Fred. Olsen will introduce the Bolette and Borealis ocean ships to its fleet later this year in a move it says will strengthen the brand when cruising resumes. 

Fred. Olsen's new ship Borealis

Borealis (pictured) can accommodate up to 1,404 guests while Bolette has capacity for 1,380.

The ships have been bought from Holland America Line and previously sailed under the names Amsterdam and Rotterdam, carrying up to 1,380 and 1,404 guests.

The cruise line, voted the Best for Groups in last year’s Group Leisure & Travel Awards, says the acquisition will modernise and increase capacity across its fleet of small ships, a move that it says will ensure it returns to the water in a stronger position.

Fred. Olsen Junior, chairman of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (FOCL), said: “I am delighted to be announcing this news. We have chosen these vessels as they will fit seamlessly into our existing fleet of small ships, each carrying under 1,500 guests, bringing with them new and larger public areas whilst not compromising on our small ship experience.”

Mr Olsen continued: “The naming of the vessels is important to us. Bolette and Borealis are both names of ships we have had in years gone by.

“This increase in our capacity demonstrates our confidence in the future. With over 170 years of seafaring history, we have sailed through many difficult periods.”

“With these new additions to the fleet, we will come out of this current situation stronger than ever, ready to deliver the award-winning itineraries that we are famous for.”

Fred. Olsen Junior, chairman of FOCL

Peter Deer, FOCL’s managing director, added: “This is an exciting chapter in the history of our company, and I know that our loyal and returning guests will be looking forward to exploring our new ships as soon as they can.

Fred. Olsen's new ship Bolette

Bolette (pictured) and Borealis will be the biggest ships in the FOCL fleet.

“Of course, we also hope to attract new guests to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and we look forward to demonstrating the exceptional service that makes us the best UK cruise line for repeat business.”

The two new ships will enter the fleet later this year following time to allow for re-branding work to be undertaken.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ current ocean ships – the 1,325-guest Balmoral, 924-guest Braemar, 853-guest Boudicca and 799-guest Black Watch – are currently in Babcock’s Rosyth Facilities in Scotland, where the two new ships will join them.