Fred. Olsen ships (photo: Sergio Ferreira)Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has conducted a survey of its guests post-cruise to determine their motivation in booking, and has found that, out of approximately 20,000 responses itinerary and destination are more important factors than the low price of the cruise holiday, scoring 39% and 16% respectively. In addition, the convenience of regional departure ports has also proven to be a key factor for guests when booking their cruise holiday, scoring higher than onboard facilities and entertainment.

The full findings of the survey, conducted over the last 12 months, are as follows:

Itinerary / Destination – 39%

Low Price – 16%

Departure Port – 15%

Convenient Departure Date – 13%

Onboard Facilities – 7%

Onboard Entertainment – 5%

Short Cruise Duration – 5%

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“At Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, we are exceptionally proud of our traditional, more intimate style of cruising and renowned friendliness across our fleet. We also offer exceptional value for money on our cruises, and were delighted to be voted ‘Best Affordable Cruise Line’ by Cruise International magazine’s readers in 2012 and 2013.

“However, just as importantly, we also offer one of the most extensive and innovative ranges of itineraries and destination experiences of any cruise line, and it is for this reason that over half of our guests have cruised with us before. With Fred. Olsen, every cruise is tailored and unique, and we strive to bring the world closer to everyone in the UK through our regional departures and smaller ships.”

In 2015/16, Fred. Olsen’s cruise program will see its four ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – visit no fewer than 245 destinations in 81 countries around the globe, including 42 countries on its 2016 ‘Grand Voyages’ alone.

Sailing from ten convenient, regional UK departures ports – Southampton, Dover, Harwich, Tilbury, Bristol (Avonmouth), Liverpool, Newcastle, Rosyth (for Edinburgh), Greenock (for Glasgow) and Belfast – Fred. Olsen’s ships will be positioned within only a 90-minute drive from 80% of its guests, reinforcing Fred. Olsen’s reputation as the ‘local, global cruise line’.

Fred. Olsen will be embarking on its inaugural African ‘Grand Voyage’ on board Boudicca in 2016, of 76 nights’ duration – the first time that this smaller, more traditional ship has ever been deployed on such a long cruise – and will be calling at the new and exotic ports of Luanda (Angola), Maputo (Mozambique) and Zanzibar (Tanzania).

Fred. Olsen’s 115-night ‘Around the World’ ‘Grand Voyage’ on Black Watch in 2016 will be taking in a grand total of 27 countries, visiting the maiden port of Tuticorin, in India, as well as the popular destinations of Yangon, capital of Myanmar (formerly Burma), and Komodo Island, home to the famous Dragons, which is only accessible by sea.

Following their tremendous popularity in 2014, Fred. Olsen will be offering even more river cruising itineraries in 2015/16, on Braemar – which is ideal, with its shallow draft – taking in the French rivers, the German waterways and a Spanish itinerary, cruising up the Guadalquivir to the centre of Seville.

Another feature of Fred. Olsen’s 2015/16 cruise program is its series of ‘Into the Heart of the Baltic’ voyages. These specially-written Baltic itineraries allow Braemar to dock at ports and berths right in the city centre, giving guests easy access to some of the Baltic’s most spectacular sights.

Fred. Olsen will also be offering two Adriatic cruises – one on Black Watch from Liverpool in April 2015 and the other on Braemar from Dover in September 2015 – staying overnight in Venice, Italy, where Fred. Olsen’s smaller-sized ships can still call, and offering the amazing ports of Kotor (Montenegro), Durres (Albania) and ‘picture perfect’ Dubrovnik, in Croatia, which is one of Fred. Olsen guests’ favourites.

In 2015/16, Fred. Olsen’s fleet will be undertaking even more ‘scenic cruising’, visiting 51 picturesque locations, including Lysefjord – one of the ‘pearls of Norway’, featuring ‘Preikestolen’ (‘Pulpit Rock’) and ‘Mount Kjerag’ (‘The Mountain Bolt’) – the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, and the Turku and Stockholm archipelagos.