Luxury Cruises Increasingly Popular With Millennials

Think luxury cruising and you’ll conjure up images of mature travellers kicking off their retirement with a premium voyage around the Med. In recent times however, it may surprise you to know that sea-faring millennials are increasingly being drawn to cruise holidays.

UK cruise retailer has seen a whopping 171% increase in millennials visiting their luxury cruise page in January 2017 compared with 2018.

What’s more, the latest report from the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) cites millennials as owning the highest share of the luxury cruise market, with 24% of those surveyed claiming to have been on a luxury cruise during the past three years. The same report suggests that the percentage of cruising millennials who ‘definitely will’ book a cruise for their next trip has risen from 63% in 2017 to 70% this year.

‘Millennials may not fit the stereotype of your typical cruiser, but the luxury market offers a huge range of benefits that are clearly appealing to this demographic’, explains representative Ian Crawford. ‘As the average age that people have children is rising, many millennials also have the level of disposable income that enables them to choose a luxury voyage.’

ABTA’s 2018 Travel Trends Report also comments on the rise in millennial cruisers, and attributes advances such as new technologies and lightning-fast Wi-Fi to the change.

As expected, leading cruise lines are competing to meet this rise in demand by launching a slew of new luxury cruise ships and itineraries. Fifteen luxury cruise ships made up the market in 2009, compared to the 32 vessels expected to set sail this year. In the same decade, the market capacity for the luxury cruise sector has risen 140% from a little over 203,000 in 2009 to almost 487,000 in 2018.

‘Luxury cruising and millennial cruising are two of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK cruise industry, so it’s not surprising to see such a strong correlation between the two,’ concludes Crawford. ‘The option to see and do new things and experience new places is hugely appealing to millennials and, naturally, luxury cruising allows them to do just that in style and comfort.’


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Keeping Fit At Sea With Star Clippers

With an abundance of delicious food served throughout the day, abundant tempting buffets for breakfast and lunch and the chance to spend long lazy days relaxing, it’s no surprise that guests often claim to add several pounds in weight for each week spent cruising.

Star Clippers’ tall ship voyages onboard magnificent, historically styled sailing ships, offer numerous ways for guests to enjoy relaxing days balanced with an active lifestyle, enjoy healthy food and optional onboard gym, yoga and healthy activities

Walk a mile with a smile

With just three guest decks, no elevators and open air teak decks, Star Clippers’ vessels may be considerably smaller than conventional cruise vessels, but it’s easy to walk a mile a day up and down the steps past the restaurant, cabins, library, piano bar, Topical Bar and along the open decks. During most sailings the sports crew will show guests how, with a complimentary Walk a Mile activity while at sea, to get the body moving and keep the heart active.

Gym and yoga in the sea air

Star Clippers’ guests are offered morning gym sessions on the open deck in the fresh sea air, a far cry from the conventional idea of going to the gym. For all abilities and activity levels, the sessions are conducted by the tanned and healthy sports crew just before breakfast, in the quiet of the early morning on the teak decks of the open Tropical Bar. And on selected cruises, yoga specialists come on board to conduct morning and sunset yoga sessions for all levels, to relax mind and body and stretch muscles.

Life coaching for a healthier being

On selected cruises Star Clippers’ host lifestyle and fitness coaches to present new and creative ideas for improving the quality of life and enhance health and fitness. Sailings with fitness and lifestyle coaches on board during 2018 include Indonesia and the Mediterranean, voyaging through tranquil waters and dropping anchor alongside picturesque harbours, beaches and villages, where the quality of life is further enhanced.

Healthy food for a healthy lifestyle

Water and fruit are freely available throughout the day on board Star Clippers’ vessels, while breakfast and lunch buffets include an abundance of fruit, vegetables, fish and lean meat, and a la carte dinners offer healthy options and a daily light soup and grilled steak always on the menu. It is possible to eat healthily and lightly while still enjoying delicious meals.

