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Anchor/tender ports on Fred Olsen cruise


Ruthmcp
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We are nearly novice cruisers, having enjoyed one previous Norwegian fjords cruise with P & O in 2017. We are booked with Fred Olsen for a similar itinerary on Borealis in Sep, but three out of the four ports are now tenders. It was two when we booked the cruise, and we knew then that we would not be able to do shore excursions from those two ports due to my husband's disability. We are now resigned to only going ashore in Bergen, but my question is, has anyone ever experienced a Fred Olsen anchor port being changed so that the ship actually docks? We are particularly disappointed that Kirkwall has now been changed to an anchor port.

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19 minutes ago, Ruthmcp said:

We are nearly novice cruisers, having enjoyed one previous Norwegian fjords cruise with P & O in 2017. We are booked with Fred Olsen for a similar itinerary on Borealis in Sep, but three out of the four ports are now tenders. It was two when we booked the cruise, and we knew then that we would not be able to do shore excursions from those two ports due to my husband's disability. We are now resigned to only going ashore in Bergen, but my question is, has anyone ever experienced a Fred Olsen anchor port being changed so that the ship actually docks? We are particularly disappointed that Kirkwall has now been changed to an anchor port.

 

We've done 25-30 FOCLs cruises over several decades and have never had a tender port changed to a mooring port. Bear in mind that it is far less expensive for a ship to tender rather than dock at a quay... FOCLs are in massive debt and we don't think that it would willingly spend the difference between tendering and mooring. But that's just a personal view.

 

Look back at comments about the Balmoral's South American cruise earlier this year... far more tender ports that originally advertised.

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1 hour ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

 

Look back at comments about the Balmoral's South American cruise earlier this year... far more tender ports that originally advertised.

 

That is true about there being more tender ports than originally and I agree some passengers were not pleased about that, but the reason was largely because they could not call at ports which were scheduled in Peru, because of the unrest there.  Machu Pinchu even became no go as the cruise progressed, so the site was closed to tourists entirely.  Other, quite unusual, ports were added instead and they were ones in which the ship could dock, so tendering was the only option.   

 

A P&O ship was doing S. America in the opposite direction and they just lost ports which were replaced with sea days, so not necessarily a good option either  Also, Fred was on a longer cruise, so had a more ports to begin with, so if I am correct, all the ones normally seen on most S. American cruises were already on their itinerary so there may not have been any other options at all.. 

 

It was though an unfortunate situation for some passengers and I do not detract from that, but is not something which is likely to happen on such a large scale for European cruises, though of course some ports can be cancelled for other reasons. 

 

Regards the original post on this thread, the extra tender port does make a lot of difference to the passenger and in their position, I would be discussing that with Fred to explore if they may be allowed to change to another cruise.  There is no reason why Fred should allow that of course, but I have known instances when it has been allowed, so no harm in asking.

 

 

Edited by tring
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13 hours ago, Ruthmcp said:

my question is, has anyone ever experienced a Fred Olsen anchor port being changed so that the ship actually docks?

 

To perhaps explain why your itinerary has changed... 

 

If you're due to be in Kirkwall on the 15 September 2023 there are only two options... either berth at Hatston, just outside the city, or use the adjacent Kirkwall Bay Anchorage and tender into the harbour area. Kirkwall tend to only have one cruise ship at the quay at Hatston on any one day.

 

However, there are two large cruise ships in Kirkwall on 15 September 2023... Fred Olsen's Borealis on route from Liverpool to Bergen and Fred Olsen's Bolette on route from Lerwick to Invergordon. Fred Olsen's agent in Kirkwall, John Jolly, has arranged that the Bolette should have the quay at Hatston and that the Bolette should anchor in the bay. 

 

So the chance of the Borealis being able to dock at the quay at Hatston on 15 September 2023 is highly unlikely as the quay has already been reserved for Fred Olsen's Bolette.

 

DSC_3738.thumb.jpeg.9dad7e29b04ce336a85f45f768221957.jpeg

 

Just a quick snap of the quay at Hatston taken within the last year.

 

As we've explained... On your original question... we've sailed with "Fred"/FOCL's  between 25 and 30 times in four decades... we have many, many happy memories of those voyages. We've sailed all times of the year, in all weathers... and we've never arrived at a tender port to have it changed to a docking port.

