ (SOLAS), governing the safe evacuation of a vessel within 30 minutes of the emergency alarm being sounded. This regulation is not superseded by the EU Passenger Bill of Rights Regulation 1177/2010, effective 18 December 2012, concerning the rights of guests when travelling by sea or inland waterways.

Other guests who request to bring a wheelchair/scooter solely to assist them in covering significant distances ashore will therefore be restricted from using their wheelchair when the vessel is at sea. These chairs will be stored safely in the vicinity of the gangway by Security Officers. Owing to limited storage space the number of wheelchairs/scooters accepted for this purpose is strictly limited.

*Please see section 'Embarkation/Disembarkation'.

Adapted Rooms

A limited number of rooms on each ship have been adapted to facilitate more comfortable occupation for such guests. (4 on Black Watch, Boudicca, Braemar and 9 on Balmoral) . Only these rooms have wide thresholds to facilitate the acceptance of a wheelchair/scooter.

However, it is stressed that these rooms have been modified based on original specifications as opposed to purpose built, and consequently may still pose difficulties to those guests fully reliant upon a wheelchair.

For example, bathrooms on Black Watch have a small ‘ ridge' to negotiate in the shower area which retains the shower water. This can hinder the manoeuvrability of a wheelchair. On Braemar the adapted rooms are not recommended to any wheelchair bound guest, owing to the very limited turning circle within the room, restricting easy access to the ramped bathroom entrance.

For all adapted rooms there are no handrails in the main room area, only in the shower/WC. A rail is provided to assist with use of the WC and a fixed seat is provided in the shower. In effect the entire floor of your bathroom acts as the shower tray. Your dedicated Room Stewardess will naturally clean and dry the floor as required. Bed and toilet heights are relatively low, however, an additional mattress and/or raised toilet seat can be requested. All rooms on board have a telephone link with both the ship's Reception and Medical Centre.

Guests are welcome to bring or privately hire additional equipment, such as hoists if required. With prior approval from FOCL the delivery/collection and safe use of such equipment will be entirely the responsibility of the individual.

In our opinion the Boudicca is the most wheelchair friendly vessel in the fleet owing to the very generous room dimensions and layout.

Wheelchair/Scooter specification

In all cases guests must supply their own wheelchair/scooter. On safety grounds such devices weighing in excess of 25kgs unladen, cannot be carried ashore at any ports of call, unless easily dismantled with each part weighing no more than 25 kilos. Again, in line with SOLAS regulations, wheelchairs must not be left unattended at anytime in public areas and/or corridors.

General

In general, and particularly on guest accommodation decks, wheelchair users will encounter shallow gradient ramps and shallow risers as a result of the vessel's construction and location of fire and water tight doors. Similarly, public areas and Promenade Decks are accessed via shallow ramps or a gradual slope. Subject to the vessels superstructure, not all doors leading on to open deck areas will be suitable for wheelchair users. Staff will be happy to offer advice on the most practical exit/entrance for you. While all ships have public lifts to all guest decks, excluding Sun Deck, these do have restricted space for wheelchairs, particularly for the larger motorised type. Please bear in mind that most doors leading to outside decks are non-automated and to serve their purpose are very heavy and could not be negotiated by a wheelchair/scooter user unless accompanied by an able-bodied companion.

Embarkation/Disembarkation

Regrettably, owing to the non-availability of either an overhead air-bridge or sloped gangway in the regional ports of of Avonmouth, Liverpool and Rosyth, Fred. Olsen are physically restricted from getting guests fully confined to their wheelchair on board. In these ports the guest must be able to manage a stepped gangway with the minimal of assistance of either a crew member or their suitably able bodied travelling companion. The angle of gangway is subject to the tidal conditions. In general regional port facilities fall short of those found in the major cruise hubs. Also, unless the overseas ports have an overhead air-bridge facility, Fred. Olsen may not be able to disembark wheelchair confined guests.

Tender Service

At times where Fred. Olsen cannot be allocated a physical berth in a port they may have to anchor off and utilise a ship to shore tender service. On safety grounds wheelchair confined guests will be unable to go ashore. Please note that on these occasions there may be up to 24 steps down to the tender platform. Fully collapsible wheelchairs can be carried on board a tender, but the guest in question must be able to board the tender with the minimum of assistance. Whereas tender ports are generally known in advance of arrival and as detailed in both our brochure and on our website, unforeseen circumstances on the day may necessitate such a service should the original berth become unavailable for whatever reason.