An active and healthy lifestyle

In place of miles of carpeted corridors and elegant elevators found on conventional cruise ships, Star Clippers’ graceful historically styled vessels are more akin to a vast private yacht. Cabins are a few steps away from the main public areas, but life is far more oriented to an outdoor lifestyle with days spent on sun baked teak decks, ashore discovering small ports and harbours, climbing the rigging under the guidance of the sports crew, joining in hauling ropes and learning about life at sea and spending days outdoors in the fresh sea air, with the ocean just a few metres below.

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Ponant Takes Delivery Of Le Lapérouse

On 15 June, as per the agreed construction schedule, PONANT successfully took delivery of Le Lapérouse, the brand-new vessel and the first of the six exceptional PONANT EXPLORERS series. Construction of the other five ships is currently under way. Le Lapérouse left the shipyard in Ålesund, Norway, on 16 June. The ship will reach Reykjavik in Iceland on 19 June for the start of her maiden cruise. The inauguration will take place on 10 July in Reykjavik.

“Le Lapérouse is a wonderful achievement for the company and the result of intensive teamwork with Vard and Fincantieri. From remarkable nautical performances to technical excellence and offering an extraordinary level of comfort, everything is in place for the PONANT EXPLORERS series to be a huge success,” says Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO and Co-Founder of PONANT.

Of a smaller capacity with just 92 staterooms and suites all with a balcony or private terrace, the ship boasts an elegant design, a long sleek line, state-of-the-art technology and major innovations. Also designed to respect the environment, Le Lapérouse is the true symbol of a new generation of ships flying the French flag.

The six PONANT EXPLORERS will feature a world first: the “Blue Eye”. The innovative multi-sensorial underwater lounge will allow passengers to discover and experience the underwater world via two portholes in the form of a cetaceous eye, looking out on to the sea bed, non-intrusive underwater lighting, and hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmit the natural symphony of the deep water, as well as Body Listening sofas, offering a unique sensorial listening experience by corporal resonance.

Posted in Cruise News, Expedition Cruising, Ponant

Viking Orion Named By NASA Astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher

Viking Cruises has named its fifth ocean ship, Viking Orion, during a spectacular celebration in Livorno, Italy. The ship was delivered to Viking last week and is currently sailing a maiden voyage with her ceremonial godmother, American chemist, emergency room physician and retired NASA astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher, along with dozens of Dr. Fisher’s friends, family, academics, explorers and fellow astronauts. Named after the prominent constellation and in honour of Dr. Fisher’s work on NASA’s Orion exploration vehicle project, the 930-guest 47,800-tonne Viking Orion arrived in Livorno early this morning. The ship will continue her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean this summer before heading east to sail Viking’s newest itineraries in Asia, Australia and Alaska.

Following her arrival, Viking Orion was positioned alongside the city’s historic Medici-built Fortezza Vecchia (Old Fortress). Livorno is known as a gateway to Tuscany, a region reached by the original Viking explorers. Nearby, Pisa is also known for its native Galileo Galilei – “The Father of Science” – whose gravitational theories and invention of the Galilean telescope have been central advancements in oceanic navigation. It was at the Fortezza Vecchia that in 1662 students of Galileo held an experiment to test his projectile motion theory. Livorno – with its Fortezza Vecchia – was chosen specifically for Viking Orion’s naming ceremony because of those connections to scientific studies and exploration. During the day, Viking Orion guests and international dignitaries were treated to an interactive exhibit inside the Fortezza Vecchia that tells the stories of exploration technology throughout history – from the Vikings’ solar compass to Galileo’s gravitational and projectile motion experiments. The exhibit was designed and built specifically for Viking Orion’s naming ceremony.

During the naming ceremony, guests enjoyed a high-tech show and musical concert that paid tribute to Nordic mythology and the spirit of exploration. Legendary British explorer Sir Ranulph “Ran” Fiennes served as the narrator for the event, which also included musical performances from Italian tenor Antonio Corianò, Norwegian bukkehorn musician Sissel Morken Gullord and Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø, who is widely considered one of the world’s top crossover sopranos and who will also be godmother to Viking Jupiter®, which debuts in early 2019.

