‘Amazing’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘wonderful’ were just some of the words used to describe Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ new ship Borealis as she returned into Liverpool today at the end of her Maiden Voyage.
Borealis set sail on her first cruise with Fred. Olsen on Monday, to a backdrop of fireworks put together by Liverpool Cruise Terminal. During the three-day cruise, Borealis offered scenic sailing of northerly British Isles, including Fingal’s Cave, Dutchman’s Cap and the Sound of Mull.
Cruise Conservationists from marine wildlife charity ORCA were also on board, helping guests to spot whales and other marine mammals and conducting their own vital research into wildlife populations. In total the team, with help from guests, spotted more than 200 common and bottlenose dolphins, as well as minke whales, grey seals and harbour porpoises.
Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, who was on board for the sailing, said:
“The atmosphere on board has been wonderful. We have received some fantastic feedback from our guests saying they loved Borealis as soon as they stepped on board, and they have really enjoyed exploring the ship for the first time.
“Of course the biggest compliments have been for our crew, and being back together you realise it really is all about the people. Even behind face masks, our crew and returning guests have been able to recognise one another and it has been great to see everyone exchanging well wishes.
“It is a real pleasure to be back at sea, doing what we do best – sailing our own course and looking after our guests.”
Guest Rosemary Tyler, who was enjoying her 19th cruise with Fred. Olsen, said:
“It’s a Maiden Voyage, which is something you very rarely get to experience! I wanted to see the lovely new ship. It’s amazing, beautiful. It’s a wonderful ship, and of course the crew are absolutely immaculate. This has been worth the wait.
“The food is always gorgeous and you have got such a choice, from Indian to the Far East, back to home… anything you want.
“We’ve had beautiful weather. The scenery is beautiful, and so varied. We were so lucky, there was a whole pod of dolphins following us, playing with the ship. That’s exactly what we wanted to see.”
Steve Jones, Head of Partnerships at ORCA and who has been leading the Cruise Conservationist Programme on board Borealis, said:
“The guest engagement has been absolutely fantastic. We have had hundreds of guests come to see us. We are enjoying the amazing viewing platform at the front of the ship, which is perfect for spotting marine wildlife and capturing the great scenery.
“British waters are great for wildlife spotting, especially at this time of year. When we were sailing by Fingal’s Cave we had a group of around 30 bottlenose dolphins, with calves, follow the ship for around 45 minutes. It’s so unusual to have an encounter with dolphins that long, it was a real privilege.
“Not only has this been great for guests to witness, but it has played an important role in our own research on whales and dolphins, which is invaluable to us. We can’t wait to see what we spot on the rest of our sailings with Fred. Olsen!”
The Maiden Voyage will be followed by a series of cruises around the British Isles over the coming summer months, including scenic-only sailings and those with ports of call, with Borealis to sail exclusively from Liverpool for the remainder of the year.
Borealis was purchased by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in the summer of 2020, along with sister ship Bolette, as the line looked to strengthen and evolve for its return to cruising.