Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

As a family-run cruise line, we really take your experience personally. While the cruise industry has gone for bigger ships, brimming with more and more people, we have always believed that smaller is better. We treat passengers as guests, we dock at smaller ports in more interesting places and we avoid overcrowding both aboard and ashore. At capacity, our smaller ships will only ever sail with between 900 and 1,400 guests.

We have a small team of specialist itinerary planners. They take great pride in handcrafting each journey, to ensure we show you hidden gems as well as highlights on each of our sailings. It is a passion that has won us the Cruise Critic award for Best Itineraries for five consecutive years.

Cruise from seven regional UK ports to hundreds of destinations worldwide in the classic style and comfort of our smaller-sized ships. For most of the year, the ships are based in Britain, with cruises departing from Rosyth (Edinburgh), Newcastle, Liverpool, Dover, Southampton, Portsmouth and Belfast.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Ships

More about Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

The world of cruising is changing.

Cruise ships that are ever bigger, ever busier and (some would say) ever brasher, are beginning to dominate and there are many guests looking for an alternative.

We stand up for the smaller ship experience because we know that is what our guests would rather choose: an experience that makes the most of the beauty of the journey and the nature and culture of the destinations along the way. An experience that’s elegant and relaxed, rather than busy and brash.

So, our purpose here at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is to stand up for a different way of cruising.

We call this way The Olsen Way. It is people-sized, not super-sized.


We are incredibly proud of our fleet of 4 smaller ships; Bolette, Borealis, Balmoral and our smallest ship, Braemar. Each has been elegantly designed and they all look and feel like ships (not hotels or holiday resorts); with wide open deck spaces as well as lounges and restaurants which have been meticulously planned to ensure you have a wonderful experience.

With fewer guests, our crew can really get to know you and what you like. And the atmosphere on board our ships is always warm and civilised.

The smaller size of our ships also allows us access to more interesting places, such as Norway’s lesser known Fjords as well as European cities with narrow waterways and size-restricted bridges. It also means we can dock in the heart of some of the world’s most fascinating cities.

137 Cruises · 3 Ships

Cruise Regions

  • Mediterranean
  • N Europe
  • Repositioning
  • World-wide
  • Atlantic Islands
  • Black Sea/Med
  • Arctic
  • Africa
  • Caribbean
  • Mystery
  • East US/Canada

View cruises with this operator:

Reasons to Book

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines believe smaller is better. The smaller size of their ships allows them access to places larger ships simply cannot reach, such as journeying through the impressive Corinth Canal, along beautiful narrow Norwegian fjords and via size-restricted waterways into the heart of fascinating cites.If you only have a small space:

Fred. Olsen has a fleet of three elegant smaller ships. Fred. Olsen love nothing more than exploring size-restricted waterways with their smaller ships.

Individual ship profiles:

Bolette: With just 690 cabins Bolette fits perfectly in Fred. Olsen’s fleet of smaller ships. She has a warm, welcoming atmosphere, timeless style, and plenty of open deck space. With two speciality restaurants, a selection of elegant bars and lounges as well as a relaxing spa, gym and two swimming pools, her smaller size does not mean a compromise on facilities.

Borealis: Sister-ship to Bolette, Borealis’ high speeds are perfectly suited for taking guests on a journey around the globe, enabling exploration in more ports in a shorter duration. Her smaller size, spacious public areas, open deck spaces and impressive array of restaurants, lounges and facilities make her perfect for longer voyages, and shorter journeys alike.

Balmoral: Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral retains a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open deck space.

Fred. Olsen believe a cruise is different to a holiday. A cruise is about the joy of the journey, as well as the destinations guests can visit, and exploring the world from the wonderful vantage point of the ship and the sea.That is why their onboard experience is different to other cruise lines. They want you to get beyond the standard tourist perspective, so you can discover real insights about the culture and nature of the places you are visiting.

New for 2023 sailings - Journey Navigators

Unique to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and joining them on all cruises from 2023, Journey Navigators will be on board to entertain and inspire, with their insights and stories. They will host talks, presentations and private lunches, and are available to anyone who wishes to find out more about their journey. And please don't worry, if sitting and relaxing is what you are on the cruise to do, that's fine too.

