Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fred Olsen's Irish Touch

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is setting itself up as the real Irish cruise expert in the next year or so as they offer a series of tempting voyages that feature The Emerald Isle, including sailings from Belfast in 2013.

Take Braemar's nine-night voyage from Dover on May 22, for example. The first port of call is vibrant Dublin, the welcoming city with its famous ‘craic’ where guests can delight in the beautiful Book of Kells in Trinity College, indulge in a tour of the Guinness Brewery or enjoy superb shopping, sightseeing, or fine food and wine in the many excellent bars, restaurants and caf├ęs. The ship stays overnight, giving more time to explore and allowing guests the extra pleasure of an evening visit to take in some of the great live entertainment.

The next visit is to Belfast, a port with which the cruise line enjoys long associations as another part of the Fred. Olsen group, Fred. Olsen Energy, owns the famous Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where the Titanic was built 100 years ago. Guests here can visit the recently opened ‘Titanic Belfast' exhibition, which tells the whole story of the fateful ship in film, video and archive material. An alternative excursion is a visit to the extraordinary Giant’s Causeway, which never fails to delight visitors.

Fred. Olsen is also pleased to be offering cruises from Belfast starting in 2013. On leaving the port, Braemar heads north, travelling right up to the Orkney Islands, where she visits beautiful Kirkwall. The town has a Scandinavian feel and, in fact, the name ‘Kirkwall’ comes from the Norse for ‘Church Bay’, referring to the 11th Century Church of St Olaf. The most northerly port on this cruise, Kirkwall is the largest settlement and administrative centre of the islands. It is an amazing, haunting place, with over 5,000 years of history and a wealth of wildlife, where you will feel you are in another world.

Braemar also has a final call at Invergordon, a town long associated with the Navy and home to a fine golf course. She then journeys south, returning to Dover. Prices for this cruise start from just £399 per person with a Latesaver deal. This is based on two adults sharing twin-bedded accommodation, and includes all meals and entertainment on board and port taxes. The cabin grade will be confirmed on embarkation. An added attraction on this cruise is a theme of ‘Houses & Gardens’ through the onboard enrichment programme, Vistas. This is hosted by the expert gardening writer, John Negus (pictured, above).

For booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.