As cruising has been put on hold for the time being due to the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has been doing everything it can to raise people’s spirits during these challenging times, showing its support of the NHS and helping the most vulnerable.

Case in point is Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ head office staff, who have set themselves a challenge to walk around the world in a bid to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together.

The Around the World Challenge was the brainchild of sales manager for Groups and Affinity, Ellie Fulcher, and encourages people to use their one hour of daily exercise to see how far they can walk, run, cycle or even swim.

Speaking about the challenge, Ellie said: “All of us at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines are missing the sense of normality that cruising in a healthy world brings.

“Those of us who are working from home are desperately missing our colleagues on furlough leave, and we know that they are missing us, too.

“What we also have in common is that we are all indebted to our wonderful NHS, who are working incredibly hard to combat Covid-19.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines: NHS coronavirus

“I wanted to do something to bring us together as a team again, working towards a shared goal as we always have, although this time it is to raise as much money for the NHS as we can.

“There are 24,901 miles around the world. We don’t know how long it will take us, but we do know that anything that can bring us together to support our NHS at this time will be greatly appreciated by all of those who are working so hard to keep us safe and well.”

To help step up the miles, FTC Gym, which neighbours Fred Olsen House in Ipswich, is running weekly virtual step-based classes for the team in return for a donation to NHS Charities Together.

The team has already covered over 600 miles since the challenge launched on 1 May and will be sharing updates each Wednesday as part of their Virtual Cruising programme and the ‘Walk a Mile With a Smile’ event.

Visit fredolsencruises.com/the-bridge to follow the team’s progress.