You will find these Journey Navigators, (including a Nature Scout, Culture Curator, Entertainment Host and Maritime Guide), on board every Fred. Olsen ship.

Nature Scouts

Nature Scouts are hired by Fred. Olsen for their expertise and passion for the natural world. They are on board to share their knowledge with you, helping you enjoy the natural beauty of the places they visit in a more informed and interesting way. You will often find them on deck, sometimes with visiting specialist speakers, keen to point out and discuss the most interesting aspects of the journey and help guests spot sea life.

On each Fred. Olsen ship, you will also find RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats). On selected cruises, the Nature Scouts will join smaller groups on these for Scenic Safaris which allow guests to explore even closer to the coastline.Culture CuratorThere aren’t any humdrum lectures on board a Fred. Olsen ship. Instead, their charming Culture Curators help to deliver a programme of visiting speakers and inspirational activities to deepen your understanding of cultural, artistic and historical stories in the destinations they visit. They host talks in The Neptune Lounge and in The Auditorium. For any guests who want to go even further, they will also host private breakfasts and lunches in smaller groups which will give them the chance to chat to them personally.

Entertainment Host

The Entertainment Hosts are there to ensure your days and nights can be filled with an exciting programme of live music, dancing, quizzes, competitions and all other forms of fun and games on every cruise.

Maritime Guide

The Olsen family have been in shipping for nearly 200 years. The Maritime Guides on each of their ships love to share that history with you. From hosting Bridge and Galley Tours to delving below deck and hosting Q&A sessions with key members of their crew, they are on board to bring maritime traditions and the workings of their smaller ships to life.

Explore the World, The Olsen Way

Destinations overview:

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are famous for their hand-crafted and innovative itineraries. They have won the Cruise Critic Best Itineraries award every year since 2015. Their dedicated team of Journey Planners are passionate about travel and craft interesting itineraries which visit a mixture of popular ports and hidden gems.Along with researching every port in detail, their team plan a range of sailings that coincide with seasonal and special events, such as the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights, or to catch the waterfalls of Norway at their strongest in the spring.

Regional departures:Sailing from a port near you.

To make things nice and easy, Fred. Olsen plan their itineraries to sail from around the UK. In 2023 and 2024, they will depart from six local ports: Rosyth (Edinburgh), Newcastle, Liverpool, Tilbury (London), Dover and Southampton. So you are never too far away from joining a Fred. Olsen cruise.

Members Club

The Oceans Club is Fred. Olsen's exclusive loyalty membership programme, open to every adult guest who sails with us. If you have cruised with Fred. Olsen within the past five years, you will have automatically become an Oceans Club Member.

How it works:

  • One cruise point is awarded for every night you've spent on board Fred. Olsen cruises (since 1st January 2000)*
  • Points are added to your membership total at the end of each cruise**
  • Guests are automatically awarded Bronze Membership after their first night on board
  • Guests are upgraded to Silver Membership after 31 nights on board
  • Guests are upgraded to Gold Membership after 101-250 nights on board
  • Guests are upgraded to Platinum Membership after 251-500 nights on board

Guests are upgraded to our highest level Diamond Elite Membership after 501 or more nights on board

* There are some exclusions that are outlined in the membership terms and conditions.

** Or at the end of each cruise section if on a Grand Voyage.

Please note: points become void if there is more than five years between the end of one cruise and the end of the next.

There are five levels of Oceans Club membership – each with their own fantastic benefits* to take advantage of – and your Membership Level is determined by the number of cruise points you have. So, the more you cruise with Fred. Olsen, the more benefits you will receive.

One cruise point is awarded for every night you have spent on board Fred. Olsen cruises that have departed since 1st January 2000, with the exception of a few exclusions. It’s worth noting that points will be added to your membership total at the end of each cruise and that points become void if there is longer than five years between the end of one cruise and the end of the next.

You will automatically become a Bronze member after spending your first night on board with us; then after 31 nights on board you will be upgraded to Silver membership. Gold membership is given to guests that have spent 101-250 nights cruising with us. Our most loyal guests will be awarded our Platinum and Diamond Elite memberships. Guests who have spent 251-500 nights on board become Platinum members; those who have spent 501 or more nights on board become Diamond Elite members – the highest level of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Oceans Club membership. 

You can find more information here: