Boudicca is the only ship in the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines fleet which I haven’t cruised on previously, or even visited. Therefore, when I saw details of this 8 nights ‘Lochs of Scotland’ cruise on Boudicca, I got it booked quickly. In fact, I booked it in May 2015, and it sold out pretty quickly. It proved so popular that for 2017, there are a number of similar itineraries available. If you would like more details or a quotation for any of these 2017 ‘Lochs of Scotland’ itineraries, call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850.
As well as giving my review of Boudicca, there are two videos below – one showing you around Boudicca, and one showing some of the highlights of this itinerary. There are also links below to take you to the daily blogs I added to my Facebook page, together with some photos, so please take a look. Then further down the page you will see my videos of the ship, and also of the itinerary.
She originally entered service as the Royal Viking Sky in 1973, and has had several names over the years, including Golden Princess. In 1982 she was ‘stretched’, by adding a new 91 ft long section mid-ship, which added more cabins and public areas. She joined the Fred Olsen fleet in 2005, and was renamed Boudicca, and serves alongside her ‘sister ship’ Black Watch, which was originally the Royal Viking Star. Boudicca is 28.388 gross tons, and carries 880 passengers in 449 cabins and suites, at standard capacity, with a crew of 371.
With 23 grades of accommodation, ranging from an inside cabin up to a Premier Suite, there is bound to be something to suit everyone. Solo travellers are well catered for, with a total of 48 single cabins and suites – inside, outside, superior balcony and balcony suite.
Whichever grade you choose, there will be a television, safe (ours was even big enough for my widescreen laptop), tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer, and ensuite facilities. If you opt for one of the suites you will benefit from additional facilities, such as a lounge area, fridge and mini-bar. Some grades also have bathrobes and slippers, sparkling wine and fruit basket on arrival, and more.
There are 4 wheelchair adapted cabins onboard, which are within the TC terrace balcony grade, although only 3 of them are suitable for someone who is wheelchair bound. In addition to these 4 wheelchairs, 2 more wheelchairs can be used onboard ship, and a further 4 can be taken for use ashore only. If you need to take a wheelchair with you, it is very important that you mention it to me when you first enquire about a cruise; so that I can check what wheelchair spaces are left.
You will find that the price of drinks onboard compares favourably with what you would pay in many pubs in the UK. While I was onboard prices included £3.30 for a pint of lager, £3.60for a whisky and coke, and £4.05 for glass of red, white or rose house wine. There are not any service charges added to these prices either
You can also pre-book a drinks package, as we did for this cruise. At present the price is £10 per person per night on most cruises, although it is more expensive on Festive, Speciality and mini cruises. Click on the following link for details of what drinks are included in the All Inclusive drinks package.
Casual dress is appropriate during the day, and for breakfast and lunch, although swimwear is not permitted in the restaurants. Most evenings are smart casual, but on formal nights it is normal to dress up a bit more. This could mean a dinner suit or dark suit and tie for gents, with ladies opting for a ball gown or smart cocktail dress. If you really don’t want to dress up formally, then you could dine in the buffet restaurant on those evenings.
We really enjoyed being onboard Boudicca, and found her to be a comfortable, friendly, traditional cruise ship. The crew were very attentive and gave excellent friendly service.
The weather wasn’t always the best, but that is to be expected when cruising around the north of Scotland in the last week of September. However, for 2017 the ‘Lochs of Scotland’ itineraries are earlier in the year, so things should be even better. Click on the following link if you would like details of the 2017 ‘Lochs of Scotland’ itineraries.
Please note that while all prices and details included in this review were correct in September 2016, they are obviously subject to change at any time without notice.
Balmoral – 43,540 gross tons, carrying 1,350 passengers at standard capacity
Braemar – 24,345 gross tons, carrying 930 passengers at standard capacity
Black Watch – 28,615 gross tons, carrying 805 passengers at standard capacity
Most Fred Olsen cruises depart from UK ports, including Southampton, Dover, Tilbury, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. There are some fly cruise options, including world cruise sectors, and I can give you more details of these if you wish.