Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2020

5 3 Ibea suntius, quidem aut et est eaquam ipidem cumquiamet ut et versperunt, quid el et plabore, utem et ullaut eatinit INTERV IEW A bigger fleet for a brighter future Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Peter Deer tells Rebecca Gibson why investing in two new ships will help it to build an even stronger brand S everal cruise companies are decreasing the size of their fleets to help them overcome the financial challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, UK-based small-ship operator Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is taking a different approach. Confident that the cruise industry will bounce back in the near future, the brand has purchased two vessels from Holland America Line in an effort to strengthen its position in the post-pandemic market. “Our industry has a much bigger role than simply providing cruise holidays,” says Peter Deer, managing director at Fred. Olsen. “Each year, the cruise sector generates as much as £10 billion (US$13 billion ) for the UK economy and US$150 billion internationally, while providing or supporting 1.2 million jobs globally. Consequently, the world needs us to get back cruising so that we can start feeding into the economy again. “It’s no secret that Fred. Olsen has been looking to expand our fleet for some time, but we’ve been waiting for the right moment and the right ships. These new additions will increase both our capacity and our market share – they’re an investment that will help us to build an even stronger brand when we are able to sail again.” The vessels, which sailed as Amsterdam and Rotterdam for the Holland America brand, will be renamed Bolette and Borealis, paying homage to two previous Fred. Olsen ships. According to Deer, they will fit seamlessly into the fleet, complement the brand’s existing ships while bringing exciting new facilities to guests. He confirmed that the new ships would take on the itineraries for the line’s older vessels, Black Watch and Boudicca, which will be retired from the fleet. “Both ships carry less than 1,400 guests and they offer more dining and restaurant space, all-weather pools, classic two-tiered theatres and large gym and spa areas,” he says. “They also have culinary demonstration theatres and wine-tasting venues, which will help us to showcase the cuisine of the destinations we visit. The two ships are getting our loyal guests even more excited about returning to cruising, and intriguing those who have not sailed with us before.” Bolette and Borealis joined Balmoral and Braemar in Rosyth, Scotland this September to await the resumption of the cruise industry.Both ships have recently