Shore Tour Programme

Unless able to climb the steps of a coach, it will not be possible to participate in the programme of organised shore excursions offered for sale on board. This includes tours with minimal walking involved at destination. Easy wheelchair access cannot be guaranteed to all attractions visited on shore tours, or access to shuttle buses provided by the local port authority.

Please however contact the Shore Tours Department should you wish to explore private tour arrangements with suitable transport.

Deaf and visually impaired Guests

As with mobility impaired guests it is strongly recommend guests are accompanied by an able-bodied companion to assist them both on board and ashore.

Whereas infra-red hearing loops are fitted on all vessels, with headsets available from Reception, for use in the main ‘Show Lounge', please note that this headset system is not suitable for people who wear permanently inserted hearing devices; and none of the rooms feature any additional emergency equipment such as flashing lights or ‘bed shakers' that can be used in the event of an emergency. In the event of an emergency specifically trained and assigned crew will come directly to your room. However, please provide advance notice of any serious hearing impairment.

Disembarkation

At least 24 hours before the end of your cruise full disembarkation instructions will be placed within your room. On arrival into UK ports the cruise ship has to be cleared by Customs and Immigration Officials before disembarkation can commence. This enables you to have a leisurely breakfast, vacate your room, and take a comfortable seat in one of the public lounges before being called forward according to your colour coded disembarkation card.

In general, disembarkation in a UK port commences at 0800hrs, but please allow up to 2 hours for the entire cruise ship to be cleared. Please plan your onward journey from the UK port accordingly.

Guests disembarking overseas with independent travel plans will need to disembark the vessel between 0800 and 1030hrs.

Assistance will be given to those Guests with wheelchairs. Once leaving the vessel please ensure you collect all your luggage from the baggage reclaim area before continuing your onward journey. As baggage is arranged in the reclaim area according to deck colour it is very important to ensure that your original baggage tags are still affixed to your belongings. Please ensure you take only your belongings. Guests who take luggage belonging to fellow Guests will have to pay any charges incurred in returning luggage to its rightful owner.

Full disembarkation procedures will be placed in all rooms, and for operational reasons may differ slightly from the above.

Dress code

To help you decide what to pack we have put together the following simple guidelines. Other information about your cruise holiday on board experience may also help with packing for your holiday.

During the Day

Daytime dress is casual. Casual shirts, shorts and beachwear are ideal, although it is asked that you to adhere to appropriate dress codes in the main restaurants. For going ashore and walking on deck, flat, comfortable shoes are a must. It is also recommended that you take a lightweight jacket or fleece for the evenings.

Don't forget your sun cream, hats and sunglasses, as the power of the sun is magnified at sea.

During the evening there are:

Formal nights – For ladies, this is the opportunity to wear a cocktail or evening dress. For gentlemen, dinner jacket or tuxedos. Alternatively, a dark suit and tie is acceptable.

Smart casual – Stylish leisure wear is ideal. Open neck shirts with collars please, for the men; whilst casual separates or a summer dress will be fine for the ladies. The requirement for a jacket and/or tie is optional, but is often the preferred choice of many of our guests. Chino type trousers and smart dark jeans are acceptable, but no trainers please.

As a guideline there are normally four formal nights on a two week cruise, with the remaining nights as smart casual. The number of formal nights for your particular cruise will be advised in your ticket pack.

Please note that on day of embarkation a Smart Casual code for dinner is recommended as your baggage can take up to 2 hours to be delivered to your room.

Drinks Parties

At the start of your cruise holiday, all Guests will be invited to the Welcome Drinks Party hosted by the Captain. This party will enable you to meet staff on board and help you to get to know your fellow guests. A Farewell Party is also held on the penultimate night. Various other drinks parties may be held throughout the duration of the cruise, for example for members of our Oceans Club.

In addition you may wish to host your own private party at a named venue of your choice on board (subject to availability). Personalised invitations can be delivered to your guests' rooms on request. Prices on application.

