Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ new power boats take guests ‘closer’ to Oslofjord and the Olsen’s historic Hvitsten home

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines was pleased to showcase its ‘closer’ credentials to its guests on board Balmoral and Braemar on 21st May 2019, when the two ships docked alongside each other in Fred. Olsen’s historic home city of Oslo, Norway.

As well as taking a range of shore excursions around Oslo, or making the most of the opportunity to explore this fascinating city independently, over 100 Fred. Olsen guests were also able to experience an exhilarating ride on the Rigid Inflatable Boats (‘RIBs’) aboard Balmoral and Braemar, and also to enjoy a first-ever visit to the Olsen family estate at Hvitsten, located on atmospheric Oslofjord.

Peter Deer, Commercial Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“When we realised that Balmoral and Braemar would both be in Oslo on 21st May 2019 and this happened to coincide with the launch of two brand new RIBs, which were being installed on board Braemar that day, we decided that it was a great opportunity to put all our power boats into full use across the two ships.
“A highlight for guests taking part in our special RIBs event in Oslo – which came only a few days after the capital’s annual ‘National Day’ celebrations on 17th May – was a visit to the picturesque gardens in Hvitsten, the Olsen family’s Summer home. Here, dozens of figureheads have been placed around the grounds, from the Olsen’s many cargo ships over the decades.
“Each figurehead has its own story to tell, allowing our guests to get behind the real heritage of this long-standing shipping business and to get a ‘closer’ insight into our family ethos and values.”

Guests were able to enjoy a guided tour around the Olsen’s Hvitsten estate, taking in the beach, the old warehouse, the old school and museum, and wooden clapboard church, and to witness the breath-taking ships’ figureheads – many created by famous artists and sculptors – in a variety of spectacular settings around the grounds.

Fred. Olsen’s new state-of-the-art RIBs – built in Norway – were first introduced for the 2019/20 cruise programme, with two installed on board Boudicca, and a further two each on Black Watch and Balmoral. Braemar has now received her complement of two new RIBs.

The impressive, high-speed RIBs have proved very popular since their introduction, as demand grows amongst Fred. Olsen guests for more adventurous experiences and activities – in fact, a recent onboard guest survey identified that 66% would consider taking a Fred. Olsen ‘closer’ RIB excursion in future.

The RIBS are used to enhance the ‘closer’ experiences in enticing scenic destinations around the world, such as the Norwegian fjords and the Canary Islands, and they were used to great effect in Cádiz in September 2018, for Fred. Olsen’s historic 170th anniversary ‘Captains in Cádiz’ celebrations.

(Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)