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Will Fred. Olsen take Americans?


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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, ew101 said:

The web site is not clear on this.  The ex- HAL ships are so lovely.  And not crowded.  The plan will be the UK voyages.  

 

Fred is quite happy to take any nationality as far as I know, though the majority have always been British.

 

However, if you are referring to the short UK crises that are taking place over this summer, they can only be booked by UK residents, like the other recently planned cruises which are being operated in UK waters by a number of other cruise lines this summer.  That is because of travel restrictions imposed because of covid. It is only fair to add that in the UK, we are not being given much confidence regards being able to travel abroad, or for other nationalities being able to come here as tourists in the near be future.  So I suggest you would be better leaving any plans for a year or so in the future.  Fred does do quite a bit of UK cruising though, in normal times. 

 

I think Fred uses a US agent for bookings but you may get more information about that from another poster. Or you could send an email to the cruise line and I am sure they will happily give you the details of their current procedures for booking US nationals,

Edited by tring
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Posted (edited)

In the UK, you can book direct with Fred, I would imagine you could as well, allowing for the different time zones of course 😄

Not forgetting the above comment re covid

Edited by ovccruiser
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I'm a Fred Olsen regular and live in the U.S.  They will happily book direct over the phone for Americans.  A few years ago this was not true and you had to use their U.S. designated agent.  As Tring mentioned right now U.K. travel restrictions prevent them from allowing other than U.K. residents on board at least for the summer cruises.  Nothing is known, as yet, about cruises the coming fall onward.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, comcox said:

I'm a Fred Olsen regular and live in the U.S.  They will happily book direct over the phone for Americans.  A few years ago this was not true and you had to use their U.S. designated agent.  As Tring mentioned right now U.K. travel restrictions prevent them from allowing other than U.K. residents on board at least for the summer cruises.  Nothing is known, as yet, about cruises the coming fall onward.

 

 

Thank you for the clarification regards the initial query.  When I mentioned another poster may help I was hoping you would see the thread, though I knew Fred has been pretty good at answering emails in recent months.

 

Again you are correct that nothing has been officially mentioned about what will be the situation after the summer, though some cruise lines have already cancelled cruises for September and Fred has, in the last few days, cancelled at least two cruises for later in the year to places which are currently looked upon as most risky.  A lot has however, been said in our official updates regards the virus being expected to be around for some years to come and the likelihood of some restrictions in the winters (albeit less strict restrictions) since that is when the virus spreads more easily.  Also mainland Europe are way behind us with their vaccine roll outs and a number of variants (which may not be controlled so easily by current vaccines), are cropping up in many countries, including the UK.

 

It is because of those reasons that our government have been bringing in stricter border controls, especially from some countries and a recently produced document did confirm certain plans, including (basically) the outline of how they hope travel will eventually progress and that it be will be done cautiously with each country being placed on one of three risk lists and a statement that, whilst they hope to give some advance notice of the need to quarantine, or indeed under take costly hotel quarantine, they will not refrain from acting quickly if necessary.

 

Hence, it would not really appear likely that someone will be able to travel to the UK from the US to join a cruise before the end of this year, and next spring would appear to be more accessible regards that respect IMO.  It would seem likely a land holiday could be taken here by someone from abroad before a cruise, as even we will have more restrictions from a cruise ship.  For instance anyone leaving a ship on a port call during our summer/early autumn short cruises, will have to be on an official excursion, and many of those cruises will not have any port calls at all, even when for seven days.  Fred appears more optimistic than other cruise lines in that.  In contrast over the summer and early autumn we are likely to be allowed to take land holidays within the UK and go off totally independently when there.

 

So yes, no one knows for sure what will happen in the future, but that uncertainty will hopefully become clearer as the year progresses.  I hope all is well with you and that we can all enjoy some travel this year, if only within our own countries.

 

Cheers, 

 

Barbara

Edited by tring
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16 hours ago, tring said:

 

Thank you for the clarification regards the initial query.  When I mentioned another poster may help I was hoping you would see the thread, though I knew Fred has been pretty good at answering emails in recent months.

 

Again you are correct that nothing has been officially mentioned about what will be the situation after the summer, though some cruise lines have already cancelled cruises for September and Fred has, in the last few days, cancelled at least two cruises for later in the year to places which are currently looked upon as most risky.  A lot has however, been said in our official updates regards the virus being expected to be around for some years to come and the likelihood of some restrictions in the winters (albeit less strict restrictions) since that is when the virus spreads more easily.  Also mainland Europe are way behind us with their vaccine roll outs and a number of variants (which may not be controlled so easily by current vaccines), are cropping up in many countries, including the UK.

