A delegation of VIPs were invited to visit Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines as it began its inaugural turnaround cruise season from Edinburgh.
Dignitaries attending the VIP reception at the 1,350-guest Balmoral at the Port of Rosyth included Lord Charles Bruce, Claire Baker MSP, representatives from Fife Council, VisitScotland and a number of businesses and tourism organisations, including several Cruise Forth Volunteers, as well as senior executives from Forth Ports.
The aim of the visit was to give guests a feel for the relaxed, ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere of Fred. Olsen’s flagship – which underwent an extensive refit in December 2017 – and to promote cruise opportunities with Fred. Olsen out of the Edinburgh area, as well as its dedicated around-Scotland itineraries.
Whilst on board, the dignitaries were welcomed by Captain Lars Kjeldsen, Master of Balmoral, and treated to a Champagne reception in the Observatory Lounge on Marquee Deck 11, with its stunning, panoramic views.
This was followed by a guided tour of the ship, showcasing the elegant décor and spacious public areas and the different types of stylish accommodation available. Guests were then invited to enjoy traditional afternoon tea, with classic white-glove service.
Addressing dignitaries at the event, Clare Ward, director of product and customer service for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘We would like to thank Forth Ports for their very warm welcome for Balmoral today and we would like to congratulate them on the tremendous infrastructure improvements that they have made at the Port of Rosyth in time for our flagship’s inaugural cruise season.
‘We are proud to have embarked more guests than ever before in Rosyth today, in record-breaking time, so the upgrades and investment that the Port has made are not just cosmetic: they are bringing real, tangible benefits to our guests in terms of their overall customer experience.
‘We are looking forward to what we know will be a very successful cruise season from Rosyth, with many new customers choosing to experience a Fred. Olsen cruise holiday, as well as our loyal returning guests.’
Balmoral will be offering a record nine sailings from Edinburgh (Rosyth) during the 2018/19 cruise season, between May and July 2018, which is an increase on the eight departures on board Black Watch from the Port in 2017.
Scottish holidaymakers will be able to choose from a host of exciting cruise destinations with Fred. Olsen in 2018/19, including Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic.
Fred. Olsen has also confirmed its commitment to Edinburgh (Rosyth) with a second programme of departures from the convenient Scottish port aboard Balmoral in 2019/20.
During its 2019/20 cruise season, Balmoral will be offering a total of eight cruise holidays from Edinburgh (Rosyth), between June and August 2019, including a seven-night ‘Norwegian Fjords’ departure, a 14-night ‘Baltic Capitals’ discovery, and a nine-night ‘European Rivers & Canals’ experience.
Following the VIP reception, Balmoral continued on a 10-night ‘Swedish Waterways’ cruise to Malmö, Visby, Stockholm and Gothenburg, returning to Rosyth on 26th May 2018.