By Myles Davies
As a writer I get sent on some interesting assignments to say the least. Being of a younger age, with a slightly ageing thought process on the luxuries of travel, not liking to be hurried and certainly loving a large degree of style, I was pleasantly surprised by this assignment.
Over the years the waterways of the world have catered for a huge amount of travellers across the globe. As travel became quicker and people’s time became more precious, there was a certain something lost from the art of travel. Now it feels like you get herded like cattle through an airport terminal: shoes off, bag scanned and ‘next please’ ringing in your ear.
The lovely guys at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines invited us on a mini cruise to Amsterdam from Dover and it has really opened my eyes to what I hope will be a long term love affair with the sea. Once parked up in Dover and transferred directly to the passenger terminal, the adventure began.
A porter took our bags as soon as we arrived at the terminal entrance; the next time we saw them they were on our bed waiting to be unpacked.
Boarding started at 5pm and was a delightfully smooth process – no lengthy queues and no having to take your shoes off at security.
Once on board we were shown to our room to freshen up and then made our way to the safety briefing. We have all been party to too many of these time absorbing (yet very important) briefings on airplanes, but not on this ship. The Braemer (one of the four from the Fred. Olsen fleet) had many lounge areas and muster points which made for a really interesting setting for the safety briefing. We were handed a life jacket, given time to put it on, tighten it and were then led out onto the deck. Here, the crew took us to the lifeboat. Once the team went over what to do in an emergency, we were then at liberty to enjoy all that the fantastic ship has to offer.
We attended the drinks reception in the observatory lounge and watched the waves pass by, whilst sipping on White Russians. We felt transported back to a time when travel was a luxury and part of the holiday in itself.
Our suite was surprisingly spacious with an en-suite and balcony. Watching the ship leave port and admiring the horizon, we felt totally calm – the feeling of the wind in your hair and the open sea in front of you. Magical.
For dinner we had a choice of four fantastic restaurants, from à la carte to buffet-style eating we never had a hard choice picking what we wanted.
Once you reach your destination there is a selection of the most excellent shore excursions that will delight, with local guides who can really immerse you in the local culture and history.
With fantastic food, amazing service, great evening entertainment and wonderful company, the art of travel has certainly not been lost with Fred. Olsen. Great destinations are available far and wide, from shorter mini cruise breaks to around the world cruises. Fred. Olsen really do cater for everything.
Whenever I look to travel abroad again, I will look to the team at Fred. Olsen to get me on my way. I am a total convert and cannot wait to get back out to sea.
For more information and to find out about
the range of holiday options that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offer, call 0800 0355 242 or visit www.fredolsencruises.com.