 

It is because of those reasons that our government have been bringing in stricter border controls, especially from some countries and a recently produced document did confirm certain plans, including (basically) the outline of how they hope travel will eventually progress and that it be will be done cautiously with each country being placed on one of three risk lists and a statement that, whilst they hope to give some advance notice of the need to quarantine, or indeed under take costly hotel quarantine, they will not refrain from acting quickly if necessary.

 

Hence, it would not really appear likely that someone will be able to travel to the UK from the US to join a cruise before the end of this year, and next spring would appear to be more accessible regards that respect IMO.  It would seem likely a land holiday could be taken here by someone from abroad before a cruise, as even we will have more restrictions from a cruise ship.  For instance anyone leaving a ship on a port call during our summer/early autumn short cruises, will have to be on an official excursion, and many of those cruises will not have any port calls at all, even when for seven days.  Fred appears more optimistic than other cruise lines in that.  In contrast over the summer and early autumn we are likely to be allowed to take land holidays within the UK and go off totally independently when there.

 

So yes, no one knows for sure what will happen in the future, but that uncertainty will hopefully become clearer as the year progresses.  I hope all is well with you and that we can all enjoy some travel this year, if only within our own countries.

 

Cheers, 

 

Barbara

Barbara,

 

Thanks for the update from your side of the pond.  I was hoping the Boris was going to give some hints the past Monday on upcoming restrictions, but I gave the press conference was postponed due to the death/funeral of Prince Phillip.  I'm booked on a November Fred cruise to the Med and I'm trying to figure out what decision to make and when.  I have an award flight ticket coming home  in November from U.K. but have been waiting to book the going over flight in October to see if I would need to allow for a 10-day quarantine before boarding.  However, award flights are getting tighter to get so I have to decide soon.

 

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1 hour ago, comcox said:

Barbara,

 

Thanks for the update from your side of the pond.  I was hoping the Boris was going to give some hints the past Monday on upcoming restrictions, but I gave the press conference was postponed due to the death/funeral of Prince Phillip.  I'm booked on a November Fred cruise to the Med and I'm trying to figure out what decision to make and when.  I have an award flight ticket coming home  in November from U.K. but have been waiting to book the going over flight in October to see if I would need to allow for a 10-day quarantine before boarding.  However, award flights are getting tighter to get so I have to decide soon.

 

 

You are indeed  in a difficult situation, though tbh I would not personally be making any more expenditure plans if they are not fully refundable.  It was very annoying that the travel statement was made early Friday morning and by lunchtime there had been an embargo placed by the government on any annoucements, or media interviews for a week, though the statement did not (and could not at this stage) make any promises regards any specific countries as it does clearly depend on the situation at the time and that could change for the better, but sadly also the worst and that change could even take place whilst you are over here.  The news conferences rarely give any useful Government information since the ministers + Boris just say it is too soon to predict in answer to all questions.  Any useful information tends to come from the scientists, with Jonathan Van Tam often being a bit more honest about how things are expected to progress than others, though even he cannot make any promises.  Listening carefully to their comments can be more informative than any official Government statements.

 

You should perhaps consider that even if your cruise does take place there could be restrictions on going ashore at ports of call to official excursions, as well as being able to mix with others on the ship.  Unlike other cruise companies, Fred has mentioned forming "dining bubbles" between single cruisers, but I assume you would not have a choice about who else is in that bubble, unless you are travelling with another cruiser and link the bookings.  It is expected that our covid numbers will increase now that our restrictions are being eased, but hoped serious illness will not increase due to the vaccination program, so we can keep businesses open.   Any international slackening of current policies also depends on how other countries view us and the safety of travel to and from the UK by both us and their nationals - some other countries may not allow that.  I do not want to dash your hopes entirely and really do hope things become much better by the end of the year, but the truth is that whilst some progress should take place, no one knows what will happen.  

 

At least Fred has at present still got his balance payment dates back to three months before the cruise so he has been making decision on cancellation etc. before then.  P&O by contrast have their payments date as one month before and are allowing free transfers of cruises to later cruises for any cruise due before the end of this year (possibly longer).

 

I hope all turns out well for you,

 

Barbara    

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Thanks Barbara for the additional information.  I talked to my cousin yesterday (he's a U.K. resident) who was also booked on the same cruise and we've decided to cancel and move our deposits to something next year.  I think Fred is still allowing this transfer under their Book with Confidence policy.