Duty Free

Guests should kindly note that due to company policy, only alcohol purchased on Fred. Olsen cruise ships may be consumed on board. Any alcohol brought from ashore will be placed in safe keeping by the ship's security officers and returned at the end of the cruise. However, you may purchase cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol to enjoy on board or take home via either Room Shopping Service, or on-board boutique, which give you excellent savings on shoreside prices. Duty Free purchases can normally be made on the last full day of your sailing, subject to itinerary. See 'Shopping & Duty Free' for more details.

E

Embarkation

Check-in procedures:

At check-in you will need to produce both your ticket and passport, so ensure you have both readily to hand. All Guests are required to check-in no less than 1 hour before sailing time. Exact details regarding where and when to check-in for your cruise will be advised in your ticket pack.

On arrival at the port you will be directed to the baggage drop-off area where porters will be on hand to take your luggage from you. Baggage without labels will not be accepted. Your baggage will then be taken directly to your room after passing through security checks. Wheelchair assistance is available from the port authorities on arrival. When departing from a UK port it is strongly recommended you carry dress and suit carriers as hand baggage, since these can get damaged when passing through the main baggage security scanners.

At check-in you will be required to present your passport and valid cruise ticket. At this time you will be issued with your ship's pass and boarding card. You may then relax in the cruise terminal lounge until embarkation commences. Most cruise terminals offer refreshment, telephone and toilet facilities.

Check-in and embarkation arrangements for fly-cruises will differ from ex UK cruises; full details will be enclosed in your ticket pack.

Security:

Owing to strict security measures, no visitors are allowed on board.

At check-in you will receive a ship's pass which acts as your security pass and on board account card for the full duration of the cruise. Each time you embark or disembark the vessel your card will be swiped to record whether you are on board or ashore. In addition your hand luggage may be subject to either x-ray scanning or a manual search each time you re-join the vessel.

The Merchant Shipping Act prohibits the carrying of certain items on board ship, which include:

  • All firearms and ammunition, sporting weapons, replica firearms, and explosives of any kind.
  • Knives and other sharp bladed items (including pen knives).
  • Flammable substances (petrol, methylated spirit, paint thinners etc).
  • Items containing incapacitating substances that could be used to maim or disable, such as gas cylinders, unless they form part of a ladies hairdressing kit.
  • Any other item made, adapted or intended for use as an offensive weapon.

Needless to say security for fly-cruises is also extremely tight, and a list of prohibited items will be detailed with your flight tickets.

Security checks:

Depending on the level of the port, a security check in line with the Department for Transport's regulations will be carried out.

Alcohol:

Please note that any alcohol taken on board your cruise ship, whether at embarkation, or during a port call, will be confiscated. This will be returned to you at the end of your cruise

F

First Cruise

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, cater for both seasoned cruisers and those who are new to a holiday at sea. For Guests who are cruising for the very first time, extra special attention is offered to ensure that your first cruise will be a memorable experience.

After you have booked your first cruise you will, no doubt, have many questions to which you would like answers. We hope that this comprehensive A-Z guide will answer many of your questions about cruising for the first time.

“New to Cruising”

Available for cruises departing from UK ports, excluding mini-cruises, the “New to Cruising” programme offers a number of activities that will ensure you are taken special care of as soon as you set foot on board a Fred. Olsen ship:

  • Guided Ship Tours – Shortly after boarding there will be a chance to have a guided tour of your cruise ship to help familiarise yourself with your new surroundings. You will also be able to ask any questions whilst being shown around.
  • “New to Cruising” Get-Together – Early in your cruise, you will be invited to a get together in one of the lounges so that you can meet key ship staff, your fellow first-time cruisers and hear advice about how to get the best out of your cruise.
  • “New to Cruising” Representative – Your “New to Cruising” representative will be on hand each day at a nominated time and place to answer any questions and offer advice about any aspect of your cruise.

Fitness Centre

All Fred. Olsen cruise ships have a fully-equipped fitness centre / gym, offering treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes and a variety of free weights. A choice of fitness classes to suit most levels is available throughout the cruise, including yoga, aerobics, stretch & tone and pilates, conducted by fully qualified fitness instructors. A small charge is made for some classes. The minimum age to use the fitness centre is 18 years.

Additionally you may wish to ‘smile a mile' (5 times walking around the deck on Black Watch equals 1 mile) or swim a few lengths of the pool. Black Watch and Boudicca both feature state of the art SwimEX exercise pools. You can practice your golf swing in the nets on board all our vessels.

