Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines introduced its fifth vessel, Balmoral, to the cruising world on February 13th, 2008.  The former Crown Odyssey/Norwegian Crown set sail from Dover on her inaugural cruise after having completed a lengthening and major refit at Blohm & Voss Repair in Hamburg. This increased capacity aboard the 1988-built vessel from 1,052 to 1,340 berths and from 34,242 gross tons (gt) to 43,537 gt.

Fred. Olsen has been using the Fidelio Cruise Property Management System aboard its cruise vessels since 1996. And in 2004, the company was the first cruise line to install the Fidelio Cruise’s Materials Management System at its headquarters, followed by a fleet roll-out that now includes Balmoral.

President of Fidelio Cruise, Tony Heuer said: "As one of Fidelio Cruise’s longest standing customers, we are proud to be supporting Fred. Olsen’s expansion plans. We look forward to continuing to build on the solid relationship that now spans more than a decade and will continue to assist them as they expand their fleet and operations in the future.”

Fred. Olsen’s largest and most extensively equipped ship in the fleet carries a full range of Fidelio Cruise software on board. She has been installed with the company’s core Ship’s Property Management System (SPMS) for complete passenger, crew and visitor handling as well as on-board financial operations. The SPMS provides the foundation for a range of modules covering areas such as shore excursions, hotel maintenance, safety and security and passenger feedback analysis.

As soon as passengers arrive at check-in and crew members sign on, relevant information relating to each individual, including their photograph, is stored on the ship’s central database. Other information includes name, nationality, cabin number, whether traveling in a group, emergency or temporary contact details and special requests such as dietary requirements. A unique Onboard Card is produced for each passenger and crew member which can then be used as a security pass at the gangway, at points-of-sale on board and also as a cabin key.

Balmoral has been equipped with latest point-of-sale terminals from Micros which are interfaced with the SPMS and Materials Management systems. This ensures complete transparency of purchasing and inventory control with the Materials Management software providing non-stop tracking of sales and stock. This gives purchasing managers precise and real-time information on consumables, stock and spare parts.

Also, as one of the highlights of the Fred. Olsen fleet, Balmoral has been equipped with Interactive TV, integrated through Fidelio Cruise’s Universal Interface. The cruise line has chosen Allin TV to provide on-demand in-cabin entertainment for guests, as well as “real time” onboard information, promotion of port activities, onboard shopping and a range of services including room service, wine ordering and spa/salon information.

The 1,340-passenger Balmoral now surpasses fleet mate Boudicca as the largest ship in the five-ship Fred Olsen family. For the next two months, from March to May, she will call Miami her home port, sailing various extended Caribbean itineraries. This is the first Fred. Olsen ship ever deployed in the US for a regular season of cruises.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines currently operates the cruise vessels Black Prince, Braemar, Black Watch, Boudicca and Balmoral.