#NoPassportCruise - Boudicca, one of Fred. Olsen Lines quartet of cruiseships is currently on a ‘No Passport Required’ circumnavigation of the UK having departed Newcastle almost a week ago, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The aim of the ‘Myths & Legends of Ireland & UK’ cruise for up to 880 passengers who had embarked in Newcastle is to experience unravelling a host of intriguing myths, mysteries and legends around these beautiful coastlines.
Tonight Boudicca is making a northerly passage off Scotland through the Hebridean Isles.
Since her departure from Newcastle, a long-term Fred Olsen homeport, the 28,551 tonnes cruiseship made Portsmouth a first port of call and then headed for Falmouth.
Following her Cornish call to the West Country, Boudicca visited Cork (Cobh) which had another successful season as previously reported and where the 1973 built ship was the final caller.
Also visited where other large ports, Dublin and Belfast.
The remaining ports of the cruise will all be Scottish based with the next been Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands. From there it’s on to Invergordon and the mainland capital of Edinburgh (Leith).
Cruise-goers will then have a final leg in the North Sea with a return call to Newcastle, marking the completion of the round-cruise. The Tyneside port has long connections with Fred. Olsen, through ferry origins and with very strong ties with Norway.
Since 1987 the cruise operator has concentrated serving from UK ports. Asides Newcastle, the passenger embarkation ports are Avonmouth, Belfast, Dover, Greenock, Harwich, Liverpool, Rosyth, Southampton and Tilbury downriver of London.
One of many popular ports visited by Fred. Olsen is the Norwegian port of Bergen which was host to an historic occasion on 28 July as all the company’s fleet had docked for the first ever time and in the same port.
A once in a lifetime spectacle for almost 4,000 passengers disembarked from the cruiseships at the south-western port in what was hailed as ‘The Fred. Olsen Fleet Unites’.
The gathering was also dubbed the ‘4 B’s In Bergen’ event given that all Olsen cruiseship names begin with the letter B. So the Boudicca’s fleetmates are named Black Watch (a sister), Braemar and the flagship, Balmoral.
Bergen was chosen for the cruise lines quartet as the origins of the company can be probably traced back to the original Olsen brothers, Frederik, Christian and Peter.
According to Ships Monthly, (November issue), the brothers from Hvitsten near Oslo, brought their first ships in 1848.
The company in the following century shared a successful partnership with the passenger ferry operator, Bergen Line during the 1960’s and 1970’s.