Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Unites Fleet for Historic Madeira Fiesta

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


The three legendary ships of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines—Bolette, Borealis, and Balmoral—united for the first time on November 9th during the Fleet in Funchal celebration in Madeira, making nautical history. With live music, colorful carnival stalls, and a charming quayside festooned with bunting, the event commemorated the 175th anniversary of Fred. Olsen’s founding as a shipping firm and welcomed nearly 3,000 guests.

The Ports of Madeira and the city’s partners were thanked by Managing Director Peter Deer for their cordial welcome and amazing fireworks show. This historic occasion demonstrated the cooperative efforts of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ committed workforce came after fleet meetings in Bergen (2015) and Cadiz (2018).

The cruise line organized a daylong event that included treasure hunts, live entertainment, gastronomic treats, and an exciting inter-ship tug of-war competition in partnership with the Ports of Madeira and Madeira Tourism Board. The CEO of Madeira Port, Paula Cabaço, emphasized the occasion as a post-pandemic turning point that promoted cooperation between the port, the city, and travelers.

Rare access to all three ships allowed guests to build relationships with friends and crew. A £1 contribution from each guest helped us raise a £15,000 donation to the RNLI.

The day ended with a spectacular departure from Funchal, complete with water cannon-spraying tugboats, deck parties on every ship, and a spectacular fireworks display that lit up the skies over Madeira. The Master of Borealis, Captain Rommel Pineda, highlighted the importance of the occasion for both visitors and crew.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ dedication to crafting remarkable experiences, fusing nautical heritage with modern celebrations, and reinforcing the vitality of the cruise industry was demonstrated at the Fleet in Funchal festival.

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