Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has revealed new return dates for each of its four ships as the line prepares to resume operations next year.
New ship Borealis (pictured) will be the first vessel in the fleet to return when it sails its maiden voyage – a six-night Scottish Lochs and Isles cruise – on April 23, 2021.
Bolette will follow on May 29 and Balmoral on June 9. However, 929-passenger vessel Braemar, which typically sails a fly-cruise programme in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, will remain out of service until 2022 as the line focuses on its ex-UK operations.
Passengers booked on a cancelled sailing will be told of the changes and offered different options including a refund.
Managing director Peter Deer said: “While it is regrettable that our pause in operations is longer than we originally anticipated, we have said right from the start that we will not resume sailing until we are confident that it is safe for us to do so, and we stand by that.
“The safety of our guests and crew remains our utmost priority, and it is important that we fully understand the advances in the roll-out of the vaccine, testing capabilities and other scientific developments and what they mean for how we can operate.
“This is not a process to be rushed, and we are confident that by deferring our return to sailing just a while longer, with our two new ships among the fleet, we can come back better and stronger than ever without compromising on guest experience.”
He also added: “Braemar, which typically operates our Mediterranean and Caribbean fly-cruise programme in the winter, will remain in lay-up for next year.
“Initially, we believe it may be more complex for us to operate the planned fly cruise programme and we will therefore instead focus on our extensive ex-UK itineraries during 2021.
“The team here are already busy working on a host of exciting and immersive cruises for Braemar return in spring 2022 which make the most of its smaller size. These will be announced as part of our 2022-23 itinerary launch in March 2021.”
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