Dr. Anna Fisher served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Orion – a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years. In keeping with the naming custom, Dr. Fisher also used an historic Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to break on the ship’s hull. The ship was officially blessed by Monsignor Liberio Andreatta. Mons. Liberio Andreatta has led Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, an office of the Vicariate of Rome, an organ of the Holy See, reporting directly to the Cardinal Vicar of the Pope – and is the largest operator of pilgrim travel in the world. Staying true to shipbuilding tradition, Viking Orion has also been blessed by Father Dino Cecconi, the Chaplain of the Port of Ancona, at her float out ceremony in September 2017.

Viking Orion

Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tonnes, have 465 staterooms and host 930 guests. Classified by Cruise Critic® as a “small ship,” the all-veranda Viking Orion is the newest addition to Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, Viking Sky®, and Viking Sun®.

In keeping with the inspiration for the ship’s name, Viking Orion features several onboard experiences that pay tribute to space exploration:

The Explorers’ Dome – Located in the upper level of the Explorers’ Lounge on Deck 8, “The Explorers’ Dome” is a planetarium-like theatre where guests can view special panoramic films about exploration, such as “Journey to Space” and “Life Under the Arctic Sky” in a fully immersive environment.

Explorations in Space Collection – The interiors and art of Viking’s ships honour early explorers, and on Viking Orion, the “Explorations in Space” collection is an homage to humankind’s exploration beyond the confines of planet Earth. The onboard collection is conceived as a photographic journal through space, with a broad range of vintage photographs, including astronaut portraits and documents of complex mission activities, produced by NASA and captured by National Geographic photographers and the Apollo and Gemini astronauts themselves.

Viking Resident Astronomer – Building on the success of the Viking Resident Historian program, Viking Orion is the first ship in the fleet to feature a Viking Resident Astronomer. Howard Parkin, a Royal Astronomical Society Fellow and founding member of the IOM Astronomical Society, will lead lectures and stargazing sessions onboard Viking Orion during her maiden season throughout 2018.

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Oprah Named Godmother Of Nieuw Statendam

Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine have announced a three-day Girls’ Getaway cruise on Holland America Line’s newest ship, Nieuw Statendam, Jan. 30, 2019. Oprah Winfrey will embark on the cruise, joined by O, The Oprah Magazine Editor-at-Large Gayle King and other members of the magazine’s editorial staff, who will host special presentations and events on board the ship, currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Winfrey will serve as godmother of Nieuw Statendam, with an official dedication by Winfrey to take place in a private ceremony at a later date to be announced.

The Girls’ Getaway cruise sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and spends a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s idyllic private island in the Bahamas. The Girls’ Getaway cruise celebrates the power of friendship and will feature exclusive onboard experiences that honour and pay tribute to the special bond between women.

As a highlight, guests will have the opportunity to attend one of three live “Conversations with Oprah.”  Additionally, editorial staff from O, The Oprah Magazine will be on board hosting special events, including Editor-in-Chief Lucy Kaylin, Creative Director Adam Glassman, Beauty Director Brian Underwood and Books Editor Leigh Haber.

Activities and Events on the Girls’ Getaway Cruise

A Conversation with Oprah: Winfrey will share highlights of her career, inspirational stories of the amazing women she has met over the years, and the desire for this cruise to be the start of something meaningful for those on board. King will join Winfrey on stage for a candid and entertaining chat that shows the deep bond between these two best friends.

Love That! Style Session with Adam Glassman: Glassman will host a style presentation revealing his tips, tricks and secrets for essential pieces that everyone needs in their wardrobe. Following his talk, Glassman will join guests in the onboard dedicated O Shop to offer shopping advice.

O’s Reading Room with Leigh Haber: Guests will have the opportunity to read the latest onboard book club selection (to be announced) and then join Haber for an intriguing discussion with the author. O’s Reading Room was introduced on Holland America Line ships in 2017, and due to its overwhelming popularity, is now available on all ships in the fleet.

