Fred Olsen’s 880-pax ‘Boudicca’ is now back in service following an extensive refurbishment and refit at Blohm + Voss.
She entered drydock on 17th March was was redelivered at the end of that month.
According to agency ROL Cruise, considerable attention was paid to the cabins and all 462 rooms on board were upgraded with new carpets fitted along with new soft furnishings and lamps.
All of the guest cabins were equipped with mini-fridges, safes and interactive smart TVs as a standard. New balcony furniture was also installed.
There was also extensive upgrading and remodelling of ‘Boudicca’s’ public areas and dining facilities. The Heligan Room was converted into the ‘Indian Ocean Restaurant’, with the decor being of an Indian Ocean theme. This restaurant now offers a similar ambiance as the Orchid Room to be found on her sister ‘Black Watch’.
The Morning Light pub, was moved to the portside of the Secret Garden Café. This allowed for the installation of the ‘Oriental Tea Room’, which serves exotic teas and other Oriental specialities.
Blohm+Voss’ workload for ‘Boudicca’ also comprised engineering works, general refurbishments and painting of the interiors and exterior.
The Guest Services area, the focal point and ‘hub’ of the ship – on Main Deck 5 – was also renewed, making it more inviting and user-friendly for guests, Fred Olsen claimed.
Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, speaking at the time of the refurbishment, said: “We are very proud of our smaller, classic cruise ships, and we recognise the importance of investment in upgrades and improvements to ensure that guest are always able to enjoy their holidays to the full.
“The upgrades and improvements to ‘Black Watch’, ‘Braemar’ and ‘Balmoral’ have all been very well-received by both new and existing guests, and we continue to focus on developing and enhancing the on board experience.
“The significant investment that we are making to guest rooms and public areas throughout our fleet will ensure that we continue to provide facilities that meet – and exceed – guest expectations,” he said.
Oliver Grün, Media Relations Manager (Sprecher) of Blohm+Voss, said: “As with the recent ‘Braemar’ and ‘Balmoral’ refits, Fred Olsen worked with Blohm + Voss and Hamburg charity, DER HAFEN HILFT! (‘The Port Helps!’), to pass on the used furniture and effects taken from ‘Boudicca’ to support local good causes and help those most in need in the Greater Hamburg area.”
All Fred Olsen ships now feature new speciality dining venues, in addition to the main restaurants being refreshed. For example, on Balmoral, a new ‘The Grill’ premium steak and seafood restaurant has been created, portside of the Lido Lounge on Lido Deck 8.
In addition, a new ‘The Poolside’ casual restaurant was also installed to the rear of Balmoral’s Palms Café, on Lounge Deck 7. Alongside a menu inspired by the cruising region, this features the new ‘Poolside and Gelato Bar’, which serves Beechdean FarmhouseDairy Ice Cream and sorbets, along with the usual drinks selection.
Amongst the most significant changes on Balmoral was the full refurbishment of the Neptune Show Lounge, on Lounge Deck 7, with new fabrics, chairs and lighting.
After spending a considerable amount of money on its four ships, it will be interesting to see Fred Olsen’s next move – ordering new ships or buying secondhand? The number of older vessels sailing, which fit into the company’s preferred size range, is very limited – Ed.