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Black Watch & Boudicca


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1 hour ago, Britboys said:

It's a fairly moot point as there is a pretty high chance that they will both be leaving the fleet soon.

 

Fred. haven't committed to retiring these two yet - if you check all of their replies to people of Facebook they are quick to refute any speculation.  I can see them staying in the fleet for a good 5 years TBH as the downsizing of the P&O fleet & collapse of CMV will create opportunities for Fred. & with these 2 ships being fully owned it would be fairly low risk to keep them going for the time being.

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41 minutes ago, LaCroisiereS'amuse said:

 

Fred. haven't committed to retiring these two yet - if you check all of their replies to people of Facebook they are quick to refute any speculation.  I can see them staying in the fleet for a good 5 years TBH as the downsizing of the P&O fleet & collapse of CMV will create opportunities for Fred. & with these 2 ships being fully owned it would be fairly low risk to keep them going for the time being.

I do hope you are right. Personally, the Facebook posts I have seen stop short of saying that they are going but don't really give any indication that they will stay either.  The original announcement of the new acquisitions by Bonheur clearly stated the possibility of the "divestment of two vessels in the current fleet". I appreciate that there is a lot of politics played out between the different Olsen group companies but I do think it must be entirely possible that the two ships approaching 50 years of age will be retired. Hopefully they will stay and Fred will put prices down...🤔🙄

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On 7/22/2020 at 12:55 PM, Britboys said:

I do hope you are right. Personally, the Facebook posts I have seen stop short of saying that they are going but don't really give any indication that they will stay either.  The original announcement of the new acquisitions by Bonheur clearly stated the possibility of the "divestment of two vessels in the current fleet". I appreciate that there is a lot of politics played out between the different Olsen group companies but I do think it must be entirely possible that the two ships approaching 50 years of age will be retired. Hopefully they will stay and Fred will put prices down...🤔🙄

 

I have not studied all comments, but have got the impression Fred is sitting on the fence re this.  We had assumed the comment by Bonheur was just a matter of time - but how much time is the question.  I am also wondering if Fred may pick up some custom from Saga.  Their two new ships look very nice, but their prices have got to be more, especially after this summer and I am not sure all older passengers will pay more for a balcony c.f.more cruises.  How many people are still prepared to cruise is another point though.

 

At least the new ships do seem to give Fred Jnr support from the board, but then does not sound like a big investment c.f. Fred's original idea of new builds.  I was told by a Fred captain a couple of years ago that his sister's view of the cruise line is that it did not make enough money, rather than it not being viable.  I am sure prices will remain as high as they think could possibly be managed, though OB spending opportunities would help that and is a major source of revenue for cruise lines now of course.  I for one am not holding my breath for lower prices, but he does need to sell the cabins once this social distancing business is over, so it is going to be a case of watch this space re offers I suspect.  I wonder if the 'buy three for two' offer will come back when cruises on the new ships are published.  I am getting impatient, but presume it will take a while for Fred to decide on those future cruises.

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This is all pure speculation on my part and I would love to be proved wrong as I really like Boudicca and Black Watch.

If we assume that both of these ships are retired, the two new ones will still provide extra capacity of around 1000 pax. If Fred were to try and keep Boudicca and Black Watch, it is likely that prices would have to come down to fill a fleet of 6 ships. The two Grande Dames of the sea must be getting more expensive to run every year and may be excluded from certain areas on environmental grounds in the near future.

I am due to do a Kiel Canal cruise on Boudicca next June but would be surprised if she is still operational then. Neither of the new ships can fit in the canal. Consequently, I would like Balmoral to be repositioned from Rosyth to Dover and then the two new ships to operate the current cruises being sold on Black Watch and Balmoral. That also seems to make sense to me - but hey, I'm only a passenger 😊

If they do do something like that, maybe they will try to do Farewell Cruises for both ships but I think that may depend on how long the ships remain inactive due to Covid.

As I say, all speculation on my part.

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Usually if the ships are paid for & earning enough a line will operate them to the can't for various reasons.