Just Breathe: Led by a guest instructor to be announced, participants set their intentions for the day and are encouraged to become present with themselves and those around them through meditation and movement. On the at-sea day, Just Breathe will be held around the serene Lido Pool area, and the experience moves to the beach during the call at private island Half Moon Cay.

Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine Partnership

Building on the success of the exclusive partnership started in 2017, Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine have extended their agreement through 2019 to unite the soul-stirring power of travel with O’s deep commitment to connection and personal growth. Two remaining Adventure of Your Life Cruises with Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine also will feature members of the magazine’s editorial team, along with special guest speakers: Aug. 11, 2018, on a seven-day Alaska itinerary and Oct. 28, 2018, on a seven-day Caribbean sailing.


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Princess Cruises Royal Princess Celebrates Her Fifth Anniversary

The 3,560 guest Royal Princess cruise ship, which was christened by HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge in 2013, celebrates her fifth-year sailing in the Princess Cruises fleet.

During her time at sea Royal Princess has sailed over 600,000 miles, equivalent to travelling 25 times around the world. She has visited 79 ports of call in 23 countries including Italy, the Bahamas and USA and carried more than 730,000 guests.

Royal Princess is currently travelling for a season around the British Isles from her homeport of Southampton. Next year she will be the first ‘Royal class’ ship to call at Alaska, and will also spend time in the Caribbean, California and South America.

At a length of 1,083 feet, Royal Princess is longer than the height of the Shard, the tallest building in the UK. And at 217 feet high she is taller than 15 double-decker London buses stacked on top of one another.

Royal Princess comprises:

  • 1,780 staterooms
  • 19 decks
  • 1,350 crew
  • 16 bars and restaurants including three dining rooms
  • A luxury spa and fitness centre

The ship was the first to include signature Princess Cruises’ features such as the SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28 feet over the edge of the ship, and Princess Live, a television studio with onboard programming throughout the day.

Since her launch, guests on Royal Princess have enjoyed:

  • 18m onboard meals
  • 10,000 ‘Royal afternoon teas’
  • Over 10m slices of complimentary top-deck pizza
  • 310,000 glasses of champagne

Royal Princess has also become a star of the small screen, as for the past two years she has been the setting for three series of primetime ITV documentary ‘The Cruise’. Set in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the series offered viewers an insight into life onboard a Princess ship for both guests and crew and attracted a combined average audience of around 4m per episode.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK and Europe, said: “Royal Princess’ special ties with the UK mean she is always thought of particularly fondly over here. It’s therefore especially fitting that the ship is spending her fifth-year anniversary sailing a season around the British Isles.

Royal Princess’ sister ship, Regal Princess, was launched in May 2014, followed by another sister ship, Majestic Princess, in March 2017. Three further sister ships will launch in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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AIDAnova Flashes Her Smile

The youngest member of the AIDA fleet will start sailing the seven seas from December 2018. AIDAnova is now being given her smile at the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg. The exterior painting of smiling lips, eye, eyelid and a wave is applied to all AIDA ships based on an idea from the Rostock artist, Feliks Büttner. The smiling lips are the first element, and already adorn 250 m² of the ship’s bow. It took 50 litres of black, orange, and red paint to paint the brand symbol.

AIDAnova will be christened outside the covered dockyard in Papenburg on August 31, 2018, during the AIDA Open Air. The formal christening ceremony will be accompanied by a dazzling presentation and a fireworks display. From December 2018, AIDAnova will begin her maiden season with cruises around the Canary Islands. Before those cruises get underway, the new ship will come to Hamburg. On December 2, 2018, AIDAnova will visit the Hanseatic City on the Elbe, after which she will head for Gran Canaria.

