Fred Olsen celebrates first international voyage to Iceland
It’s been a long time coming, but international cruising from the UK is finally back on the agenda. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has become the first cruise line to complete an international voyage from the UK since the resumption of cruising.
Borealis completes the first international voyage from the UK since the pandemic
Fred Olsen's new ship Borealis returned to the UK from Iceland on 23 August, signifying a “big achievement” for the line and the whole sector, said the line’s director of product and customer service Clare Ward.
The cruise – which departed on 14 August with approximately 800 passengers on board – called into Reykjavík, Ísafjörður, Eyjafjörður and Seyðisfjörður. Guests were able to leave the ship and explore ashore in organised shore excursions.
“Our journey planners curated an itinerary to showcase some of Iceland that is best seen from the water, from the rugged landscapes of Hornstrandir King and Queen Cliffs and scenic sailing into Seyðisfjörður, as well as some lovely sights of whales and other marine wildlife,” said Ward.
Full safety measures were in place throughout
As is to be expected, Fred Olsen and guests needed to meet some additional health and safety requirements.
“This cruise was not without its challenges, but we worked very closely with the Icelandic authorities to ensure all went smoothly and, of course, safely, both for our guests and crew and those living and working in the ports we visited,” added Ward. Pre-registration forms had to be completed, as well as testing prior to arrival into Iceland and before returning to the UK. All guests were also required to be fully vaccinated by the Icelandic government.
Ward explained: “It is the first time in 17 months that anyone has been able to explore overseas on a cruise again, and our destinations team worked closely with our shore tour providers to help as many guests as possible have safe yet genuine experiences ashore and enjoy the natural wonders of Iceland. “This is a real milestone for Fred Olsen, and we can’t wait to welcome guests back on board for international sailings throughout the rest of the year and beyond.”
Fred Olsen currently has two ships sailing, Borealis and new flagship Bolette, both of which are offering more international sailings from September.