Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (and yes, the period there is correct…Fred. is short for Fredrik) has announced their inaugural program of whale-watching cruises with the conservation company, ORCA! (ORCA is an organization “dedicated to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises in the UK and European waters.” You can read more about them here.) The UK-based company sports an impressive fleet comprised of four ships, and they plan to use these vessels to break into completely new territory. The news comes alongside their partnership with ORCA, something new for the cruise line in 2020. There will be eight itineraries total completely focused on whale-watching, and all will feature a collaboration with ORCA.
While guests will of course be allowed on these trips, the most exciting part of it all is how Fred. Olsen will be contributing to ORCA with them. Volunteers from the conservancy will be aboard to help gather data about different marine animals, including whales and dolphins. This info will end up helping ORCA gain knowledge about where these animals are, how many of them exist and other vital ecological questions. ORCA is an all-volunteer organization, so a partnership like this is huge for them and their conservation efforts. Awesome!
Speaking about the partnership, ORCA said that they “and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines share so many common values, and our burgeoning partnership has shown that the two organisations have a strong cultural fit.” They added, “[w]e’re continually amazed at how seamlessly we’ve been welcomed into the Fred. Olsen family, both on land and at sea, and everyone we’ve met, from the guests to the staff, have fully embraced our mission to protect whales and dolphins.” An admiralable mission indeed!
If you’re curious about itinerary details, let’s take a quick look. There’s one 16-night cruise that leaves from Liverpool on June 25 called “A Voyage to Remote Spitsbergen.” It goes across Norway, seeing the Seven Sisters mountain range and crossing the Arctic Circle. There’s another 16-night voyage called “Fjords and Icebergs of Remote Greenland” that departs from Dover on August 11. It stops in Iceland and travels all over Greenland. Definitely prime whale-spotting territory on both of those!
There are six other itineraries, and they look just as exciting. There’s a 9-night trip beginning in Newcastle on May 6 and going to Iceland; an 11-night goes to Norway on March 18, also from Newcastle. There are two 14-night cruises: one from Liverpool on August 13 that checks out the fjords of Greenland, and another from Southampton that goes to the Azores and Madeira in Portugal. A 21-night cruise departs from Liverpool once again on November 12 called “Atlantic Islands and Desert Dunes.” Finally, there’s one scheduled for April 2022 from Liverpool called “Whales, Waterfalls and Volcanic Islands” that lasts 17 nights.
There’s a lot to get excited about here, so head over here for more info about the different itineraries, as well as booking rates!