Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is celebrating an historic coming together of its fleet of four ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – in Bergen, Norway on 28th July 2015. This ‘4 Bs in Bergen’ event – named after the initial letter of each of the four Fred. Olsen ships – was the first time ever that the fleet has converged in one place, anywhere in the world.
Fred. Olsen’s four ships sailed into the Bergen harbour at just before 8am in brilliant sunshine, and 4, 000 lucky guests were treated to spectacular views of the entire fleet as they entered in formation and took up their positions in the Port. Flagship Balmoral was berthed at Bontelabo Pier, sister ships Boudicca and Black Watch at Skolten Pier and Braemar at Festningskaien Pier, nearest to the city centre.
Speaking at the event, Mike Rodwell, Managing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“Today has been a very special day for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. We were delighted to be joined by Fred. Olsen and Fred. Olsen Jnr, our Chairman, at the Port of Bergen today, and it was with great pride that the fifth and sixth generations of our company looked upon their cruise fleet, joined together for the very first time.
“It is testament to our incredible crews that we were able to lay on such an enjoyable array of festivities and activities for our guests to participate in throughout the day, and there has been a very special atmosphere in the beautiful city of Bergen today.
“We are committed to the city of Bergen – known as the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’ – on our Norwegian cruise itineraries. The Olsen association with Bergen can be traced way back to the 19th Century and we would like to thank the Port and the city of Bergen for making us so very welcome today.”
Captain Victor Stoica, Master of Balmoral, said:
“Today was a memorable event in the history of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and, along with all crew here on board Balmoral, I feel honoured to have been part of it.
“There has been an electric atmosphere on board since we sailed from Southampton and our guests have enjoyed every single second of this incredible experience!
“As Captain of Balmoral, I am very proud of the efforts from each and every crewmember and office personnel, who have worked tirelessly in creating an event that will be talked about for years to come.”
Fred. Olsen’s four ships departed from Bergen in convoy at 6pm, and made a majestic exit from the harbour in a ‘diamond’ formation, led by a fire tug boat ceremoniously spraying its water cannons.
The festivities on the day included a Norwegian-themed marching band and drummers on the quayside, and guests were welcomed to Bergen by locals in national costume. A fantastic schedule of onboard entertainment featured a lively Country Fayre with games, live bands and deck parties. Guests enjoyed complimentary drinks and specially-created Norwegian dishes, such as homemade gravadlax and cloudberry pie. Guests were also entertained by talented opera singer Anthony Stewart-Lloyd, who performed a show on each ship – something that has not been done before across the Fred. Olsen fleet!
To celebrate this special one-off event, guests had the chance to visit all four ships as they were berthed along the quayside, and were invited to enjoy the different range of activities taking place across the fleet, which were all unique to each individual ship.
An action-packed inter-ship ‘Tug of War’ took place at Festningskaien Pier, with vocal encouragement from guests and the Fred. Olsen ‘cheerleaders’ from each ship; the two male and female teams from Braemar were victorious.
Guests could also choose to participate in a Treasure Hunt, where they were tasked with locating six historical locations within the city, as well as enjoying a beautiful walk in such scenic surroundings!
In addition there were a range of specially-themed ‘4 Bs in Bergen’ shore excursions, including a walking tour, which visited the Bergenhus Fortress, historic Bryggen and Ole Bull statue, a helicopter tour to see all four ships from above, and a Mount Fløyen funicular tour, with the emphasis on the view of the ships from the impressive summit.
Fred. Olsen is renowned for its proud Norwegian heritage. The Fred. Olsen Company originated in the small village of Hvitsten, outside Oslo, in 1848, when three Olsen brothers – Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas – bought their first ships and began an international shipping company. Now into the fifth generation of the family, there is no better way to experience all the many wonders that Norway has to offer than on a Fred. Olsen cruise!
Fred. Olsen’s four ships are operating on the following schedules:
• Balmoral – eight-night L1511 ‘Norwegian Fjords’ cruise
• Braemar – 14-night M1521 ‘Falls, Fjords & Faroe Islands’ cruise
• Boudicca – seven-night D1517 ‘Glaciers, Fjords & Waterfalls of Norway’ cruise
• Black Watch – nine-night W1512 ‘Cruising the Fjordland’ cruise
From Bergen, Balmoral continued to Flåm; both Braemar and Black Watch have met up again today [29th July 2015] in Eidfjord; and Boudicca sailed onto Ålesund.
In 2015, Fred. Olsen will be celebrating a total number of 17 cruise calls to Bergen, comprising visits by nearly 17, 000 guests. Balmoral, Boudicca and Black Watch will be making four calls each, and Braemar will be making five.