Said Clare Ward, director of product and customer service, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines: ‘Being the first international sailing, this cruise was not without its challenges, but we worked very closely with the Icelandic authorities to ensure all went smoothly and, of course, safely, both for our guests and crew and those living and working in the ports we visited.’
Also claiming to be the first international voyage to set sail from British waters since March last year, she added, ‘It is the first time in 17 months that anyone has been able to explore overseas on a cruise again, and our destinations team worked closely with our shore tour providers to help as many guests as possible have safe yet genuine experiences ashore… This is a real milestone for Fred. Olsen, and we can’t wait to welcome guests back on board for international sailings throughout the rest of the year and beyond.’
The vessel departed for Iceland on August 14 with around 800 guests on board calling Reykjavík, Ísafjörður, Eyjafjörður and Seyðisfjörður, with passengers permitted to disembark for the line’s organised shore excursions. Ward explained, ‘Our journey planners curated an itinerary to showcase some of Iceland that is best seen from the water, from the rugged landscapes of Hornstrandir King and Queen Cliffs and scenic sailing into Seyðisfjörður, as well as some lovely sights of whales and other marine wildlife.’
Measures included pre-registration forms and testing prior to arrival into Iceland and before returning to the UK. All passengers were fully vaccinated in keeping with Icelandic government guidelines.