After your workout, showers are available. You may then wish to relax in the sauna or steam room (Balmoral offers an infrared hot room as opposed to a steam/sauna room).

Fly Cruising

Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines offers an extensive fly/cruise programme, including regional departures. Should you have any special dietary needs for either airline or cruise travel, it is important that advice is provided at the time of booking. Most diets, with the exception of kosher, can be accommodated by the airlines. If you are in need of assistance at the airport it is important that you provide specific requirements for both the airport authorities and airline. This is particularly relevant if you are travelling in your own wheelchair.

FOi - Interactive TV

On both Balmoral and Braemar cruise ships, the televisions in rooms and public areas offer our own interactive information channel called FOi. This offers pay-per-view movies, room account (to view your on board spend), shore excursion information (and the facility to book via FOi), up to date information on activities taking place on the ship during your cruise, wine ordering to your table, future cruise destinations (including promotions), Room Shopping Service and all general information relating to your cruise and time on board.

Foreign Currency Service

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has appointed City Forex, a specialist provider of foreign exchange services, as preferred supplier of foreign currency to all ships. City Forex offer a unique service for our guests: order your foreign currency before your cruise departs and it will be available at Reception at the beginning of your cruise*.

Advantages of this service include;

  • Highly competitive rates
  • No commission charges
  • Remove the worry of postal deliveries or collecting high levels of cash from the High Street.
  • No exchange rate worries – your rate is fixed at time or order, not collection.
  • Buy back guarantee, commission free – any unused currency can be returned on board at the same rate of purchase.
G

Gratuities

Gratuities are not included in the cost of your holiday. However, Fred. Olsen pride themselves on the service offered to guests, and are confident that you'll wish to reward staff on board for this service, although tipping is entirely at your discretion.

Gratuities are split between your stewardess and restaurant waiter, and will be automatically added to your on board account. Please remember that gratuities, while very much appreciated, are voluntary and therefore can be adjusted or removed completely at the reception desk on board the ship if you wish.

For your convenience, you are also able to pay gratuities before your cruise. At the time of booking you will be asked if you'd like to pay prior to travel. If so, you'll pay 15% of the charge as part of your deposit, and pay the rest when the final balance of your cruise is collected.

I

Immigration

There is no need to pass through Immigration at every port of call you visit during your cruise holiday, as you will have already supplied your passport details on your booking form. Immigration officers board the ship when it docks and carry out any relevant checks from the ship's manifest before the cruise ship is ‘cleared'. Occasionally, some overseas ports will require you to take your passport ashore.

If travelling on a fly/cruise you will need to pass through Immigration Authorities at the airports.

Also see: Passports

Information Channel

During your cruise holiday, televisions in rooms and in public areas on Balmoral, Braemar, Black Watch and Boudicca, offer an information channel called Onelan, which gives details of special promotions, important information, general ship-board activities, ports of call with a weather map, Atlantis Spa treatments, restaurant times and dress code information.

Insurance

It is a condition of your contract with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines that travel insurance is taken out before travelling on any cruise. Your insurance should cover all appropriate travel, cancellation, medical, emergency airlift/boat transfer at sea and repatriation liabilites for your holiday. If this condition is not complied with, F.OCL reserves the right to cancel the contract without any liability or cost to the passenger.

Please note that final holiday documents can't be released until F.OCL has received notification of your insurance policy details, and we recommend that all guests obtain insurance as soon as possible before booking in order to cover cancellations if necessary.

WiFi

Whilst on board you will be able to use your mobile, tablet and other wi-fi enabled devices to connect with friends and family at home.

You can choose to buy pay-as-you-go or day packages, allowing you to email friends and family, keep up to date with the news and upload your photos as you cruise!

Simply connect to our wi-fi once aboard, select your package and any charges will be billed directly to your on board account.

Please be aware that this service is operated over a satellite connection, therefore speeds can be slower than you would experience at home, and is subject to service operation.

For more information regarding on board wi-fi and internet services, just ask at Guest Services.

L

Laundry Services

All Fred. Olsen cruise ships provide an excellent Laundry, Dry Cleaning and Pressing Service. A full price list and details will be found in your Welcome Pack waiting for you in your room. An additional 25% is charged for same day service.