The big one currently is if a ship can pass all the SOLAS requirements.

Obviously FO has a plan in such they bought the 2 HAL/CARNIVORE CORP ships that need work & are not built as well as BOUDICA & BLACK WATCH.

Best case situation is the Boudica  & Black Watch continue making lots of cash  and the 2 HAL ships attract new clients....for me I'll pick Boufica & Black Watch til they aren't around.

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2 hours ago, Rotterdam said:

Usually if the ships are paid for & earning enough a line will operate them to the can't for various reasons.

The big one currently is if a ship can pass all the SOLAS requirements.

Obviously FO has a plan in such they bought the 2 HAL/CARNIVORE CORP ships that need work & are not built as well as BOUDICA & BLACK WATCH.

Best case situation is the Boudica  & Black Watch continue making lots of cash  and the 2 HAL ships attract new clients....for me I'll pick Boufica & Black Watch til they aren't around.

It would however be a massive gamble to take fleet capacity from 3900 to 6600 in one fell swoop...

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2 hours ago, Rotterdam said:

 

Obviously FO has a plan in such they bought the 2 HAL/CARNIVORE CORP ships that need work & are not built as well as BOUDICA & BLACK WATCH.

I have heard some snide comments about Carnival, but non anything like as good as that one.  I cannot stop laughing.😀😀😀😀

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On 7/25/2020 at 7:15 PM, tring said:

I have heard some snide comments about Carnival, but non anything like as good as that one.  I cannot stop laughing.😀😀😀😀

I think they started calling them Carnivore when they absorbed Cunard/P&O - Princess in 2002.  EM

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On 7/27/2020 at 2:16 PM, London-Calling said:

CMV generally had three ship serving UK reginal ports and some very affordable fares. I think Olsen may retain 5 or 6 ships in order to attract CMV business. The Olsen product is probably the most similar to CMV's on offer. 

Yes it is indeed - but  I wonder how many CMV pax will be prepared to pay Fred's prices....

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3 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

I think they started calling them Carnivore when they absorbed Cunard/P&O - Princess in 2002.  EM

 

We were on Swan Hellenic's Minerva II a few months before Swan was discontinued.  We went across the equator and had an extremely amusing ceremony presided over by "King Carnival".  Swan came under the same umbrella as P&O at that time and apparently Carnival made know from the outset that they do not "do small", so one 30,000 tone ship was never gong to survive as a cruise line.

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20 minutes ago, Britboys said:

Yes it is indeed - but  I wonder how many CMV pax will be prepared to pay Fred's prices....

 

We have had some good prices for some of our Fred cruises even in the last year or two, but you do have to look for those offers and they only tend come up on less popular cruises e.g. we got a great Black Friday offer 18 months ago for a cruise March 2019.  They currently have an extra 10% discount on for people who lost a cruise when CMV went down at present as well as the no tips and some OBS given for most cruises.  It is only cruises like the Boudicca fly cruises that we want to arrange our own flights and land stay for that we have paid a lot for as need to arrange fairly early, but even they do come cheaper nearer the time (often with included flights if someone wants to take Fred's flights).

 

We are always wary of taking saver fares on Fred though if choosing a lower cabin grade which means we could be stuck at the back of the ship, on lower decks.  If you pay Freedom fare you can sometimes get a decent priced upgrade either on the ship or a couple of months before sailing. They charge a great deal for upgrades if you are on a saver fare though.  If the buy 3 for 2 offers come on they can be a good buy as well if you take three similar priced cruises (or upgrade on one or two to better align prices).

 

Must admit I would prefer straight forward pricing but the same with many cruises - P&O have some very expensive cruises if book late on, though in general if you want cheap a big P&O ship is the way to go.

Edited by tring
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Had an email today, my cruise next March, 2021, on Boudicca has been cancelled. It was the last leg of a world cruise that starts 5th November this year and the whole thing is cancelled. Have to start looking again, hope it not that Boudicca will with us no more.

