A-Z Cruise Holiday Guide


Safety Deposit Boxes

Safety deposit boxes are available on all our cruise ships. For Guests travelling on board Black Watch, safety deposit boxes are available at Reception. There is a £5 deposit for these (on Black Watch) which will be refunded at the end of your cruise. In addition to these safety deposit boxes, there is a lockable drawer in each room on Black Watch.

Boudicca, Braemar and Balmoral have lockable safes in each room.

Shopping On Board

The cruise ship on-board boutiques offer a wide range of items from luxury items, including jewellery, glassware and perfumes, to elegant eveningwear and casual day clothes. The shop on board each cruise ship stocks essential items such as camera film, sun cream, toiletries and other on board necessities, as well as souvenirs and cruise mementoes. The shops will be closed in some ports due to customs regulations.

You can of course buy alcohol on board at very reasonable prices, but please give any that you buy on shore to a Fred. Olsen staff member for safe storage during your cruise holiday. Alcohol can also be purchased via our  in-Room Shopping Service for consumption within your room or to take away with you at cruise end. Subject to your specific cruise itinerary there may also be the opportunity to purchase duty free within the last few days of your cruise.


Shore Tours/Going Ashore

Usually the cruise ship will berth in the port’s harbour and a gangway will be positioned so you may come and go from the ship as you please. In smaller ports the cruise ship may be at anchor when we will provide tender boats to take you ashore. These tenders will run frequently to and from the ship and there is no charge for this service.‘Freedom’ fare guests receive these shuttle services free of charge.

When a tender service is in operation, Guests may have to negotiate up to a maximum of 25 steps to/from the tender platform. We regret that on health and safety grounds Guests confined to a wheelchair or unable to negotiate the steps will not be able to go ashore.

We offer a choice of shore tours in nearly every port of call. Most shore tours are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable tour guides and are an excellent way of exploring the main attractions of each port of call. As these tours are very popular we strongly recommend that you pre-book in advance of your cruise to avoid disappointment, although they may also be booked on board at the Shore Tours Desk. Please note that tours are subject to minimum and maximum participating numbers and to local weather conditions. Guests on Balmoral and Braemar can preview and book tours available during their cruise, by visiting FOi (Interactive TV) under the ‘Shore Tours’ menu.

A full colour programme, including booking form, detailing all our tours will be despatched directly to you between 4 and 6 weeks weeks prior to sailing.

For disabled Guests we regrettably cannot guarantee that assistance by qualified persons will be available at all ports of call. Unless able to board a vehicle unassisted it will not usually be possible for wheelchair users to participate in organised shore tours. Please ask our Shore Tour Department about independent tours with adapted vehicles.

Regrettably, on health and safety grounds it is not possible to convey any Guests ashore via a tender service if confined to a wheelchair. Similarly, it is only possible to convey collapsible wheelchairs on a tender where the user needs the minimum of assistance to board and alight the tender. This will be at the discretion of our security staff on the day.

Going Ashore Independently:
Your cruise fare is fully inclusive of port taxes and charges, so as soon as the ship is cleared by customs and immigration in each port you are free to get on and off the ship as many times as you wish. When the ship is berthed some distance from the centre of town a shuttle bus service is often provided to assist with your visit and save you money on taxi fares. All day tickets (for which a small charge is made) can be bought from Reception. Shuttle buses do not operate in ports where we feel it is easy/more economical for Guests to use independent transport such as taxis, or when we are prohibited from running a service – this is particularly the case in the Caribbean.

Certain ports of call, such as Civitavecchia for Rome, or Leixoes for Oporto, are visited specifically to facilitate our shore tour programme, so independent transport may not be readily available.

Please note the ship cannot wait as a consequence of the late return of any independent tours/transport you may have booked.

Single Travellers

Our single guests never need be alone on board as we have the reputation of operating the friendliest cruise ships afloat and were recently voted 'Best for Solo Cruisers' by Cruise Critic.  Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines staff will be waiting to greet you from the moment you arrive at the port and special activities will be arranged throughout the cruise to give you the opportunity to meet with fellow single travellers if you wish. Dance hosts will be on hand on all cruises to make sure our single guests never go too long without a dance partner in the evenings.

Smoking Policy

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines now operate a strict ‘no- smoking’ policy in all inside areas. Smoking will only be permitted on room balconies (excluding Deck 7 Terrace Balconies on Black Watch & Boudicca) and on designated open deck areas.

Electronic cigarettes, not emitting a vapour may be used in rooms or on room balconies but, are not permitted in any non-smoking public area. They can easily be mistaken for a real cigarette and result in potential confrontation and necessitate staff intervention.

Electronic cigarettes emitting any vapour, even if only a water vapour, may only be smoked in designated external smoking areas.

Special Occasions

If you are celebrating a special anniversary or birthday whilst on board one of our cruise ships we would like to help you celebrate to make the occasion even more memorable. Please let us know if you are celebrating your Silver, Pearl, Ruby, Golden, Emerald or Diamond anniversary either three months before, during or after your cruise and we will provide a fantastic cruise ship 'special occasion' package with our compliments. All we ask is that you provide us with a copy of your marriage certificate prior to departure. Similarly a honeymoon on board is a unique time and we will mark the occasion in style. If it’s your birthday during the cruise we will help you celebrate with a special celebration cake presented at dinner.

In addition to this we offer a choice of special packages which may be purchased in advance:

  • Anniversary Celebration – Flowers or chocolates in room on arrival, champagne and canapés served on your special day, anniversary gift, celebration cake and souvenir photograph.
  • Birthday Celebration – Champagne breakfast served in your room, birthday gift and card, celebration cake at dinner and souvenir photograph.
  • Welcome Aboard – Floral bouquet, champagne and canapés, chocolates and a fruit basket – all placed in your room on arrival.

For more information on any of the packages detailed above please see our main brochure or contact Guest Services on 0800 0355 145 selecting option 3.

Swimming Pools

All four Fred. Olsen cruise ships have outdoor swimming pool/s and a wide range of on-board leisure facilities. Our swimming pools are filled with seawater and heated to approximately 30°C (86°) and Jacuzzis which are approximately 34°C (93°F). Weather permitting the pools are kept open from 8am – 8pm. Towels for use around the pool and on the sun deck are available in your rooms. For hygiene purposes all pools and jacuzzis are treated with the appropriate chlorine based chemicals.
Black Watch and Boudicca also now feature state of the art SwimEX exercise pools.

0800 0355 130

You can call us 7 days a week,
we'd love to hear from you.

Calls are charged at local rate

Our opening hours

Mon-Fri: 08:00 - 20:00 Sat: 09:00 - 17:00 Sun: 10:00 - 16:00

0800 0355 130
Telephone Icon
Call us 7 days a week, we'd love to hear from you

Your recently viewed cruises

X Close
River Cruises