Belfast Harbour welcomes back Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Belfast Harbour welcomes back Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is ‘bringing the world closer’ to the people of Belfast, with three exciting cruise itineraries in Autumn 2013. Sailing on board 880-guest Boudicca, guests will have the opportunity, for the first time since 2007, to embark on a Fred. Olsen cruise from Belfast, without having to endure an expensive flight or long ferry crossing to reach its ships. Boudicca will be offering a 10-night D1322 ‘Scandinavian Cities Cruise’, departing on 23rd September 2013, a 12-night D1323 ‘Portugal, Madeira & the Canaries’ cruise, departing on 3rd October 2013, and a two-night mini-cruise, D1324 ‘Liverpool Highlights’, departing on 15th October 2013.

Fred. Olsen’s historical connections with the seafaring city of Belfast run deep; the Fred. Olsen group of companies includes Fred. Olsen Energy, which comprises Offshore Drilling and Engineering & Fabrication, owner of the Harland & Wolff Shipyard, where the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic was built.

Joe O’Neill, Commercial Director of Belfast Harbour, said:

“We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to work with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and offer the Northern Ireland public the opportunity to begin a cruise from their local port. Belfast Harbour previously worked alongside Fred. Olsen in 2007, when 500 local people embarked on the Black Prince to begin their cruise.”

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

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“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is very excited to be sailing from Belfast again. This will give our guests from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the opportunity to begin a cruise so much closer to home, and we are reaching out to them with an extensive national and regional TV and radio advertising campaign until late August 2013. We are also planning to increase our sailings from Belfast in 2014 to five departures, highlighting our commitment to Belfast Harbour and our local guests, and further enhancing our reputation as the UK’s ‘local global cruise line’.”

- 10-night D1322 ‘Scandinavian Cities Cruise’, departing on 23rd September 2013

Guest feedback has shown that cruises with extra time in port are an increasingly popular option, so Fred. Olsen is offering this great-value ‘Northern European City Stay’ cruise. A bonus for guests is that, in this increasingly cost-conscious climate, what better – and cheaper – way to visit the famously-expensive highlights of Scandinavia than by cruise ship, where there are no worries about flights, hotel accommodation, food or drink?

The first stop, Norway’s capital, Oslo, boasts the National Gallery, home to Edvard Munch’s haunting ‘The Scream, as well as works by other European artists, from Manet to Picasso. Overnighting in the city gives guests the chance to take in all these incredible sights, now reported to be the most expensive in the world.

From Oslo, this cruise visits Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city, with its Dutch-designed 17th Century canals and its famous ‘Fish Church’, ‘Feskekôrka’, named after the building’s resemblance to a Gothic church.

Two September days are perfect for strolling around Copenhagen, the cosmopolitan capital of Denmark. As well as the famous Little Mermaid, a highlight of any visit must be the delightful Tivoli Gardens – blueprint for Disneyland – with its award-winning combination of scenic, themed gardens, traditional rollercosters, including the world’s oldest, and the most modern ‘white-knuckle’ rides.

- 12-night D1323 ‘Portugal, Madeira & the Canaries’ cruise, departing on 3rd October 2013

This Autumn, the first stop for guests on board Boudicca’s Iberian cruise will be Leixoes, for tours to Oporto, Portugal’s second largest city. An eclectic mix of styles, Oporto is filled with narrow medieval alleyways, baroque churches, lush squares and wide boulevards, and no visit here would be complete without sampling some of the region’s famous Port wine.

Boudicca then moves onto Funchal, Madeira, which is set in a natural amphitheatre looking out over the Atlantic, from where guests can explore the city and enjoy its many cafés and restaurants, or can visit its botanical and tropical gardens and the surrounding countryside.

The Canary Island of Tenerife is the next stop, where guests will visit the capital Santa Cruz, with gorgeous beaches, a wildlife park and its very own volcano, Mount Teide. After stopping at Arrecife, Lanzarote, the ship moves onto Lisbon, Portugal’s stylish capital. Visitors can delight in its tree-lined streets, Gothic cathedrals, monasteries and museums, and gain a real taste of Portuguese life, before heading back to Belfast.

- Two-night D1324 ‘Liverpool Highlights’ cruise, departing on 15th October 2013

Guests looking for a short break somewhere a little closer to home could consider Fred. Olsen’s two-night mini-cruise to Liverpool. Boudicca will take guests to the conveniently-located Pier Head Cruise Terminal, right at the heart of the city. This 2008 ‘European City of Culture’ is home to Tate Liverpool, the Maritime Museum and The Beatles Story, so there will be plenty to see and do before it is time to board the ship once more to return to Belfast.