Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, represented in Ireland by Cruisescapes, has announced the launch of its first river cruise programme, offering sailings on the Rhine, Moselle and Danube from April 2018 and going on sale from 26th May 2017. The company will charter the Amadeus Princess, rebrand the ship, and rename it the Brabant after a 1920s Fred Olsen passenger ship of that name.
From April to November in 2018 and 2019 the Brabant will sail 12 different itineraties ranging from five nights to 25 nights and with a total of 30 departures. A five-night Springtime Dutch Discovery voyage sails from Amsterdam to Düsseldorf departing 5th April 2018, while the 25-night German Jewels and Cities of the East voyage departs 15th May 2018 visitng Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany.
Built in 2006, the ship can accommodate up to 160 passengers in 80 cabins and suites in four types, many with Juliette balconies, and will have a crew of 40. Onboard facilities include a restaurant, bar, shop, sundeck, a pool, bicycle rack, and a fitness and salon area. The 110-metre-long Brabant is smaller than many other river cruise ships, allowing it to dock closer to the centre of a river port.
Flights, transfers, all meals and wi-fi will be included, but drinks and shore excursions excluded, although a drinks package may be offered. The onboard currency will be pounds sterling.
Alan Lynch, Managing Director, Cruisescapes, said: “This will enhance our river cruise offerings with CroisiEurope and give us badly needed capacity for peak departures. The Fred Olsen brand is very strong in Ireland, especially over the past number of years with their Irish port departures. Their excellent reputation for service, fine food and interesting itineraries will see strong demand as the existing clientele are the exact market for this product.
“We already have a strong presence on these rivers and have very good relationships with key partners in the area, so we will have access to transfers to and from the airports, together with knowledgeable guides.”