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On 4/17/2021 at 6:02 AM, comcox said:

A few years ago this was not true and you had to use their U.S. designated agent.

 

How did you learn who was their designated U. S. Agent?  (I am not asking who that agent may be because I know that is a CC no-no.)  My experienced agent is unable to book them.  

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52 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

How did you learn who was their designated U. S. Agent?  (I am not asking who that agent may be because I know that is a CC no-no.)  My experienced agent is unable to book them.  

 

I suggest you email Fred who may well be happy to give you that information.  He seems to have be answering email queries pretty quickly recently - within a day or so often.  If you do send an email, perhaps you could let us know how long it does take to get a reply as it would be handy for me to know, as I seem to have gained a habit of suggesting that 🙂

 

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Posted (edited)

The first time I booked with Fred, I called my regular TA who found out she could not book directly but had to use Borton Overseas to do it.  A year or so later FO switch to some company that I cannot remember the name of that was based in New York, and they were awful.  Not very responsive, late with mailings, etc.  Luckily the third time I just called FO and they said they could now book directly and I've done that ever since.

 

Regarding the booking of American passengers at the moment.  I spoke to FO yesterday and they are not sure when the U.K. govt. will lift the ban on non-UK/Irish residents sailing with them.  We are all hoping by fall sometime.

Edited by comcox
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13 hours ago, comcox said:

The first time I booked with Fred, I called my regular TA who found out she could not book directly but had to use Borton Overseas to do it.  A year or so later FO switch to some company that I cannot remember the name of that was based in New York, and they were awful.  Not very responsive, late with mailings, etc.  Luckily the third time I just called FO and they said they could now book directly and I've done that ever since.

 

Regarding the booking of American passengers at the moment.  I spoke to FO yesterday and they are not sure when the U.K. govt. will lift the ban on non-UK/Irish residents sailing with them.  We are all hoping by fall sometime.

 

I appreciate the information.  Much too soon, I think, to try to find a North American travel agent who might be able to book a Fred. Olsen cruise.  Borton Overseas has me on their e-mail list simply because I made an inquiry for another cruise line, not Fred. Olsen.  

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/17/2021 at 6:02 AM, comcox said:

I'm a Fred Olsen regular and live in the U.S.  They will happily book direct over the phone for Americans.

Is there a toll-free phone number to call Fred Olsen from the U.S. ? I see a 0-800 number on their web site but I suspect that only works in the UK.

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21 hours ago, TJR_0323 said:

Is there a toll-free phone number to call Fred Olsen from the U.S. ? I see a 0-800 number on their web site but I suspect that only works in the UK.

No toll-free number from U.S.  You have to call the regular number 011-44-1473-742-424.  The hold times are not bad; I got through yesterday in just a couple of minutes.

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On 6/18/2021 at 5:40 AM, comcox said:

No toll-free number from U.S.  You have to call the regular number 011-44-1473-742-424.  The hold times are not bad; I got through yesterday in just a couple of minutes.

 

Still no U. S. agency, I suppose.  

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11 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Still no U. S. agency, I suppose.  

The last U.S. agency they used was awful; the one before great.  So I'm very happy to book direct and I get to ask questions of folks who really know the ships.

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13 hours ago, comcox said:

The last U.S. agency they used was awful; the one before great.  So I'm very happy to book direct and I get to ask questions of folks who really know the ships.

 

Thanks for your reply.  I suspected that there was no agency in the United States.

 

There are cruises that I might have booked on some of the non-North American based cruise lines that my travel agent cannot do.  I prefer to book through my travel agent and not directly with the cruise line.  They make it so difficult for this to happen.  They don't want my business?  OK with me, but, I am disappointed from not being able to have a different cruise experience.  

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  • 2 months later...
3 hours ago, ew101 said:

I have been getting nice promotional emails.  It is not clear these days if Americans (flying from the US) can go?  

 

Are these emails coming directly from Fred. Olsen or from an agent that they are using in the United States?  

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On 9/15/2021 at 3:58 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Are these emails coming directly from Fred. Olsen or from an agent that they are using in the United States?  

I'm getting them direct- prices in Pounds, etc.  

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3 hours ago, ew101 said:

I'm getting them direct- prices in Pounds, etc.  

 

I  not aware of current travel rules for non UK passengers, but I suggest you email Fred Olsen directly. They have been very responsive to emails in recent months, so you would probably get a reply within 24hrs, perhaps quicker than that.  There is a change to our travel rules due very soon (news is saying later today).  I am not sure if that will affect others traveling to the UK though.

 

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