An ironing room and self service launderette is available on all ships, where a nominal charge is made for the use of the washing machines.

Please note that travel irons are not permitted on any cruise ship.

Library

All cruise ships have a well-appointed library on board offering a wide variety of books, including some large print books. There is also a selection of board games for use during your cruise holiday. Audio books are also available, but please remember to bring your own CD player.

Luggage Allowance

Your luggage allowance will vary depending on the type of cruise you have booked. If you are sailing from a UK port 90kgs of luggage is allowed.

Once on board your cruise ship, empty suitcases can be stored under the beds in the room or in lockers. If you require further storage space, particularly on long cruises on Balmoral, Black Watch, and Boudicca please speak to your stewardess who will arrange this where possible. Storage space on Braemar is limited.

For safety and security, breakable items, valuables, jewellery and medicines should be packed in your hand luggage, not in your suitcases and kept with you at ALL times.

Please note that under health and safety guidelines coach operators limit the weight of each suitcase to 20kg. On National Express services you are limited to two suitcases per Guest, weighing a maximum of 20kg per piece. Conveyance of any further baggage above this limit is subject to space on the day and at an excess rate payable directly to the driver.

M

Medical Centre

For your peace of mind, all Fred. Olsen cruise ships have a medical centre offering primary care with a doctor and/or nurse on permanent call. They can easily be called from the phone in your room, if needed in an emergency.

The medical centres operate outside the British and European health services and charges are levied for consultations, prescriptions and room visits. A scale of charges is displayed in the medical centre and charges incurred will be billed to your on board account. Sharp boxes are available upon request.

If you are taking medication, please remember to bring adequate amounts to last the duration of the cruise. A copy of any regular prescription would also be useful in the event of a medical emergency. Please note some medications may be banned overseas, so please consult your GP.

Any serious pre-existing medical condition that could adversely affect your cruise must be brought to the attention of our Medical Department in writing well in advance of departure.

Money

See Accounts for information on what can be charged to your on board account, or Foreign Currency Service for more information on foreign exchange services before or during your cruise holiday.

N

Nautical Terms

If you are not familiar with certain nautical terms, you may find the following list of commonly-used words helpful prior to embarking on your cruise holiday:

Aft

Behind or near the back of the ship.

Ahead

Something in front of the ship's bow.

Astern

Something behind the ship.

Berth

A ship's place to dock;or, a Guest's bed.

Bow

The front end of the ship.

Bulkhead

A wall or upright position separating a ship's compartments.

Chart

A nautical map used for navigating the ship.

Course

Measured in degrees, the direction in which the ship is headed.

Debark

To leave a ship.

Draught

The depth of the water needed to float a ship; the measurement from a ship's waterline to the lowest point of its keel.

Embark

To go on board a ship.

Flagstaff

The pole at the stern of the ship from which the flag of the ship's country of the registry is flown.

Forward

Towards or at the front of the ship.

Galley

The ship's kitchen.

Hull

The framework of the ship.

Keel

The main structural member of the vessel extending along the centre of the bottom: the lateral area beneath the hull.

Knot

A unit of ship's speed, one nautical mile (approx. 1.15 land miles) per hour.

Latitude

Distance north or south of the equator.

Leeward

Toward the side of the ship that is sheltered from the wind.

Longitude

Distance east or west of the Meridian of Greenwich.

Manifest

List of the ship's Guests and crew.

Midship

The middle of the ship.

Muster

To assemble Guests and/or crew on the ship.

Pilot

Person licensed to navigate ships into or out of harbours, or difficult waters.

Port

The left- hand side of the ship (when facing forward), signified by a red light on the side of the ship.

Stabilisers

Operated by gyroscope, retractable finlike devices below the waterline that extend from a ship's hull to reduce roll and provide stability.

Starboard

The right side of a ship (when facing forward), signified by a green light on the side of the ship.

Stern

The rear of the ship.

Tender

A vessel attending a larger one:used to ferry Guests to and from shore at ports of call.

Waterline

The line along which the surface of water touches a ship's hull.

Windward

On the side of the ship, from which the wind is blowing.

O

Oceans Club

The Oceans Club is the loyalty club of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. Guests will automatically be enrolled free of charge on completion of their first cruise, and accrue Cruise Points for each night spent on board*. You can then take advantage of various benefits, and the more Cruise Points you accrue, the more benefits you receive!

