Fingal's Cave

Fred. Olsen Welcomes Cruisers Back with New British Isles Sailings this Summer

Author: Olivia Sharpe

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The British Isles offers spectacular scenery, sprawling countryside and culture-rich cities. And there’s no better way to experience them than by cruise ship

Soft-sand beaches, dramatic scenery and landscapes, ancient sites and sensational cuisine. Many believe that you need to travel far and wide to enjoy such riches when in fact, all of this can be found right on your doorstep on an unforgettable British Isles cruise.

Following the pandemic and months of never-ending lockdown, some of us understandably might feel wary about travelling again, which is why a short UK domestic cruise is the perfect way to dip your toes back into cruising this year.

With that in mind, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines recently unveiled a brand new ‘Welcome Back’ programme of cruises to showcase the best of the British Isles this summer, with scenic-only cruises and those with ports of call featured aboard its smaller ships.

The 11-cruise programme includes departures from Dover and Liverpool, with sailings taking in the best of the British Isles, including the Shetland and Orkney Islands, as well as the Isles of Scilly. The line's initial sailings will be scenic only, but will be shortly followed by cruises that will include ports of call.

Isles of Scilly

The cruise line's new ship, Borealis, will be the first to set sail, with a three-night scenic ‘Maiden Voyage’ from Liverpool on 5 July, with Bolette following with a three-night sailing from Dover on 16 August.

Commenting on the new programme, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' managing director, Peter Deer, said:

'We are so excited to be unveiling these new summer cruises. So often overlooked, our British Isles are home to some of the most wonderful wildlife, and so much spectacular scenery that is best enjoyed from the water.

'With this selection of shorter sailings, guests can dip their toes back into cruising and enjoy all that they love about being on board with us before we all begin to venture further afield again.

'This is an incredibly important milestone for our business, and we can’t wait to welcome our guests on board our new-look fleet this summer.'

Balmoral sailing out of Dover in previous years

Cruises closer to home

A big part of travel this year and next will be making the most of our beautiful British Isles and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is celebrating the very best landscapes, coastlines and landmarks that can best be enjoyed from the water this summer.

In addition, each cruise has been handcrafted to showcase some wonderful scenic cruising as well, which is considered just as important as the destinations themselves.

On Borealis' 'Maiden Voyage', departing from Liverpool in July, guests will get the opportunity to see unique scenery on remote islands, such as Fingal’s Cave and Dutchman’s Cap. Those of you after some peace and tranquility after the stresses of lockdown will love sailing Scotland's picturesque lochs, spotting famous landmarks such as Duart Castle.

While three days wouldn't be nearly enough time to take in the delights of the Caribbean, it's plenty of time to capture the beauty of the UK's southern archipelago. Bolette's short and sweet 'Maiden Voyage', setting sail on 16 August from Dover, includes scenic cruising past the Isles of Scilly, where you'll enjoy views of their golden-beach-framed lands, bays and craggy islets.

Guests will also spend a day revelling in the beauty of the Channel Islands, enjoying the dramatic coastal scenery of Jersey, Alderney and Guernsey.

To give guests a true feel of the places they're sailing to, experts from the wildlife charity ORCA will be joining guests on these scenic sailings and giving talks about the local wildlife and magnificent marine creatures they will hopefully see during their cruise.


What has always set Fred. Olsen apart from other cruise lines is its fleet of small ships. These compact vessels are able to dock into ports other large ships cannot, so guests get the unique opportunity of enjoying rare calls into remote islands.

Rather than visiting all of the regular tourist hotspots, the cruise line purposefully diverts away from these overcrowded routes and instead visits lesser-known places, guaranteeing the most scenic cruising experience possible. The smaller ships also mean it will be less crowded on board, which is no doubt music to travellers' ears post-lockdown.

If you like going off the beaten track, then Fred. Olsen's 'Touring Scenic Orkneys & Shetlands' sailing is the cruise for you. Sailing to and from Scotland, highlights in the Orkneys include a stop at Kirkwall, offering guests the chance to uncover historic wonders such as the Unesco-listed Neolithic village of Skara Brae and ceremonial stone circles of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar.

If you're a fan of wildlife, then this itinerary is also ideal as it includes a visit to Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands, where you'll get the chance to spot local wildlife including fulmars, puffins and various other bird species which live and breed amongst the sea cliffs and rugged landscapes.

Finally, Fred. Olsen's 'Scenic Isles & Summer Wildlife' cruise is another great shout for lovers of flora and fauna. As you sail amongst Scotland’s remote isles and dramatic waterways, you will witness coastal scenery and landmarks, such as the basalt columns of Fingal’s Cave, Kilt Rock and plunging Mealt Waterfall, and the Small Isles’ craggy mountains. See the historic Duart and Culzean castles too, and Neist Point Lighthouse, plus experience journeys into some of the most scenic lochs.

From the secluded pockets of the Shetlands to the majestic Lochs of the Highlands, a Fred. Olsen cruise around the British Isles offers you everything you could possibly want out of a holiday. Where do we sign up?

Fingal's Cave

Highlights of Fred. Olsen’s summer sailings

Borealis’ four-night ‘Scenic British Isles & Summer Wildlife’ no port cruise, departing from Liverpool on 8 July 2021, from £549pp. Enjoy up to £75 per person to spend on board.

Liverpool, England – Cruising by Neist Point Lighthouse – Cruising by Kilt Rock & Mealt Waterfall – Cruising Loch Broom – Cruising by The Small Isles – Cruising Loch Hourn – Cruising by Dutchman’s Cap – (Bac Mòr) & Fingals Cave – Cruising Sound of Mull – Cruising by Duart Castle – Liverpool, England

Borealis’ five-night ‘Scenic Orkney & Faroe Islands’ no port cruise
, departing from Liverpool on 17 July 2021, from £699pp. Enjoy up to £100 per person to spend on board.

Liverpool, England – Cruising by The Needle, Orkney, Scotland – Cruising by Old Man of Hoy, Hoy, Orkneys – Cruising by Marwick Head, Orkneys – Cruising by Fair Isle – Cruising by Sumburgh Head, Shetlands – Cruising by Cape Enniberg – Cruising Kalsoyarfjørður – Cruising Leirvíksfjørður & Djúpini – Cruising by Vestmanna cliffs, Streymoy – Cruising by Gásadalur – Cruising by Mykines – Cruising Gáshólmur, Tindhólmur & Drangarnir – Cruising by Hestur & Koltur – Liverpool, England

Bolette’s five-night ‘Touring Scenic Orkneys & Shetlands’ cruise
, departing from Dover on 24 August 2021. Prices start from £799 per person. Enjoy up to £100 per person to spend on board.

Dover, England – Lerwick, Shetland Islands – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands – Dover, England

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