A third of head-office staff at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines are being made redundant less than a month after the acquisition of two ships.

Around 70 jobs will be lost as part of a restructure brought on by Covid-19.

The line employed “around 220” staff at its head office in Ipswich at the end of June but now a spokeswoman confirmed to the East Anglian Daily Times the number was closer to 150.

However, the line said the new ship purchases and the restructuring were not related.

Managing director Peter Deer previously said when confirming the restructure last month: “The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the cruise industry particularly hard.

“We still don’t know when we can sail again, with the government still advising against cruising.

“Sadly, this does mean that we have had to streamline our head office operations by around one third.

“We are supporting any of our team members who have been affected by this restructure, including support with CV writing and interview skills.”

The company announced in July the purchase of two former two ships from Holland America Line.

The Bolette and Borealis – which previously sailed under the names Amsterdam and Rotterdam – can carry up to 1,380 and 1,404 passengers.

A spokeswoman for the line said: “The purchase of our two new ships is essential for the future of our business, and will help us to come out of this current situation stronger. These are two separate business decisions.”

She added: “We are considering options for our current fleet but we have not confirmed anything at this stage.

“Whatever the outcome, the overall capacity across the fleet will still be increasing with the introduction of these new ships, and will help us to build a stronger future for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

“Importantly, no guests who have holidays booked with us will have their cruises cancelled as a result of changes to our fleet.”

The company’s new ships are expected to enter the fleet later this year after they have been rebranded.

The Fred Olsen ocean fleet is currently in Scotland at Babcock’s manufacturing and repair facility in Rosyth.