AIDAnova is the world’s first cruise ship that can be entirely powered with environmentally-friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new generation of ships combines innovative design with state-of-the-art technology ensuring even greater onboard comfort. Features of the existing fleet that have already been introduced successfully have been developed further. Fantastic adventure worlds such as the Theatrium, Brauhaus (Brewhouse), the Beach Club, or the Four Elements, as well as entirely new amenities, offer limitless variety for our guests’ ocean vacations.

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Crown Princess Completes Renovation

Princess Cruises’ 3,080-guest vessel, Crown Princess, has received a multi-million pound two-week refit. The ship now includes new dining venues, a luxury bed in every room and an upgraded spa and fitness centre.

Crown Princess is currently sailing the Mediterranean, which will be followed later this year by a season in the Caribbean. She will be based in Southampton in spring and summer 2019 for a series of round Britain cruises.

The refit comprises:

  • A luxury bed in every room. The bed was created exclusively for Princess Cruises and includes fine linens, enhanced mattress support and a king-size deluxe pillow available with feathers or anti-allergy microfibre. Princess collaborated on the bed with Dr. Michael Breus, a board-certified sleep expert and WebMD consultant. The bed has received the highest ranking for ‘best cruise ship beds’ by the Cruise Critic website
  • Four top-deck outdoor dining venues have been enhanced and renamed:

– The Salty Dog Grill (formerly Trident Grill) will serve burgers, hot dogs and tacos made with grilled chipotle-lime chicken or roasted sweet potato-green chili

– Slice (formerly Prego Pizzeria) will serve the line’s signature Neapolitan-style pizza as well as new menu items such as deep-dish focaccia layered with marinara, meatballs and cheese; California artisanal toast including avocado or caprese; and sliced stromboli, a take on an Italian calzone filled with deli meats and cheese

– Coffee & Cones (formerly Sundaes Ice Cream Bar) will offer gourmet ice-cream sandwiches, complimentary ice cream cones and speciality coffees

– The Mix (formerly Mermaid’s Tale) poolside bar has received a makeover

  • The onboard gym and spa have received modernised equipment and upgraded salon and treatments rooms
  • ‘Club class’ mini-suites, a new premium stateroom category, have been introduced. Club class includes a reserved dining area with expanded menu options in one of the main onboard restaurants, upgraded room amenities and priority embarkation and disembarkation
  • The introduction of new children’s centre activities in association with the Discovery Channel
  • A greater retail choice including a new fine jewellery shop, Effy
  • New carpet, light fixtures and bar TV screens in the casino
  • The line’s signature logo on the ship’s bow

The refit was completed in Freeport, Bahamas at the Grand Bahama shipyard. The enhancements continue Princess’ ‘Come Back New Promise’ campaign, with £330m being invested across the line’s fleet of 17 ships.

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Silversea Expeditions Celebrates 10 Years Of Pioneering Explorations

On 3rd June, Silversea Expeditions proudly celebrated 10 years of luxurious expedition cruising, marking the occasion with a two-day gala voyage between London and Dublin. On this momentous day, the ultra-luxury Silver Cloud departed London’s Tower Bridge amid great elation to honour Silversea Expeditions’ very first voyage, which sailed under Tower Bridge for Svalbard a decade ago to the day.

In a nod to the company’s continued focus on innovation, Silver Cloud, which was the first vessel in Silversea’s fleet and was reimagined as an elegant ice-class expedition ship in late 2017, crossed paths with Silver Spirit – Silversea’s recently lengthened and renovated ship – in Greenwich, London.

The array of enrichments aboard Silver Cloud’s celebratory voyage included a congratulatory video message from HSH Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, who had cut the ribbon in Monte Carlo during the naming ceremony for Silversea’s first expedition ship in 2008. Originally named Prince Albert II in tribute to His Serene Highness and his environmental efforts, the ship sails today as Silver Explorer and continues a legacy of sustainable tourism.