There are three levels of membership:

Blue (1-30 cruise points), Silver (31-100 cruise points) and Gold (101+ cruise points), with members being automatically upgraded to the next level on completion of the appropriate cruise. A membership pack will be provided, giving full details of the club.

On check-in at Dover and Southampton Gold members are able to claim complimentary refreshments (excluding alcohol) while they wait to embark. (One drink per member on production of their Gold membership card)

Once on board, a notice will be placed in the Daily Times to advise Gold and Silver members when and where the Oceans Cocktail Party will be held.

Conditions do apply.

P

Passports

It is a condition of carriage that all Guests embarking on a cruise holiday must hold a full and valid passport, the validity of which is dependent upon the destinations visited. Validity to be at least 6 months after your return home.

It is your responsibility to ensure you hold a valid passport.

Since you will be denied boarding if unable to present your passport at check-in, please ensure your passport is kept in your hand baggage.

Please also see: Visas or our section on Travel Documents for more information on what to prepare before you cruise.

Photographs / DVDs

Resident photographers will be on hand throughout your cruise holiday to help capture those special moments. Their photographs are processed on a daily basis and will be displayed for you to purchase if you wish. Resident photographers can also assist you with the processing of your own digital images, in addition to selling other photograpic items. It is also possible for your own camera films to be processed during the cruise, with the exclusion of Advantix films. Camera film is available to buy in the ship's shop. All charges will be billed back to your on board account.

It is also now possible to obtain a DVD of your cruise from on-board photographers. This DVD will be shot during your chosen cruise.

Port Talks / Lecturers

On most cruises, there will either be a knowledgeable Port Lecturer on board, or an experienced member of tours staff, who will give talks on the forthcoming ports of call throughout the cruise. This will enable you to gain an insight into the history and geography of the port of call and find out what the main attractions and local services are, giving you a chance to plan ahead.

On both Balmoral and Boudicca there is an Infra-red Induction Loop in The Neptune Lounge to assist those guests with hearing difficulties.

Post / Postcards

If you wish to send postcards home during your cruise holiday please hand them to Reception on board who will give them to our local port agent for posting in the next port of call. A small charge will be levied to cover postage costs. Obviously, the more remote the port, the longer the postcard will take to reach home!
Delivery of mail cannot be guaranteed.

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Room

From the moment you step on board your cruise ship, staff will be waiting to welcome you and direct you to your room. Your room door is opened either by the use of your security swipe card or by the use of a key that will be found just within your open room door. A Welcome Pack of useful on board information, and a handy ship guide, will be in your room on arrival.

All rooms are provided with complimentary stationery. Each room is also equipped with a hair dryer, television and telephone. Many higher grade rooms also feature a fridge - please check at time of booking. Should you experience adverse weather conditions on your cruise holiday, the port hole covers may need to be closed.

Room Service

Throughout your cruise holiday, Fred. Olsen offers complimentary room service for breakfast and light snacks; the times and availability of each will be detailed in your Welcome Pack on board. All rooms on all cruise ships have complimentary tea/coffee making facilities.

On Balmoral and Braemar you can order breakfast on FOi (Interactive TV) by visiting 'Breakfast Service' from the main menu, or by calling room service.

If required, bath robes can be hired from Reception (subject to availability). A deposit is charged to your on board account, which is refunded when the robe is returned at cruise end.

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Safety Deposit Boxes

Safety deposit boxes are available on all Fred. Olsen cruise ships. For Guests travelling on board Black Watch, safety deposit boxes are available at Reception. There is a deposit for these (on Black Watch) which will be refunded at the end of your cruise. In addition to these safety deposit boxes, there is a lockable drawer in each room on Black Watch.

Boudicca, Braemar and Balmoral have lockable safes in each room.

Shopping On Board

The cruise ship on-board boutiques offer a wide range of items from luxury items, including jewellery, glassware and perfumes, to elegant eveningwear and casual day clothes. The shop on board each cruise ship stocks essential items such as camera film, sun cream, toiletries and other on board necessities, as well as souvenirs and cruise mementoes. The shops will be closed in some ports due to customs regulations.

