Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
The Olsen family business can be traced back to 1848. Fredrick Christian Olsen, a ship-master began to build the first fleet of small ships to sail under the Olsen banner. Back then the Fred Olsen ships were no more than 50 gross tons and made of wood. Life was quite the struggle for Norwegian sailors with bleak conditions especially in the winter months, it is noted that during Fred Olsen’s life-time career, 10 of the 22 ships he commanded were left as wrecks at the bottom of the seas.
While the Olsen name continued to be associated with shipping, it was not until the second Fred in the Olsen family that the passenger and cruise side of the business truly began to emerge, when in 1901, Fred Olsen (the second) acquired the Færder Steamship Company. The Brabant the first passenger liner in the fleet sparked a serving tradition that all Fred Olsen ship names begin with the letter ‘B’.
The second Fred Olsen passed away in 1933, leaving a growing legacy a large company with an emerging brand in a time when the shipping industry was not short of entrepreneurs.
The Olsen family shipping business weathered the great depression and in 1955 the third Fred Olsen added the first Black Watch and Black Prince to the fleet.
While other cruise lines take advantage of modern technology and their ships are literally floating cities, the Fred Olsen brand continues to provide a niche within the cruise market, their small-medium sized ships are almost homages to the by-gone days of the golden cruise era. Not as elegant and luxurious as other cruise lines, but each Fred Olsen ship has specific charm and characteristics that see passengers re-booking for repeat voyages again and again.
While currently attracting a distinctly British clientele at present Fred. Olsen Cruises are known to be a intimate experience on-board friendly ships that are waiting to take you around the world.