Smooth sailing these days requires discretionary thinking about when and where a line's ships will call. In response to a changing world situation Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has altered upcoming itineraries affecting immediate as well as future cruises to heighten passenger safety.

Fred. Olsen Cruises has changed the itinerary of Balmoral’s 2010 world cruise. The new itinerary avoids sailing through the Gulf of Aden, where pirate activities continue to present an imminent danger. The 106 night cruise, which is scheduled to sail from Dover on January 5, 2010 in a westerly direction, was due to visit ports in the Indian Ocean en route to Dubai, Oman and Egypt before transiting the Suez Canal and returning to the UK via the Mediterranean. Now it will cruise around Africa. Calls at Mauritius and South Africa shall replace visits to places such as Dubai and Salalah. Balmoral will return to Dover as scheduled on April 21, 2010.

On a related note, this week Fred. Olsen cancelled a call into Acapulco, which was on the 2009 world cruise of Balmoral. An extended stay in San Diego and an additional call in Costa Rica filled the gap.

"The health and safety of our passengers and staff on board is of paramount importance, and we take very seriously the advice issued by the UK Government -- advising against all but essential travel to Mexico --with regard to issues such as this outbreak of Swine Flu," explains Matt Grimes, Fred. Olsen's Director of Planning. As scheduled, Balmoral will return to Dover on May 29.

In other breaking news: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines just announced the sale of its 451-passenger Black Prince to Servicios Acuaticos de Venezuela CA (SAVECA). The vessel will change hands in late October 2009 and will be used as a cruise ship operating in Venezuelan waters.

Fred. Olsen currently operates a fleet of five cruise ships based mostly in the UK with itineraries to worldwide destinations. The line offers small ship cruising and a relaxed British atmosphere.