Holland America Amsterdam at sea.

Fred. Olsen Buys Two Holland America Ships in Sell-Off

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Fred. Olsen, a Norwegian cruise line based in the United Kingdom, has purchased two Holland America ships. It’s a relief to know these two fabulous ships will have a new life instead of heading to the scrapyard.

Fred. Olsen buys two Holland America ships including Amsterdam

The two ships that Fred. Olsen Cruise Line acquired are Holland America’s Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Both ships carry less than 1,500 passengers and fit right in with Fred. Olsen’s small ship fleet. 

A little history about Fred. Olsen Cruise Line

The cruise line began in 1848 in Hvisten, a small Norwegian fishing village, when the first Fredrik Christian Olsen acquired two two-masted brigantines. Now the still-growing cruise line has cargo vessels and cruise ships around the world. Plus, in 2021, Brabant, a 150-passenger river ship, will cruise the Rhine, Main, Mosel, and Danube rivers. 

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Fred. Olsen will rename Amsterdam to Bolette and Rotterdam will become Borealis. Bolette will accommodate up to 1,380 guests and Borealis only slightly more at 1,404. 

Acquiring these two much-loved ships will increase the cruise line’s fleet to six small ocean cruise ships. 

“Bolette” was the name of Fred. Olsen Jr.’s great-great-grandmother who was married to one of the founders of the cruise line, Petter Olsen.

As for Rotterdam becoming Borealis, back in 1948 the family owned another ship named Borealis. The name is also recognizes Norway’s famous Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis. 

“I am delighted to be announcing this news today,” Fred. Olsen Junior, Chairman of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said. “We have chosen these vessels as they will fit seamlessly into our existing fleet of small ships, each carrying under 1,500 guests, bringing with them new and larger public areas whilst not compromising on our small ship experience. The naming of the vessels is important to us. Bolette and Borealis are both names of ships we have had in years gone by.”

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line plans to have the two new ships enter the fleet later this year, following the rebranding project.

The four additional ships in the fleet include the 1,325-guest Balmoral, 924-guest Braemar, 853-guest Boudicca and 799-guest Black Watch. The ships are currently docked in Scotland, where the two new ships will join them.

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