Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines have released details of what’s in store for aficionados of their special interest cruises, launching the new season’s ‘Vistas’ programme at a ceremony in London this month at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the presence of VIPs, including a number of the guest speakers included on the programme.
Formerly known as The Arts Club, the ‘Vistas’ schedule carries the strapline ‘Rewarding curiosity’, and is a carefully thought out on board enhancement programme, likely to present potential guests with quite a challenge when it comes to choosing which special interest cruise to take. The programme takes the form of a variety of talks and lectures, provided by experts at the top of their field.
The themed cruises, which have proved immensely popular in previous years, offer participants a chance to learn more about their special interest while on board, or perhaps gain an introduction to a subject new to them. Either way, they can expect to be amongst like minded individuals, which can only enhance their cruise experience further.
Themes for this season include ‘The History of Weather’, ‘Photography’, ‘Ballroom Dancing’, ‘Antiques’, ‘Classical Music’, ‘The Archers’, ‘Agatha Christie’, ‘Sporting Personalities’, ‘Gardens and Gardening’, ‘Wine’, ‘History of the Royal Family’ and ‘Comedy’.
There is no extra cost for cruises incorporating the ‘Vistas’ theme, as all specialist lectures are free of charge, although there may be a small fee to take part in events where materials or products are used, for example wine tasting or art classes.
The themes don’t just stop at ship-based activities; a range of thoughtfully arranged optional shore excursions will complement the chosen theme to expand the subject even further. Guests aboard a cruise specialising in painting or photography may have an opportunity to visit an artist’s house, or those interested in wildlife could visit sites of specific natural interest, for example.
Guests featuring in forthcoming months include Martin Saunders, BBC wildlife cameraman, known for his work on the 1976 ground-breaking BBC series Life on Earth, during which he filmed the memorable sequence of David Attenborough with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. He was also responsible for filming the series Wickers World, and the recent Attenborough series The Life of Birds and Polar Bears, for which he was awarded a BAFTA.
Mike Cowan, former England Cricketer and fast bowler will be serving up anecdotes from his years in the game, including the nine years he spent playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, sharing the opening bowling with ‘Fiery’ Freddie Truman.
David V. Thomas, MVO, the Crown Jeweller from 1991 until 2007, and responsible for the care of the Crown Jewels, as well as the personal collection of H.M. the Queen and other members of the Royal Family is sure to share some fascinating secrets on the Royal collection of ‘bling’.
Dr. Mike Maloney, OBE was for 30 years Group Chief Photographer for Mirror Group Newspapers. He is the recipient of 106 major photographic awards, and was recently awarded the OBE for services to photojournalism.
Other guest speakers will include: Mike Purcell, watercolourist and broadcaster; Rosalind Cooper, wine educator and writer; Ken Lennox, photographer and Fleet Street picture editor; Professor Henry Hutchinson, scientist, physicist and expert on climate change; and David Mercer, sports journalist and broadcaster.
Nigel Lingard, Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are delighted to be launching our new onboard enhancement programme, Vistas, which will allow our guests to be inspired, and in turn to aspire to new levels of knowledge. The programme opens up a whole new world of insights and understanding of fascinating subjects, which are brought to life by our team of world-renowned experts.”
Although Fred.Olsen themed cruises have always been well regarded, one look at what’s in store for passengers for this year shows that the cruise line has surpassed previous years’ programmes in both range and quality. We feel that there’s absolutely no chance of Fred.Olsen guests being ‘bored on board’.