Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ‘Elmer’s Travel Trunk’ sets sail on South American adventure, following donation of £15,000 to St Elizabeth Hospice

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 'Elmer's Travel Trunk' sets sail on South American adventure, following donation of £15,000 to St Elizabeth HospiceCrew, staff and guests aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ flagship Balmoral have been joined by a very special guest for its inaugural 2020 sailing, as ‘Elmer’s Travel Trunk’ sets sail on his first adventure with the Suffolk-based firm, to raise awareness of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Fred. Olsen – which has its Head Office in Ipswich – sponsored its very own Elmer sculpture, Elmer’s Travel Trunk, designed by Suffolk-based artist Angela Ashford, as part of ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ in 2019. The Ipswich-based campaign raised vital funds for, and awareness of, the vital work of St Elizabeth Hospice, the main hospice serving the East Suffolk area.

Fred. Olsen successfully purchased Elmer’s Travel Trunk at auction in October 2019. To offer continued support to the cause, on Monday [6th January 2020], the sculpture set sail on Balmoral’s 70-night L2001 ‘South American Exploration’, spreading word of the important work of the hospice yet further.

Before departing from Southampton, Senior Officers aboard Balmoral presented a cheque for over £15,000 to St Elizabeth Hospice’s Development Director, Judi Newman, following months of fundraising across the Fred. Olsen fleet and at its Ipswich Head Office.

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

“Our guests, staff and crew have had great fun throughout 2019 raising funds for ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’, and we are all so pleased that Elmer’s Travel Trunk can add further stamps to his passport by travelling the world with us across our fleet.

“However, behind all the fun lies a very serious message – without support like this, St Elizabeth Hospice would not be able to offer the vital support to families in Suffolk that rely upon its services during very difficult circumstances. It is a lifeline that has touched the lives of many of our colleagues and their families, and will always sit very close to our hearts.

“By having Elmer’s Travel Trunk on board with us, as we sail right across the world, we will continue to raise awareness of this incredible cause, which needs to generate £10.5 million each year to be able to operate.

“We know that Elmer will enjoy his travels with us, as much as we will enjoy having him on Balmoral!”

Judi Newman, Development Director at St Elizabeth Hospice, said:

“We are really thrilled that Elmer’s Travel Trunk will be continuing his support for St Elizabeth Hospice and heading off on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral, to continue to raise awareness about the work of the Hospice further afield.

“We would like to thank Fred. Olsen staff and guests for their amazing support and for helping us to improve life for people living with progressive and terminal illness in East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.”

‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ saw 55 large Elmer sculptures laid out across Ipswich town centre and the Waterfront from June to September 2019. It marks the 30th year since the first book of Elmer’s adventures was first published by Andersen Press, which coincided with St Elizabeth Hospice’s 30th anniversary.

Throughout the Parade, Fred. Olsen guests and crew aboard its four-strong ocean fleet – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – raised over £15,543 with various fundraising events, including raffles, sponsored swims, colourful manicures and the sale of Elmer cookies.

Meanwhile, the efforts continued shoreside,with a series of fundraising events at Fred. Olsen’s headquarters in White House Road, Ipswich.

Elmer’s Travel Trunk will now sail to South America, complete with his very own ‘passport’ to document his travels, helping to spread the word of the incredible work of Suffolk-based St Elizabeth Hospice, on an extensive 70-night exploration. Balmoral will be taking in floral Madeira and the volcanic island of São Vicente, as well as highlighting the very best of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia, along with the gorgeous Caribbean islands of Curaçao, Bonaire, Barbados, Antigua and St Kitts…after which Elmer will join other ships in the Fred. Olsen fleet for more exotic sight-seeing!

The adventures of Elmer’s Travel Trunk will conclude with the opening of Fred. Olsen’s brand new extended Head Office in Summer 2020, where he will have his permanent ‘forever’ home.

To keep up-to-date with Elmer’s adventures, follow #ElmerstravelswithFred on social media.

(Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)