Fred Olsen to grow fleet?
Speaking last week at the launch of its Worldwide Cruises 2018-19 programme, Rodwell insisted Fred Olsen was “very well placed” to fill the hole left in the sector following the collapse of ALG in January.
He told TTG the line had inspected Minerva after ALG’s demise in January but had decided “not to pursue it”.
“We took a look at [Minerva] and a lot of other people took a look at it as well, but we decided it wasn’t for us for various reasons,” Rodwell said. “We decided not to pursue on this occasion... it was an opportunity we looked at and if other opportunities come up in the future we’ll look at those as well.”
Following the collapse of ALG, Fred Olsen was among several cruise operators to offer a discount to affected passengers.
Rodwell said Fred Olsen had done “reasonably well” in attracting bookings on the back of the promotion and said he believed there were “still some more bookings to come”.
“Like a number of ex-UK cruise lines that specialise in small ships, we’ve benefitted from the unfortunate demise of All Leisure. That’s not how we like to pick up business but we’re very grateful for it when it comes,” he admitted.
It was announced last month that G Adventures had acquired Swan Hellenic and planned to restart the line’s operations in 2018. The purchase did not include Minerva, which was returned to its owners before G’s acquisition, a spokesperson for the operator confirmed.
Rodwell said the void left by ALG enabled Fred Olsen to “engage with a new set of customers”.
Elsewhere, the line unveiled its first dedicated fly-cruise brochure, offering sailings in the Indian Ocean, South Africa and Australasia, with voyages of 14 to 38 nights.
Rodwell said that Fred Olsen had “rather neglected” its fly-cruise product in recent times but now “wanted to stress” the breadth and quality of its offerings.