Borealis’ naval architect to make inaugural return to ship with exclusive talk for guests on Iceland cruise – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Stephen Payne (right), owner's Project Manager with Loris Di Giorgio, shipyard Project Manager, at the keel laying of Rotterdam VI. Credit: Stephen Payne (Image at - May 2024)The naval architect behind Borealis will enjoy a walk down memory lane when he steps foot on the ship for the first time in 27 years.

Dr Stephen Payne OBE, who was the project manager for the building of the ship, formerly known as Rotterdam VI for Holland America, will be joining a Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines sailing to Iceland this summer.

During his time on board for the ‘Whales and Volcanic Landscapes of Iceland’ cruise in July, the Royal Designer for Industry will be delivering three talks to guests about his role in creating Borealis, another on the Battle of the Denmark Strait in 1941 and a third on HMY Britannia.

Dr Payne, who discovered that he wanted to design and build passenger ships after watching Blue Peter as a five-year-old boy in 1965, said:

“Rotterdam VI, now known as Borealis, is very special to me as it was built to replace the iconic Rotterdam V, which I’d fallen in love with because she was so different to modern ships.

“When the decision was made to build the new Rotterdam, the requirements were that it had to have all the attributes of the former ship, but with the new facilities that passengers were looking for.

“As the project manager, I oversaw the contract negotiations and the build through to the sea trials and delivery. There was such a big build up to the handover and I can only describe the occasion as like a daughter leaving home.

“July will be the first time that I’ve been on the ship since 1997 and I’m hoping I’ll rediscover the warmth and personality that she was built with. It’ll be a real walk down memory lane.”

During the cruise’s hand-crafted itinerary, guests will also have the opportunity to seek out whales and dolphins with marine wildlife charity ORCA, witness awe-inspiring waterfalls and spurting geysers and immerse in the Icelandic way of life.

James Moss, Itinerary Product Manager at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Dr Stephen Payne OBE on board Borealis for the first time since he built the ship.

“We know our guests are curious and look for enriching experiences, so this will be a golden opportunity to listen to talks from such a renowned expert in his field.”

Borealis’ 11-night S2415 ‘Whales and Volcanic Landscapes of Iceland’ cruise, departing from Dover on 11th July 2024. Prices start from £1,499 per person. Enjoy free parking in Dover.

See puffins before they migrate from Iceland
Join a tour to Vigur Islands from Ísafjörður to spot puffins
See the awe-inspiring Strokkur Geyser and powerful Goðafoss Waterfall

Itinerary: Dover, UK – Cruising by Duncansby Stack, Scotland – Cruising Pentland Firth, Scotland – Akureyri, Iceland – Cruising Eyjafjörður, Iceland – Cruising by Hrisey, Iceland – Ísafjörður, Iceland – Reykjavik, Iceland – Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland – Lerwick, Scotland – Dover, UK
For more details: Visit S2415 ‘Whales and Volcanic Landscapes of Iceland’

(Borealis’ naval architect to make inaugural return to ship with exclusive talk for guests on Iceland cruise – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)