Cruising Press Releases

Fred. Olsen’s flagship Balmoral named ‘Best Mid-Sized Cruise Ship’

Travel Agent News for Fred Olsen Cruises Awards from Cruise Critic


March 6th, 2019 – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ flagship Balmoral has stolen two top titles in Cruise Critic’s coveted ‘2019 UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards’ – being crowned both ‘Best Cruise Ship’ and ‘Best Cruise Ship for Dining’ in the ‘Mid-Sized Ship’ category.


Cruise Critic’s ‘UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards’ are based on reviews submitted on the influential website by UK holidaymakers who took a cruise in 2018. Cruise Critic is the largest independent online cruise community in the world.


Fred. Olsen’s Balmoral benefitted from an extensive, multi-million-Pound upgrade in late 2017, providing guests with an improved and enhanced onboard experience, featuring refurbished rooms, with new fabrics and décor, as well as smart TVs, fridges and safes, as standard. Public areas were also refreshed, and new dining options created, including ‘The Grill’, a speciality seafood and steak restaurant, and the Mediterranean-themed ‘The Poolside’.


Fred. Olsen’s significant investment in new destination restaurants on Balmoral, as well as itsexceptional cuisine throughout, have also seen the ship named ‘Best for Dining’ in the awards. 1,350-guest Balmoral features six restaurants, with its main dining rooms – the Ballindalloch, Spey and Avon Restaurants – serving up sumptuous five-course à la carte menus each evening. Guests can also enjoy delicious casual dining in The Palms Café.


Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor of Cruise Critic said:

“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ flagship, Balmoral, has obviously proved exceptionally popular with British cruisers across all categories, including: dining, cabins, itineraries and entertainment, and we are delighted that the line has secured the ‘Best Ship Overall’ accolade in the ‘Mid-Size’ category of this year’s ‘UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards’.

“The awards name the most popular cruise ships of the year, based entirely on UK reviews posted to the Cruise Critic website, and help to truly inform other cruisers and first-time travellers to find and choose the best cruise ships for their ideal holiday.”


Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We are exceptionally proud to receive these two top accolades in the Cruise Critic ‘2019 UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards’. It is always an honour to receive such awards, but they are always even more valuable when they are based solely on customer feedback.

“Our onboard teams, supported by our Head Office staff, go above and beyond to ensure that our guests enjoy every element of their holiday, and we know that onboard facilities and attractive, imaginative cuisine play a huge part in that. We have a team of extremely talented chefs, both on board Balmoral and across the fleet, who tailor their menus to offer our discerning guests tastes from right across the world, giving a flavour of the exotic destinations that they are visiting, using the very finest ingredients.”


In addition, Fred. Olsen’s 929-guest Braemar also ranked highly with UK cruisers, securing third place in the ‘Best for Fitness’ award in the ‘Small Ship’ category, amongst others.


This latest Cruise Critic recognition comes just months after Fred. Olsen was crowned ‘Best for Itineraries’ by the independent review site’s experts in its prestigious ‘UK Editors’ Picks Awards 2018’ – for a record fourth year in a row – as well as ‘Best Shore Excursions’.


For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website To find out more about the Cruise Critic ‘2019 UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards’, go to