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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines welcomed guests on board its 804 guest cruise ship, Black Watch, during a turnaround call at the Port of Tyne, Newcastle on 9th October 2014. The ship will then depart on a ten-night ‘European Capitals & Waterways' cruise to Amsterdam (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Oslo (Norway).

The VIP visit to Black Watch will be hosted jointly by Fred. Olsen, the Port of Tyne, and the UK cruise industry's trade organisation, CLIA UK & Ireland. Dignitaries expected on the day will include Mary Glindon, Member of Parliament for North Tyneside, Emma Lewell-Buck, Member of Parliament for South Shields, and a number of key travel agents and media partners. The visit will give guests a feel for the relaxed, ‘home-from-home' atmosphere of Fred. Olsen's fleet of four smaller, more traditional ships, and will help to promote cruise opportunities within the North Eastern region.

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: 

"We are delighted to welcome such prestigious visitors on board Black Watch, the most traditional and intimate ship within our fleet.

"Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has made a considerable investment in adding our unique branding to the Port of Tyne's International Passenger Terminal, and we are committed to our cruise programme in the North East. We will be offering an even greater number of cruise departures from Newcastle in 2015, with eight in total, and we are happy to be making our own contribution to the estimated £60 million that the cruise and ferry industry generates for the North Eastern economy each year.

"The Port of Tyne is ideally placed for our ever-popular Norway, Scandinavian and Baltic itineraries, and we can save up to three days' cruising time sailing from Newcastle to Norway than from Southern ports."

Whilst on board Black Watch, the dignitaries will be treated to a champagne and canapé reception in the Observatory Lounge on Marquee Deck 9, with its stunning, panoramic views. This will be followed by a guided tour of the ship, showcasing the elegant décor and spacious public areas, along with examples of the Olsen family art collection, which is on display throughout the ship.

Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne Chief Executive Officer, said:

"The Port of Tyne welcomes over 625,000 cruise and ferry passengers each year. Some are coming into the region to experience the wealth of cultural and heritage attractions on offer throughout the North East. Others take advantage of the Port's popularity with some of the world's largest cruise lines and join a cruise ship here to sail across the globe to a wide variety of exciting destinations.

"Our International Passenger Terminal is well equipped to handle a wide variety of cruise calls and we look forward to welcoming many more visits from Fred. Olsen, who continue to introduce new and exciting cruise itineraries attracting customers from the North East and beyond.''

The eight sailings from the Port of Tyne in 2015 will be on board Fred. Olsen's 880-guest ship, Boudicca, from July to November. These include a seven-night D1517 ‘Glaciers, Fjords & Waterfalls of Norway' cruise in July 2015 and a 27-night D1518 ‘Exploring the Arctic Circle' adventure in August 2015 - which sold out within just days!

Following the VIP Reception, Black Watch will continue on a ten-night W1415 ‘Oslo, Copenhagen & Amsterdam' cruise - with overnight stays in each city to give guests more time to relax and explore. The ship will then undertake a 15-night sunshine itinerary to the Canaries (W1416), calling at Lisbon, Portugal's lively capital, Arrecife (Lanzarote), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Santa Cruz (Tenerife), Funchal on the ‘Garden Island' of Madeira, and La Coruna (Spain), before returning to Newcastle; she will then reposition to Tilbury, for her first-ever cruise season from the South Essex port.

Fred. Olsen is proud to be named one of the Top 3 cruise lines in the UK and awarded Which? Travel's prestigious ‘Recommended Provider' accolade, in its first-ever dedicated cruise survey. The influential independent consumer body conducted an online poll of 1,327 Which? members in April 2014, and FOCL was voted joint second out of the 14 cruise companies rated, receiving a customer satisfaction score of 85% out of 100%.

FOCL was also delighted to be voted ‘Best for Enrichment' in the ‘Cruise International Awards 2014', for the third time - the only cruise industry accolades voted for by genuine cruisers.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at

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