As the global suspension of sailings has sadly put a halt to all cruises for the foreseeable future, cruise lines have been coming up with innovative new ways to give would-be passengers a taste of life on the high seas from the comfort of their homes during coronavirus lockdown.

Case in point is Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, which has just launched an amazing new Virtual Cruising programme.

The programme, designed “to bring the joys of small-ship sailing and discovering the world to guests who are self-isolating in their homes”, commenced over the Bank holiday weekend with a focus on Norway.

Video footage showcasing the best of small-ship cruising in the Norwegian fjords was featured along with a Sunday afternoon brain teaser.

The cruise line has also launched a short story writing competition, with guests taking part to be in with a chance to win a five-night cruise for two in 2021.

Head of digital at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Ben Williams, said:

“We know that so many of our guests are missing their time at sea, just as much as we are missing having them on board.

“We may not be able to cruise across our wonderful world as we normally would, but we can bring many of the joys of cruising to our guests at home and what better way to kick this off than with a celebration of our Norwegian Heritage?

“It has been a great opportunity for us to interact with our guests, and we have loved receiving comments and messages of support from all those who have enjoyed our virtual cruising journey so far.

“We are particularly looking forward to reading your short stories, and can’t wait to welcome the lucky winner on board with us next year!”

The Norwegian theme continues this week, with features including an ‘on board’ lecture from marine conservation charity ORCA, explorations of Olden and a celebration of the best of Bergen.

Fred Olsen is encouraging guests to share pictures of themselves enjoying their daily exercise every Wednesday as the cruise line rolls out its daily ‘Walk a Mile with a Smile’, usually held each morning on each of the four ocean ships: Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch.

If this still isn’t enough to keep you entertained, the cruise line has also created an online content hub called The Bridge, which features recipe ideas, short workouts, videos and blog posts.

Fred Olsen’s virtual programme will continue next week with a focus on the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores, with a full itinerary to be posted across its social media channels at the start of the week.

So if you’re having cruise withdrawal, turns out your much-needed fix is just a button-click away.

For more information, visit fredolsencruises.com/the-bridge.