Any agent who's ever tried selling a cruise to a first-time, experiential traveller has probably heard every objection there is.
"I can't imagine being stuck on a ship for that long."
"I hate all-inclusives."
The list goes on.
But more often than not, that's because those travellers who are oh-so-used to trotting around the globe freestyle are thinking of mass market cruises. From sky-high waterslides and waterparks, to merry-go-rounds; all-you-can-drink and eat restaurants and bars, and even luxury shopping centres on board, it's easy to see how someone who just wants to experience the authenticity of a destination would steer clear from ever getting on board with cruising.
That's where Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is different.
Bringing the world closer
Priding itself on bringing the world ‘closer’ to its guests, Fred. Olsen Cruises has a smaller, more intimate fleet (just four ships for the Ocean Cruises and one ship for the River Cruise) which can take guests to places that many of the larger vessels are unable to reach.
"It’s a commitment to making sure that every Fred. Olsen cruise is enjoyable, engaging and memorable, no matter how many times a guest cruised before," Alaw Law, director of sales and marketing, GLP Worldwide, told PAX. "Not only does this include sailing right into the heart of destinations, such as the harder-to-reach ports of Travemünde, Germany, and Marseille, France, which requires larger vessels to dock at ports up to 8 kilometres away, but our ships are also able to offer ‘bucket list’ experiences, such as cruising the Guadalquivir River and sailing along the steep-sided Lyesfjord in Norway, restricted to others by the 50-metre tall bridge at its entrance."
Earlier this week, the cruise line launched its 2020/21 programs across its ocean and river ships covering 277 destinations in 90 countries, across six continents, covering 104 areas of scenic cruising, on 170 different itineraries.
New ocean cruise program
Fred. Olsen’s new 2020/21 ocean cruise programme will feature 144 different itineraries, and nine maiden calls in Japan: including Beppu, Hiroshima, Kochi and Nagoya; Fakarava and Raiatea, in French Polynesia; Savusavu, in Fiji; Ha Long Bay, in Vietnam; and Surabaya, in Java, Indonesia.
The cruise line will also be offering guests more ‘scenic’ cruising than ever before.
An important part of a well-balanced itinerary, scenic cruising is rated as highly as the ports of call – and sometimes even higher.
"Cruising with Fred.Olsen is more about where you’re going and trying to get you to more scenic places off the deck; the destination is the focus, not the ship, unlike like mass market products offered by bigger cruise lines who try their best to keep you on the ship and spend your money there," Law explained.
Whether it’s gliding through a fjord, or through a picturesque European town, or even for wildlife viewing, Fred.Olsen's smaller fleets make it possible for guests to be fully-immersed in their destination.
Braemar will also be repeating its best-selling transit of Greece’s Corinth Canal— which spans less than 25 metres at its narrowest, lowest point – on its unforgettable 25-night ‘Corinth Canal & Greek Islands’ itinerary, from Southampton in April 2021 – taking the ‘closer’ concept to the next level.
River cruising: still hot
This year, Fred. Olsen will also be taking guests to discover the untouched beauty of three new areas of scenic cruising in North America including Cape Cod Canal, the Hudson River and the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.
"We’ll be offering 26 itineraries and 43 ports of call aboard the 156-guest Brabant, showcasing the beauty of the Rhine, Moselle, Main and Danube across six countries," Law said.
In 2020, Brabant will be one of the few river boats to call into Luxembourg, into Grevenmacher and Remich, and to sail the Danube Delta,with other ports including Trier and Nierstein in Germany; Cetate, Galați and Dobreta-Turnu Severin in Romania; Donji Milanovac, in Serbia; Enkhuizen, in The Netherlands and Vukovar, in Croatia.
As the wholesaler for Fred.Olsen, GLP Worldwide remains 100 per cent to the Canadian travel agent community, and regularly releases training videos on any new programs or destinations, as well as holds webinars to make sure agents are up to date on GLP's product line-up.
For more information on Fred.Olsen cruises, agents can click here.
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