Fred Olsen Cruise Line, a UK-based cruise line focused mainly on the UK market, has announced significant changes to its COVID requirements, allowing more flexibility for guests who wish to book a cruise vacation.
The company has stated that guests will no longer be required to have proof of vaccination or show a negative lateral flow test before boarding cruises on or after Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Fred Olsen’s decision to relax some of its safety measures comes as the world adjusts and as vaccination rates increase and cases decrease.
Fred Olsen Changes Relaxes Policy
Fred Olsen Cruise Line has announced that it will be removing most of its COVID guidelines for guests joining cruises on or after Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
The company has stated that guests will no longer be required to have proof of vaccination or show a negative lateral flow test before boarding, except for Grand Voyages, World Cruises, or shorter sections of these longer sailings.
The decision to remove these guidelines comes as the world continues to adjust to living with COVID. With vaccination rates increasing and cases decreasing, Fred Olsen Cruise Line has determined that it is safe to relax some of its safety measures ahead of the upcoming spring and summer cruises.
Despite removing these guidelines, the company has reassured guests that it will still have measures on board to help minimize the impact. These will be a mix of voluntary measures.
A Fred Olsen Spokesperson said the following: “All of our crew are fully vaccinated, and regular hand washing facilities are provided throughout our ships. Guests are also welcome to wear masks on board should they wish to, and there is space in our bars and lounges for guests to enjoy the facilities while respecting social distancing too.”
The company also added that if any of their guests become unwell or show symptoms while onboard, their medical team will be on hand to assist them. For anyone who tests positive during their cruise with Fred Olsen, the company will provide a new cabin (with a balcony whenever possible) where they can rest.
Mixed Reactions from Guests
The news of these changes has been met with mixed reactions from guests on Fred Olsen’s social media channels. Some have applauded the decision, saying it will make planning their next cruise vacation easier. Others have expressed concerns about the safety of cruising and have called on the company to continue enforcing strict safety measures.
Fred Olsen Cruise Line has stated that it is committed to protecting its guests and crew and will continue to closely monitor the situation and make any necessary adjustments to its guidelines. The company has also urged guests to stay informed about the latest guidance and follow public health officials’ advice when planning their cruise.
There have been very few outbreaks on cruise ships recently, and most cruise lines worldwide have removed measures for most sailings. Fred Olsen was one of the last to remove its measures.
However, several companies still have stricter measures on several routes, typically dictated by local rules and regulations, while others have re-instated mask wearing rules onboard due to the increases in cases worldwide in November and December.
Fred Olsen Cruise Line is a British cruise line based in the UK. It operates a fleet of three ocean-going cruise ships, Balmoral, Borealis and Bolette, and one river ship, Brabant, that offer a more traditional and intimate cruising experience.
The cruise line was founded in 1848 and is still owned and operated by the Olsen family. The ships offer a wide range of amenities and itineraries and cater to a mostly British clientele.