Fred. Olsen’s new RIBs taking guests ‘closer’

Guests on Balmoral and Braemar go by RIB to see the Fred. Olsen family estate Guests on Balmoral and Braemar go by RIB to see the Fred. Olsen family estate

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral and Braemar recently docked alongside each other in the company’s historic home city of Oslo, Norway.




As well as taking a range of shore excursions in and around Oslo, over 100 Fred. Olsen guests were also able to experience a ride on the Rigid Inflatable Boats (‘RIBs’) aboard Balmoral and Braemar, and also to enjoy a first-ever visit to the Olsen family estate at Hvitsten, located on atmospheric Oslofjord.

Peter Deer, Commercial Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘When we realised that Balmoral and Braemar would both be in Oslo and this happened to coincide with the launch of two brand new RIBs, which were being installed on board Braemar that day, we decided that it was a great opportunity to put all our power boats into full use across the two ships.

A highlight was a visit to the picturesque gardens in Hvitsten, the Olsen family’s Summer home. Here, dozens of figureheads have been placed around the grounds, from the Olsen’s many cargo ships over the decades. Guests also visited the beach, the old warehouse, the old school and museum, and wooden clapboard church, variety of spectacular settings around the grounds.

Two RIBs apiece on each ship

Fred. Olsen’s new RIBs – built in Norway – were introduced for the 2019/20 cruise programme, with two installed on board Boudicca, and a further two each on Black Watch and Balmoral. Braemar has now received her complement of two new RIBs. 

The RIBS are used to enhance the ‘closer’ experiences in enticing scenic destinations around the world, such as the Norwegian fjords and the Canary Islands, and they were used to great effect in Cádiz in September 2018, for Fred. Olsen’s 170th anniversary ‘Captains in Cádiz’ celebrations.

A recent onboard guest survey identified that 66% guests would consider taking a Fred. Olsen ‘closer’ RIB excursion in future.

Posted 30 May 2019

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Mary Bond

Publisher/Editor in Chief Seatrade Cruise News & Seatrade Cruise Review