Noble Caledonia was established in 1991. It all started with Andrew Cochrane, a travel industry expert of considerable experience who made a call to Christer Salen, Swedish owner of a small ship called Caledonian Star. A plan was set in motion to market the vessel in the UK and from this point onwards things snowballed quite quickly. First a new company was created to market the Caledonian Star and given a name – Noble Caledonia. Within two weeks an office was set up in Mayfair, stationery was printed and the first advert was placed in the Daily Telegraph – Noble Caledonia was on its way.
Happily the first Caledonian Star cruise in 1991 was a success. Since then they have steadily grown their offering of tours and cruises, responding to wishes and ideas from their regular clients and searching out the new, exciting and at times unusual. Their aim was and remains to always provide a unique, interesting and educational travel experience; a journey shared with like-minded travellers. Whilst their repertoire has expanded over the years what has remained constant is their knowledge and expertise. Their staff in both the office and the field have grown with them and their dedication and experience has helped them to shape the high level of planning, quality and personalised service that has become their hallmark.
Almost a quarter of a century on, Noble Caledonia goes from strength to strength. From their modest beginnings they have grown to the point where they are now generally recognised as being the leading small ship cruise specialist, with a loyal following and an ever developing portfolio of innovative and enticing tours and cruises.
Along the way, there have been some changes but many of their staff and clients have been with them since their establishment and continue to play an important role in their growth. Andrew Cochrane remains the company’s Managing Director and in 2006, the majority shareholding passed from Christer Salen to his daughter Katarina Salen and her husband Per Magnus Sander. The MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky have replaced the Caledonian Star as their flagships and a new vessel, the Sea Explorer will shortly join their fleet.
Noble Caledonia is a rarity in today’s cruising world where the vast majority of vessels are owned and operated by multi-nationals. Being an independent company where the owners are involved in all aspects puts them in a unique place. From this position of freedom and not having to pander to shareholders and financial institutions they operate for the benefit of their passengers who reward them by travelling with them time and time again. They are immensely proud of their fleet and continue to develop inspiring itineraries aboard their own ships and others which they charter to cover all regions of the world.