You can of course buy alcohol on board at very reasonable prices, but please give any that you buy on shore to a Fred. Olsen staff member for safe storage during your cruise holiday. Alcohol can also be purchased via in-Room Shopping Service for consumption within your room or to take away with you at cruise end. Subject to your specific cruise itinerary there may also be the opportunity to purchase duty free within the last few days of your cruise.

Shore Tours/Going Ashore

Usually the cruise ship will berth in the port's harbour and a gangway will be positioned so you may come and go from the ship as you please. In smaller ports the cruise ship may be at anchor and tender boats will be provided to take you ashore. These tenders will run frequently to and from the ship and there is no charge for this service.‘Freedom' fare guests receive these shuttle services free of charge.

When a tender service is in operation, Guests may have to negotiate up to a maximum of 25 steps to/from the tender platform. Based on health and safety grounds Guests confined to a wheelchair or unable to negotiate the steps will not be able to go ashore.

A choice of shore tours are offered in nearly every port of call. Most shore tours are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable tour guides and are an excellent way of exploring the main attractions of each port of call. As these tours are very popular we strongly recommend that you pre-book in advance of your cruise to avoid disappointment, although they may also be booked on board at the Shore Tours Desk. Please note that tours are subject to minimum and maximum participating numbers and to local weather conditions. Guests on Balmoral and Braemar can preview and book tours available during their cruise, by visiting FOi (Interactive TV) under the ‘Shore Tours' menu.

For disabled Guests it cannot be guaranteed that assistance by qualified persons will be available at all ports of call. Unless able to board a vehicle unassisted it will not usually be possible for wheelchair users to participate in organised shore tours. Please ask our Shore Tour Department about independent tours with adapted vehicles.

Regrettably, on health and safety grounds it is not possible to convey any Guests ashore via a tender service if confined to a wheelchair. Similarly, it is only possible to convey collapsible wheelchairs on a tender where the user needs the minimum of assistance to board and alight the tender. This will be at the discretion of security staff on the day.

Going Ashore Independently:
Your cruise fare is fully inclusive of port taxes and charges, so as soon as the ship is cleared by customs and immigration in each port you are free to get on and off the ship as many times as you wish. When the ship is berthed some distance from the centre of town a shuttle bus service is often provided to assist with your visit and save you money on taxi fares. All day tickets (for which a small charge is made) can be bought from Reception. Shuttle buses do not operate in ports where we feel it is easy/more economical for Guests to use independent transport such as taxis, or when we are prohibited from running a service – this is particularly the case in the Caribbean.

Certain ports of call, such as Civitavecchia for Rome, or Leixoes for Oporto, are visited specifically to facilitate Fred. Olsen's shore tour programme, so independent transport may not be readily available.

Please note the ship cannot wait as a consequence of the late return of any independent tours/transport you may have booked.

Single Travellers

Single guests never need be alone on board as Fred. Olsen have the reputation of operating the friendliest cruise ships afloat and were recently voted 'Best for Solo Cruisers' by Cruise Critic. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines staff will be waiting to greet you from the moment you arrive at the port and special activities will be arranged throughout the cruise to give you the opportunity to meet with fellow single travellers if you wish. Dance hosts will be on hand on all cruises to make sure single guests never go too long without a dance partner in the evenings.

Smoking Policy

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines now operate a strict ‘no- smoking' policy in all inside areas. Smoking will only be permitted on room balconies (excluding Deck 7 Terrace Balconies on Black Watch & Boudicca) and on designated open deck areas.

Electronic cigarettes, not emitting a vapour may be used in rooms or on room balconies but, are not permitted in any non-smoking public area. They can easily be mistaken for a real cigarette and result in potential confrontation and necessitate staff intervention.

Electronic cigarettes emitting any vapour, even if only a water vapour, may only be smoked in designated external smoking areas.

Special Occasions

If you are celebrating a special anniversary or birthday whilst on board , Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines would like to help you celebrate to make the occasion even more memorable. Please advise if you are celebrating your Silver, Pearl, Ruby, Golden, Emerald or Diamond anniversary either three months before, during or after your cruise and a complimentary fantastic cruise ship 'special occasion' package will be provided. All that is asked is that you provide us with a copy of your marriage certificate prior to departure. Similarly a honeymoon on board is a unique time and the occasion will be marked in style. If it's your birthday during the cruise, celebrate with a special celebration cake presented at dinner.

In addition to this a choice of special packages are offiered which may be purchased in advance:

  • Anniversary Celebration – Flowers or chocolates in room on arrival, champagne and canapés served on your special day, anniversary gift, celebration cake and souvenir photograph.
  • Birthday Celebration – Champagne breakfast served in your room, birthday gift and card, celebration cake at dinner and souvenir photograph.
  • Welcome Aboard – Floral bouquet, champagne and canapés, chocolates and a fruit basket – all placed in your room on arrival.

Swimming Pools

All four Fred. Olsen cruise ships have outdoor swimming pool/s and a wide range of on-board leisure facilities. Swimming pools are filled with seawater and heated to approximately 30°C and Jacuzzis are approximately 34°C. Weather permitting the pools are kept open from 8am – 8pm. Towels for use around the pool and on the sun deck are available in your rooms. For hygiene purposes all pools and jacuzzis are treated with the appropriate chlorine based chemicals.
Black Watch and Boudicca also now feature state of the art SwimEX exercise pools.

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Tenders

See: Shore Tours / Going Ashore.

Tickets / Documentation

Once you have made your cruise booking, and providing you have supplied all mandatory information as requested on the Guest Information Form, you can expect to receive your tickets between 14 and 21 days prior to departure.

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Vaccinations

Depending on the ports of call of your chosen cruise, you may require certain vaccinations. If a mandatory requirement you will be advised at time of booking and/or detailed on your confirmation invoice. However, due to ever-changing health regulations, we suggest that you contact your local GP approximately 12 weeks prior to departure for the most up-to-date information. It's also worth remembering that in some foreign countries general standards of hygiene, care and safety may differ from your home country. So, when visiting ashore, ‘common sense' is the watchword, especially when choosing drinks or sampling the local cuisine.

Visas

Passport, visa and health requirements can change at any time. Once you have booked a cruise holiday with us, it is your own responsibility to ensure that you check with a professionally qualified source and comply with such requirements.

It is the responsibility of all non-British passport holders to ensure that they are in possession of a valid passport and where necessary entry visas or permits for their chosen cruise. If you are unsure as to whether you are required to obtain such documents you must contact the relevant Embassy or Consulate. Failure to comply with this request may result in refusal of carriage or the imposition of individual fines by the local immigration authorities.

Please note: When going ashore independently in certain ports of call (i.e. St Petersburg, Russia) it may be necessary for you to arrange a visitor's visa. Please see your confirmation invoice for further details of how to do this. In St Petersburg, when participating in shore excursions arranged by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, all passport holders will be covered on a group visa.

Voltage On Board

All Fred. Olsen cruise ships feature dual voltage - 110*volts requiring a US style flat 2-pin plug, and 220 volts requiring a continental round 2-pin plug (both have a 60 volt cycle)

*Shaver point only on Boudicca.

To ensure your electrical appliances are safe to use please check with Reception. Adapters can be hired on board or can be purchased at the on board shop. Travel irons are strictly prohibited.

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WiFi

Whilst on board you will be able to use your mobile, tablet and other wi-fi enabled devices to connect with friends and family at home.

You can choose to buy pay-as-you-go or day packages, allowing you to email friends and family, keep up to date with the news and upload your photos as you cruise!

Simply connect to our wi-fi once aboard, select your package and any charges will be billed directly to your on board account.

Please be aware that this service is operated over a satellite connection, therefore speeds can be slower than you would experience at home, and is subject to service operation.

For more information regarding on board wi-fi and internet services, just ask at Guest Services.

Wine List

An excellent range of wines is offered on board at exceptionally good prices on all cruise ships. You may order your wine for dinner in advance by filling in the order slip available outside the main restaurant. Alternatively your table waiters will be on hand in the restaurants to help you choose. Guests on both Braemar and Balmoral are able to order wine to their table via FOi (Interactive TV), under the section ‘Wine Selection' menu.

Whether you're new to Fred. Olsen or have set sail on many epic voyages before you can relax and cruise in confidence knowing that Fred. Olsen are a member of ABTA (W0637). ABTA and ABTA members help holidaymakers get the most out of their travel and assist them if things unfortunately don't go to plan. Fred. Olsen are obliged by ABTA to provide and maintain a high standard of service in line with their Code of Conduct. For more information visit: www.abta.com

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