UK Cruise Line Cancels Cruises Due to Lack of Demand

Fred Olsen Cruises informs guests that it made the difficult decision to cancel four winter sailings for one of its cruise ships.

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Fred Olsen Cruise Line, a cruise line focused mainly on the British market, has canceled four cruises due to a lack of demand. The cruises were due to sail this winter on board the Bolette

The cruise line states that although the time of the year is always a quieter time for cruising, the booked numbers combined with the extremely high fuel prices have forced Fred Olsen to take this drastic measure. In addition, the company has canceled a voyage onboard one of their other vessels due to a technical issue. 

Four Voyages Canceled Due to Low Guest Numbers

Fred Olsen cruise line has announced the cancelation of four voyages onboard its cruise ship Bolette later this winter. Fred Olsen Cruise Line is a UK-based cruise line that focuses, for the most part, on the UK market. 

The company is well known for keeping cruising traditions alive and well. However, this winter, there seem to be fewer guests wanting to experience the onboard activities.

In a release posted on the company’s Facebook page, Managing Director Peter Deer said a combination of high fuel prices and lower bookings are the reason behind the cancelations.

Fred Olsen Cruise Ship Funnel
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock.com

“Firstly, earlier this week, we took the very difficult decision to cancel four winter cruises on Bolette. This is always a quieter period for cruising and this small number of sailings did not quite reach the guest numbers we were hoping for, especially in light of the current high fuel prices we are all facing.”

Instead of sailing, the company will be bringing some technical work that was scheduled for later in the year forward. The fact that Fred Olsen is now dealing with fewer guest bookings is surprising. During the Pandemic, the company purchased two new vessels:

Peter Deer: “We got through the pandemic, which was the most difficult time for the travel industry, and cruise lines in particular. During this time, we invested in our business by buying two beautiful new ships. Like every travel company, trying to get back to normal, we are still having to navigate some choppy seas along the way.”

That’s not the only change that Fred Olsen has made for Bolette. The vessel will return to service on December 21, 2022, for her planned Christmas cruise to Norway. But that cruise and subsequent voyages will depart from Dover or Southampton, not Tilbury. 

More Bad News for Fred Olsen

Besides the canceled voyages for Bolette, it has not been an easy period for the cruise line. After 35 years of service, Fred. Olsen Jnr. resigned from his post as chair on August 22. According to the cruise line, the cancelations had nothing to do with the resignation of Fred. Olsen.

Fred Olsen Cruise Ships
Photo Via: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

“Being open and honest with our guests is really important to us and we would like to reassure you that neither of these changes are related in any way to the resignation of our Chairman, Fred. Olsen Jnr. Mr. Olsen made the decision to step down after spending 35 years in the cruise industry.”

Then, on August 24, the cruise ship Balmoral suffered an issue with one of her propellers, forcing the vessel to sail to a short dry dock in Newcastle, England. The result of that dry dock is that the cruise line has now canceled another cruise, due to sail from Rosyth on Monday. 

Balmoral will be sailing again from Southampton on 11th September and the rest of her schedule will remain unchanged. 

It’s been a tumultuous year for Fred Olsen. Besides purchasing two new ships, the company also sold two vessels. One of which, the Black Watch, was scrapped against the cruise line’s wishes.

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