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4 hours ago, London-Calling said:

Is Fred Olsen the only line that still does not provide a proper lunch on embarkation day.

 

Previously I have been offed a few finger sandwiches.

Fred has been doing buffet lunch on embarkation for a couple of years now.  You need to look at the daily sheet for times.  They stop all food and drink service shortly before the drill as all lines do.  Until 2 or 3 years ago they embarked later and only did afternoon teas.

 

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On 7/25/2020 at 7:15 PM, tring said:

I have heard some snide comments about Carnival, but non anything like as good as that one.  I cannot stop laughing.😀😀😀😀

The first time I heard it was in January 2002 onboard QE2.  I was on the beginning of the world cruise. The senior officer  I was speaking with had been w CUNARD for many years & was about to retire.  To say the least he didn't  care for the consolidation/ purchase by CARNIVORE. He actually stated he would rather of seen Cunard closed down completely instead of being bought. He did retire the following year & we remained friends for many years before he passed away.

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2 hours ago, Rotterdam said:

The first time I heard it was in January 2002 onboard QE2.  I was on the beginning of the world cruise. The senior officer  I was speaking with had been w CUNARD for many years & was about to retire.  To say the least he didn't  care for the consolidation/ purchase by CARNIVORE. He actually stated he would rather of seen Cunard closed down completely instead of being bought. He did retire the following year & we remained friends for many years before he passed away.

But that really is the thing isn't it! Whilst I am no fan of Carnival, they have kept Cunard and P&O operating. Neither are the venerable companies they once were but they still exist and add at least some choice in the 'British' cruise industry. It is questionable if either would have survived in today's trading situation - even before Covid.

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On 7/30/2020 at 3:19 PM, Britboys said:

But that really is the thing isn't it! Whilst I am no fan of Carnival, they have kept Cunard and P&O operating. Neither are the venerable companies they once were but they still exist and add at least some choice in the 'British' cruise industry. It is questionable if either would have survived in today's trading situation - even before Covid.

I agree that CUNARD was dying a slow death when CARNIVORE bought the line...saying that the CUNARD/ BRITISH style was reduced & watered down to a floating mall under Carnivore.

Better grow old graciously & die w dignity.

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11 hours ago, Rotterdam said:

I agree that CUNARD was dying a slow death when CARNIVORE bought the line...saying that the CUNARD/ BRITISH style was reduced & watered down to a floating mall under Carnivore.

Better grow old graciously & die w dignity.

Everything has to change and evolve over time. At least Cunard still has a semblance of sophistication and classic glamour, even if it is mostly tailored to American fantasy of what 'British' is. Sadly, with P&O Carnival are now on a relentless mission to pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap in this brand. A bit evolution on steroids now and alienating many long-standing, loyal pax.

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On 8/4/2020 at 8:43 AM, Britboys said:

Everything has to change and evolve over time. At least Cunard still has a semblance of sophistication and classic glamour, even if it is mostly tailored to American fantasy of what 'British' is. Sadly, with P&O Carnival are now on a relentless mission to pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap in this brand. A bit evolution on steroids now and alienating many long-standing, loyal pax.

I agree..sort of like going to Disney World & saying you've seen Europe so need to go.

Everything does change & especially now..life as we knew a few months ago is gone.

I am still hopeful to experience Boudicca & Black Watch before they are gone.

Edited by Rotterdam
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2 hours ago, Pentlands said:

I think two ships will have to go as the orriginal staement from Bonheur factored the sale of two ships as part of the funding package, as I understood it.

 

Indeed - that's what I pointed out in post #4.

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4 hours ago, Pentlands said:

I think two ships will have to go as the orriginal staement from Bonheur factored the sale of two ships as part of the funding package, as I understood it.

 

 

That is how I see it, but no mention of when and if I understood the Bonheur statement correctly, they pay nothing for the first two years.  Ships cost to keep ticking over though, but bookings could be lost once an announcement to get rid is made.  All a bit of politics I suspect, and final decision on timing may well not have been made.

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