Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has entered the river cruise market with new river ship Brabant.
Built in 2006, 110 m-long Brabant has four decks and fewer than 80 rooms and suites, staffed by 40 crew members.
The ship started its maiden voyage from Amsterdam last week (5 April).
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines commercial director Peter Deer said “Today, our new river vessel, Brabant, sets sails from Amsterdam for the first time under a Fred Olsen flag… Brabant may be small, but we are proud to have developed a great product for our first year.”
Fred Olsen is operating its inaugural European River Cruising programme between 5 April and 3 November 2018.
Fred Olsen’s entry in to the river cruise market comes on the back of a booming sector. According to data from BRL Consultants, there are 44 vessels on the global river cruise newbuild orderbook, with 20 due for delivery this year.
Activity in this market will be further boosted by the announcement that European Investment Bank (EIB) and Dutch bank ING will contribute €300M (US$371M) in loans to clients who pursue green innovations. EIB already supports maritime construction and this new injection of cash will be available for inland vessels as well as sea going vessels if they meet EU policy objectives. The money will be phased in over the next three years.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines operates a fleet of four ocean-going cruise ships.