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Fred. Olsen Announces First River Cruise Venture

Friday 19th May 2017, 12:00am

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has announced the launch of its first river cruise venture that between April and November 2018, will offer 30 sailings on the Rhine, Moselle and Danube.

The line’s first river cruise vessel will be named ‘Brabant’, in tribute to a 1920’s Fred. Olsen passenger ship of the same name. Built in 2006, 110 metre-long Brabant consists of four decks and fewer than 80 rooms and suites, which are staffed by 40 crew members.

Currently sailing as Amadeus Princess, the 156-passenger ship will be chartered by Fred. Olsen from April to November 2018 and 2019. They will offer 12 different itineraries and will range from five to twenty five nights.

Brabant’s classic design is smaller than many river cruise vessels and in keeping with Fred. Olsen’s ocean fleet, this vessel has the style, atmosphere and elegance that you would expect to find on any of the Fred. Olsen fleet.

Justin Stanton, Sales & Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘We started thinking of launching a river cruise programme about a year ago. It came out of what we are doing with ocean cruises, where we are trying to give people new experiences and we thought how can we take that further?

Fred. Olsen already offer ocean cruises, on smaller intimate ships, which already allow them to access some ports that the larger ships cannot reach. Scotland’s Lochs and waterways in Denmark and Sweden are big enough for Fred Olsen’s ships to cruise but the majority of Europe’s rivers aren’t big enough.

Stanton added: ‘A year ago we did some research and coming from that strongly was that people wanted us to do river cruising.We specialise in creating a “home-from-home” atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time.’

Brabant’s itineraries for 2018 include: Düsseldorf to Amsterdam, Düsseldorf to Nuremburg, Nuremburg to Budapest, Budapest to Hirsova (Bucharest); Düsseldorf to Basel and Hirsova to Düsseldorf.

Flights, transfers, meals and Wi-Fi will all be included within the price, but drinks and shore excursions will be at an additional cost, although the line has indicated it will incorporate a drinks package which would be similar to the one already available on Fred. Olsen ocean ships.

Traditional British dishes will be served on board as well as specialties from countries and areas that Brabant passes through.

Fred. Olsen River Cruises will release itineraries to loyalty club members on 24th May 2017, before going on general sale on 26th May 2017.

By Richard Hemming

Brabant cruising the River Rhine [Image: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines]

Brabant cruising the River Rhine [Image: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines]

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