All four of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ocean ships met in Cádiz, Spain on 10 September, marking the second time in history that the entire ocean fleet has been in the same place at the same time.
Following on from the first four-ship meet in Bergen, Norway in July 2015, the Captains in Cádiz event saw Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch sailed into the Spanish port just before 8am. Their 4,000 guests were welcomed by the Los Sones de Cádiz band.
Planned in collaboration with Cádiz Port Authority and various Cádiz and Andalusian tourism partners, the event enabled guests to tour the ships, participate in a ‘Siege of Cádiz’ themed treasure hunt, watch performances by live bands and Flamenco dancers, sample local produce and local sherry, and watch the crew competing in an inter-ship Tug of War competition.
The celebration also enabled the fleet’s eight ship masters to meet up with one another and key executives, including the company’s chairman Fred Olsen Junior and managing director Mike Rodwell. The captains included: Victor Stoica and Rommel Pineda from Balmoral; Jozo Glavic and Jens Erik Gulowsen from Braemar; Juha Sartela and Mikael Degerlund from Boudicca; and Henrik Mattsson and Valentin Giuglea from Black Watch. All eight captains later joined Olsen, Rodwell, the Mayor of Cádiz, the president of Cádiz Port Authority and other local dignitaries at a plaque exchange ceremony and a VIP reception onboard Balmoral to commemorate the event.
“The event was wonderful, not only for all of us eight captains, but also for all the staff and crew, who had a great opportunity to meet and mingle with guests from across the fleet, together with the chairman, directors and managers from both of our offices in Ipswich [UK] and Oslo [Norway],” said Degerlund.“On a personal level, it makes me very proud to be part of Fred. Olsen, whose cruise ships – for me and many of our guests – are our home away from home.”
At 5pm, a fire tug boat spraying its water cannons led the four ships out of the harbour as they were serenaded by a local jazz band. They passed under The Constitution of 1812 Bridge in formation, before Braemar set off for Southampton, UK, Boudicca headed to Ibiza in Spain, and both Balmoral and Black Watch sailed towards Lisbon, Portugal.
“We have named this year’s event ‘Captains in Cádiz’, as our captains – and their dedicated crews – help to make the cruise experience across our fleet such an enjoyable and memorable one,” said Rodwell. “This year marks the 170th anniversary of Fred. Olsen’s start as a shipping company and we are delighted to be celebrating today in the stunning city of Cádiz. Our cruise ships have been calling here since 1987, and the excellent port facilities mean that we can berth all four ships in close proximity to each other.”
Fred. Olsen plans to host a ‘Four Fred.s in Funchal’ reunion in Madeira on 4 April 2020.