Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is not well known outside Britain, despite being around since 1848. This family-operated company’s four ships revel in English and Scottish home comforts, while the Norwegian influence of the parent company is also evident — particularly in the artwork on board Boudicca. This 880-passenger ship raised the bar when she joined the Fred. Olsen fleet in 2006, offering the sleeker ambiance of a new ship rather than a spruced-up old-timer (which, in fact, she is, with more than 40 years at sea). Traditions are important to Fred. Olsen and Boudicca reflects this with set dining times and genteel onboard activities.
What We Love
Unabashedly British Cuisine: The refined Four Seasons Restaurant, the more vibrant Tintagel Restaurant, and the smaller Heligan Room are delightful rarities in today’s world of vast dining rooms. The five-course à la carte dinners are manicured affairs that allow the chefs to demonstrate their culinary prowess.
Christmas Market Cruises: Boudicca embarks on short-duration seasonal sailings from British ports to European cities renowned for their festive decorations and unique gifts.
Best Known For
The Observatory: This serene room above the Bridge is perfect for relaxing with a favorite author’s latest best-seller, or sipping your preferred libation as a pianist accompanies cocktail hour.
Guest Speakers Program: Celebrated authors discuss their work, and diplomats and politicians offer insight into world events. Topics include arts and crafts, food and wine, classical music, and antiques appreciation.
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Who It's Best For
Senior Cruisers: Fred. Olsen sailings attract a loyal following of "middle England" passengers of a certain age — anyone under 60 is in the minority — who are looked after by a personable and long-serving Filipino crew, many of whom greet repeat guests with a home-away-from-home welcome. Activities and entertainment are geared toward this demographic.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Its Niche is Very British: From the food to the lingo — enjoy a "spot" of lunch, but don't wear "trainers" to dinner — be prepared for a very British cruise experience.
Accommodation Grades Vary Widely: There are 23 categories of cabins and suites, and within those the bathroom and balcony configurations as well as views vary quite a bit. Boudicca does offer some good cabin options for solo cruisers.
Gary Buchanan is a UK-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written multiple books about cruising.
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Boudicca at a Glance
- Line: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- Number of Passengers: 880
- Ship Size: Medium
- Launch Date: 1973
- Refurbish Date: 2011