The 1,338-passenger Borealis is one of a pair of near identical ex-Holland America Line ships acquired by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in 2020 in a move that simultaneously marked the retirement of Fred.'s Boudicca and Black Watch. Both with 690 cabins and carrying the same number of passengers and crew, Borealis was launched in 1997 as Rotterdam, the first of HAL's Rotterdam (R) class vessels. Sister ship Amsterdam, now renamed Bolette, was the fourth and last R-class vessel and both were built at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard. Its new name was first carried by an Olsen-owned vessel in the 1940s and inspired by the Aurora Borealis. The latest Fred. ships are the largest in the line's four-strong fleet that offers a traditional style of cruising to mainly mature British passengers. Borealis will sail almost exclusively from Liverpool across the 2022 season. The cabins, which come in 12 categories, are located across five decks and range in size from 140 square feet to 644 square feet in the top Premier Suites. There are more than 50 single cabins, with grades ranging from Inside to Balcony Suite, along with wheelchair accessible staterooms and some cabins with bathtubs. There are also three and four-berth cabins. All cabin categories include tea and coffee making facilities, fridge, TV entertainment system, safe and hair dryer. In common with Bolette, Borealis also has six restaurants and 11 bars and lounges. The main restaurant spans two decks and is a classic and elegant venue with a choice of table sizes and seating options. Meals in this dining room, along with the buffet restaurant, are included in the fare and passengers can also pay a supplement to book tables in the smaller speciality restaurants. The main entertainment venue is the two-tier show lounge and there is also live entertainment, such as music and comedy, in other bars and lounges. The ship also has a culinary theatre which hosts cookery classes and demonstrations. Borealis also has two swimming pools -- one with a retractable roof -- a pair of hot tubs and a spa with nine treatment rooms, a hydro pool and two saunas. Outside there are tennis and basketball courts. There are lifts to all passenger decks, a for-fee laundry service with washing collected and delivered to cabins and a self-service laundry where passengers can purchase tokens to use washing machines and dryers. There is onboard Wi-Fi and a variety of Internet packages can be purchased. Borealis will take on existing itineraries for the retired Black Watch.
On a cruise holiday, Fred. Olsen know that your on board experience is just as important to you as the time you spend ashore. That's why they are dedicated to ensuring their entertainment programme is packed with activities and memorable performances that help to create inspirational days and unforgettable nights.
Borealis features eleven stylish, spacious and comfortable bars and lounges, providing plenty of choice and variety. When the lights go down and you settle into your evening, she'll treat you to a selection of live shows ranging from music and cabaret to quick-fire stand-up comedy, all enjoyed in the space and comfort of our stylish lounges and theatres. And, of course, throughout the ship you can sit, relax and enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple accompanied by the gentle sounds of live acoustic music.
The fine dining experience enjoyed in in the elegant restaurants and dining venues on board their ships is a high point of every Fred. Olsen cruise. There are deliciously-tempting, expertly prepared dishes, from perfectly cooked breakfasts to sumptuous five course á la carte dinners, on offer throughout the day, presented with the personal touch of Fred. Olsen's famously attentive service.
There's an undoubted sense of occasion to dining in Borealis' main restaurant, a grand two-tiered venue featuring classical, elegant décor and a variety of seating options and table sizes, perfect for both intimate and large group dining. Guests can choose to dine in one of the smaller supplementary dining venues too, or perhaps at the more relaxed buffet restaurant.
The dress code in all restaurants is casual during the day, while the evenings are usually smart-casual, apart from on Fred. Olsen's fantastic Formal Nights.