Late May 2017 saw the launch of Fred. Olsen’s brand new programme of European river cruising on board Brabant. Sales & Marketing Director, Justin Stanton, shares his experience of boarding Fred. Olsen's new, dedicated river cruising boat for the first time.
I was very fortunate that one of the first duties of my new role at Fred. Olsen was to visit the river cruise boat that would soon be joining our fleet as Brabant. Although regularly travelling on our fleet of four ocean-going ships, I’ve never river cruised before and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. While there were some differences, there was much that was familiar. At 110 metres long and with only four decks the vessel is quite compact and it took no time at all to find my way around. As you’d expect for a boat joining the Fred. Olsen fleet (and yes, after some debate we decided to call it a boat rather than a ship) it has a tasteful, understated décor with a quiet elegance that makes you feel at home as soon as you step on board.
The biggest differences, I suppose, are that there are no swimming pools and no show lounges, although there is usually a singer in the bar during the evenings. Both the bar and the restaurant would be right at home on one of the ocean-going ships, though I have to say my favourite spot was at the aft, in the Amadeus Club. It’s quite small, with some games, books and tea and coffee facilities. It’s really quiet so is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the scenery passing by; as with every Fred. Olsen vessel the views from on board are a real highlight.
From all the public rooms, most cabins and out on the Sun Deck you can enjoy the gorgeous European landscapes rolling past – all while you relax. And that’s why I’m especially pleased that Clare Ward, our Director of Product and Customer Services, and her teams have done such a great job crafting some really special itineraries that not only visit a wish-list of destinations, but include superb scenic cruising experiences too.
I really hope you’ll try river cruising Fred. Olsen-style. The team are hard at work to ensure it’s everything our guests would expect, from the friendly service and the welcoming atmosphere, to food you’ll look forward to every day.
I look forward to seeing you on board in 2018!
What facilities are on board Brabant?
Between all the exciting destinations on your itinerary, there is plenty to keep you occupied on board Brabant. From the stunning scenic views passing by and the relaxing Amadeus Club to the Fitness Room and Vital Club.
What's included in the price?
In addition to comfortable en suite accommodation, you can enjoy gourmet dining throughout your cruise, a Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner, complimentary afternoon tea, use of leisure facilities and free Wi-Fi.
Is there a dress code?
We want you to feel as relaxed and as comfortable as possible while enjoying a river cruise with Fred. Olsen, which is why the dress code on board Brabant is casual during the day and smart casual in the evening. There is no requirements for black tie/formal wear on Fred. Olsen river cruises.
Tell me about the dining
Start the day with an ‘early riser’ coffee, tea and pastries before tucking into a hearty buffet breakfast. Then take your seat for a delicious three-course lunch supplemented by items from the buffet. For those with a sweet tooth, afternoon tea in the Panorama Lounge is a must. And the evening brings a sumptuous five-course á la carte dinner served in the Panorama Restaurant. Those who are still peckish can indulge in some late-night snacks.
Is there a drinks upgrade?
The Dining Drinks Upgrade is available on all Brabant river cruises. For just £10 per person, per night, selected drinks are covered during your lunch and dinner. Enjoy red and white house wines, a choice of draught beer (lager & bitter) and branded soft drinks.