Fred. Olsen Logo on Balmoral's Funnel

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Mini Cruises

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Who is Fred Olsen Cruise Lines?

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is a UK-based and Norwegian-owned cruise line.

The operation, founded in 1848, and headquartered in Ipswich, Suffolk, has a fleet of four small ships.

Despite its Norwegian heritage, the onboard experience fiercely caters to Brits, with Pounds and Pence the currency used onboard its ships. Expected in-cabin tea and coffee making facilities, familiar mealtime favourites, and entertainment geared to a British audience.

Passengers tend to be older, in part thanks to Fred Olsen’s selection of longer and world cruises. Its use of ports around the British Isles makes it an excellent option for those who prefer no-fly cruises or who cannot easily travel to Southampton.

The company does not cater specifically to children but does not prohibit them onboard. During school holidays, the cruise line puts on limited entertainment for children when enough kids are on the sailings. It is a more popular choice for families with babies and infants and families with older teens than it is for families with children between these groups.

Fred Olsen enjoys a high repeat custom rate, and its passengers are usually strong advocates for the line. Passengers I spoke to on Balmoral had also sailed with P&O Cruises and Saga Cruises.