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Cruise Coming Up…..

We recently received the documents for our forthcoming 4-night mini-cruise on Braemar. As far as presentation is concerned, Fred Olsen get top marks for these documents, arriving as they did in a neat faux-leather wallet with metal corner strengtheners. Better looking than Celebrity docs!

The cruise takes place later this month. It’s a repositioning cruise from Newcastle in north-east England (from where Braemar has been doing cruises to Norway and into the Baltic) to Dover. I think Fred Olsen’s policy of running cruises from ports outside the south of England is excellent. In addition to Newcastle they also run cruises from Leith (Edinburgh) and one of their other ships (Black Prince) spends most of its time home-ported in Liverpool and Glasgow.

However, we have some concerns about this cruise, or mainly about Braemar herself. She’s about 15 years old and is small, just under 20,000 tons. She was built (along with a sister ship) for use in the Caribbean and was called Crown Dynasty, but at various times sailed there under a Cunard name – ‘Cunard Crown Dynasty’ – and also as ‘Crown Majesty’ and even ‘Norwegian Dynasty’. I suspect that her small size & comparative lack of features meant that she wasn’t very competitive in the Caribbean market, and she was sold to Fred Olsen in 2001. She’s proved a popular ship in her new home.

But – we’re wondering just how well a small ship built for the Caribbean handles the North Sea and the English Channel. We’ve heard mixed reports, from those who said that there is a lot of movement in anything but calm seas, to those who say that it’s nothing to worry about. Fortunately we have a cabin amidships so that ought to minimise things a bit. And of course it will depend on the weather, which is very variable around the English coast – we might have flat calm for the whole period, or we might have howling gales & seas to match. Either way, we shall find out in three weeks’ time!

Here’s the Fred Olsen webpage about her.

One Response to “Cruise Coming Up…..”

  1. Malcolm Cruisetalk says:

    Sea Sickness

    My wife has very sensitive balance and easily gets sea sick. She will often start to complain about the motion of a ship when other people have not even noticed that it is moving. This happened of Braemar.

    I also think that different ships have different movements in the same conditions. I’m not sure that it is entirely due to size – hull design must also be a factor. For example the QE2, QM2 and the SS Norway (Ocean Liners) tend to have a gentle rise and fall in a swell or even in a storm. ‘Brilliance of the Seas’ (a cruise ship) judders in a strange manner. However, Brilliance is bigger than the SS Norway.

    I personally think the Black Watch and Boudicca are a little more stable than Braemar. Other people have made this comment too. However, For some people the ships motion is not a problem, whatever sort of motion it is.


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