Over the last 10 years, the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and humanitarian efforts has extended across the globe, in many forms: in the Cook and Phoenix islands in 2015, guests of Silversea participated in a mammal acoustic survey that successfully added three new species of animals to the national registry; in Bangladesh, where Silver Discoverer made the first-ever cruise ship call in 2017, Silversea visited a remote village where our guests purchased regional produce to benefit the local community; and in 2017, when Silversea engaged in a partnership with ORCA, one of the UK’s leading marine conservation charities, to enable guests to discover incredible marine life and contribute to the charity’s ongoing conservation work. In the Galápagos Islands, where Silver Galapagos inaugurated ultra-luxury expedition experiences in 2014, Silversea will co-sponsor a camp for children to encourage the conservation of marine habitats.

Looking ahead, the future of ultra-luxury expedition cruising is in safe hands with Silversea. With a Northeast Passage crossing planned, and additional voyages to the Bay of Bengal, the Russian Far East, Antarctica, and Australia’s Kimberley Coast, among others, the cruise line will continue to push industry boundaries. Of special note are two Silver Discoverer cruises that depart in summer 2019 for Borneo’s Camp Leakey – a renowned refuge for orangutans, to which the cruise company enjoys exclusive access and has made various donations to support the protection and research of the primates.

Efforts to champion environmental sustainability are currently, and will continue to be, key in Silversea’s strategic development. Silversea is a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), which is dedicated to managing respectable, sustainable and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic. Moreover, the cruise line belongs to the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), which promotes safe and responsible travel to Antarctica.

In the past decade, Silversea has developed innovative strategies – such as a dedicated training academy – to recruit an unparalleled team of expedition specialists. This has played a crucial role in the cruise line’s success. On each expedition voyage, teams of up to 28 experts conduct immersive destination experiences for guests. These passionate and insightful professionals offer informative lectures and discussions on board, in addition to Zodiac® excursions and nature walks ashore – all of which are complimentary.

Aboard Silversea’s fleet of four purpose-built expedition ships, guests enjoy ocean-view suites, gourmet cuisine, the personalised service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages served throughout the ship, a stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, and unlimited free Wi-Fi.

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Posted in Cruise News, Expedition Cruising, Silversea Cruises

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines To Reduce And Eliminate Single-Use Plastics

As part of its focus upon waste minimisation and recycling across its fleet, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is pleased to announce on ‘World Environment Day’ that it has introduced a ban on the use of plastic straws on its four ocean ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch. Plastic cutlery is also being removed throughout the Fred. Olsen fleet.

Fred. Olsen has also been implementing other waste-saving initiatives on board its ocean ships:

  • Removal of single-use coffee cups from Bookmark Cafés
  • Plastic jam, butter and milk portions to be replaced in restaurants, buffets, and Room Service orders
  • Replacing plastic laundry bags with linen ones
  • Reducing the consumption of cling film
  • Using ropes to secure items during rough seas rather than plastic

Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“As a cruise line, we make our living out of the sea. We need to do our utmost to conserve this precious environment and make sure that it is safeguarded for marine life and the enjoyment of generations to come.

“There are three key elements to the environmental measures that we are undertaking across our fleet: to reduce and – where possible – eliminate single-use disposable plastics; to reduce the amount of plastics used operationally; and finally, to influence our supply chain in their behaviours.

“We have been listening to guest feedback and asking our staff how we can work together to reduce, and wherever possible, remove our reliance upon single-use plastics. On board Boudicca, for instance, we have been able to reduce the use of cling film by 32%; this is being replicated across our other ships.”

Fred. Olsen is also considering measures that can be undertaken by its river cruise ship, Brabant, to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics on board.

Fred. Olsen operates within a strict environmental framework, and is committed to ensuring that it meets, and where possible, exceeds, regulatory requirements on marine and air pollution. It monitors and regularly reviews its management systems, to ensure compliance with international requirements.

Fred. Olsen makes every effort to minimise any impact on the environment of its operation, both at sea and on land. It is always keen to work with port partners and other suppliers to ensure that its operations ‎and activities complement and bring mutual benefit to the destinations that it visits.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at



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