Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has announced revised ‘back in service’ dates for its four-strong ocean fleet, as the company prepares for cruising in 2021. 

The new timetable shows that new ship Borealis will now be the first of the fleet to sail, and will embark on her maiden cruise with Fred. Olsen – the six-night ‘Scottish Lochs and Isles’ cruise – on April 23rd as originally planned. 

Bolette will follow on May 29th and Balmoral on June 9th.

Due to having an extensive fly-cruise programme, Braemar will remain in lay-up until 2022. 

All guests who are booked onto a cancelled sailing will be notified of the changes, and will be provided with a number of options including a no-quibble refund as part of Fred. Olsen’s plain sailing guarantee.

Peter Deer, managing director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “While it is regrettable that our pause in operations is longer than we originally anticipated, we have said right from the start that we will not resume sailing until we are confident that it is safe for us to do so, and we stand by that. 

“The safety of our guests and crew remains our utmost priority, and it is important that we fully understand the advances in the roll-out of the vaccine, testing capabilities and other scientific developments and what they mean for how we can operate. 

“This is not a process to be rushed, and we are confident that by deferring our return to sailing just a while longer, with our two new ships among the fleet, we can come back better and stronger than ever without compromising on guest experience.

“Braemar, which typically operates our Mediterranean and Caribbean fly-cruise programme in the winter, will remain in lay-up for next year.

“Initially, we believe it may be more complex for us to operate the planned fly cruise programme and we will therefore instead focus on our extensive ex-UK itineraries during 2021.

“In the meantime, we can’t wait to welcome our guests and crew back on board from April next year.”