 

On the other hand we've occasionally had to tender instead of berth on a quay as originally advertised. The point of looking at the Balmoral trip is simply that the ship tendered at ports that were originally advertised as docking ports.... not the opposite way round.

 

So to avoid any confusion... There were political problems in Peru but the Balmoral did dock in Callao-Lima. It missed out the southern Peruvian port of Matarani and replaced it with two ports in Chile... Iquique and Coquimbo... but docked on both occasions. Complains by the folks on board seem to have been related to the latter part of the cruise after the Balmoral left Port Stanley... they can be found with a bit of digging on the FOCLs site.

 

However more importantly... If you look at paragraph 7 of the FOCLs T&Cs, the company reserves the right to make changes to your holiday (7.1). If the company " make more significant alterations to the main characteristics of a Holiday we will always advise you clearly at the earliest opportunity, in writing wherever possible, providing you the opportunity to accept the revisions to Holiday by a reasonably specified time, or to accept an alternative holiday of equivalent value, or a refund of all money paid under the Booking within a reasonable period after the booking is terminated." 

 

If FOCLs haven't done that it means that the company don't consider the change as a "significant alteration."

 

If we were unhappy, we would have a quick word with FOCLs or our travel agent... FOCLs are very keen to hold on to passengers and prospective customers at the moment and so they may be very helpful. If after that we weren't happy and protected characteristics were a factor have a word with one of the well know advice agencies.

 

Hope that it all works out well for you... holidays are so often paid for by hard-won savings... and we all deserve to have the chance to look forward to a bit of relaxation and enjoyment.

 

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Thank you both for the very helpful and informative replies. For a number of reasons it would not be feasible for us to change to another cruise, even if it were offered as an option. We are determined to just stay positive and enjoy what we can about the cruise, rather than dwelling on what we can't do. My husband's long-term health issues have taught us to always "seize the day"!

Interestingly Flam is also an anchor port on our itinerary, but the port authority website shows "Kai" rather than "Anker" for Borealis on the relevant date. So we shall see ....

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11 minutes ago, Ruthmcp said:

Thank you both for the very helpful and informative replies. For a number of reasons it would not be feasible for us to change to another cruise, even if it were offered as an option. We are determined to just stay positive and enjoy what we can about the cruise, rather than dwelling on what we can't do. My husband's long-term health issues have taught us to always "seize the day"!

Interestingly Flam is also an anchor port on our itinerary, but the port authority website shows "Kai" rather than "Anker" for Borealis on the relevant date. So we shall see ....

 

 

Yes indeed the official port website does show Kai and Borealis appears to be the only ship in port on the 13th Sept, which appears to be your cruise date.  That would pretty much cinch it, if she is the only ship there, as they will not want to go through the tendering procedure if it was not necessary https://www.flamport.no/ship-arrivals2021

 

I have found more recently that ports are often marked as "possible tender" on both Fred and other cruise line's itineraries.  I assume it is all because they do not want complaints if passengers are not warned about that possibility.  Sometimes ports are changed at quite short notice though, so always the possibility of a change to that status.  The bigger ships normally dock, so the smaller ship of any two would probably need to tender.  We have been docked at times when a port had been marked as tender, but not that common as there is normally no ability to dock in most tender ports.  Flam only has space for one ship at the pier, but can take another if it tenders. 

 

I hope you do get ashore in Flam and that you enjoy the cruise,

 

Barbara

 

 

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On 7/21/2023 at 8:41 PM, Ruthmcp said:

We are booked with Fred Olsen for a similar itinerary on Borealis in Sep

Just a thought.

 

May be only a tiny positive, but a positive nonetheless.

Depending on your itinerary, and tender ports aside, you may find that you have quite a lot of scenic sailing along the way, perhaps more than you might have were you sailing in a different part of the world.  And scenic sailing in Norwegian waters can be very scenic indeed.

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Thank you edinburgher, that is indeed the main reason we are doing this cruise. We have never forgotten the magic of sailing through the fjords on our one and only previous cruise (on P & O Arcadia), for us the scenery was the highlight of the whole trip. Just hope the weather in Sep is kind to us!

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1 hour ago, Ruthmcp said:

Just hope the weather in Sep is kind to us!

Should hopefully pick up there and here once that pesky Jet Stream moves a little.  Hard to believe we are heading into August.  No heatwave like Southern Europe wanted, just a little less rain and slightly higher temps.

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