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The Fred. Olsen Braemar: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

12/02/2011 04:08 pm 16:08:57 | Updated Dec 20, 2011

The Fred. Olsen Braemar is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Fred. Olsen Braemar.

From Africa To The Amazon

The Fred. Olsen Braemar offers a wide variety of cruises from three-day trips to France for Christmas shopping, to a tour of the Low Country coast, and journeys to the Canary Islands, West Africa and beyond. It even sails up the Amazon River.

Passenger Ship

The Fred. Olsen Braemar is a fairly intimate 929-passenger, 640-foot-long ship. According to Malcolm Oliver's Cruiseblog, this classy ship's longer cruises attract passengers who tend to be in the nearly retired or older set. Its shorter cruises, however, often attract travelers of all ages.

Special Features

The Fred. Olsen Braemar offers many of the same types of entertainment options as larger ships, just on a smaller scale. In its Skylark Club, you can find roulette and blackjack. The ship also has theaters for shows and entertainment, a spa, fitness center, two large swimming pools and a kiddie pool.

Accommodations

The Fred. Olsen Braemar's cabins range in size from 130-square-foot single inside cabins to 225-square-foot deluxe balcony cabins and 300-square-foot superior suites. All cabins feature bathrooms and televisions. Some of the larger rooms come equipped with a refrigerator and an eating area.

Cost

A three-night cruise on the Fred. Olsen Braemar to France in November starts at about $539, depending on the exchange rate. This rate is per person for a two-person cabin. A single balcony suite on the same cruise would cost about $1,600. Prices for the 21-day Canary Islands and West Africa cruise range from about $3,275 for an inside cabin to $9,470 for a single balcony suite.

Excursions

Traveler Martin Goodwin recommended the Rasputin and Yusupov Palace excursion that is available during the St. Petersburg stop on the Fred. Olsen Braemar's Baltic cruise. According to Goodwin, not only was the tour enjoyable, but a guided excursion is also the only way a traveler without a visa can leave the ship during the St. Petersburg port stop.

Dining Experience

Passengers on the Fred. Olsen Braemar are assigned one of two pre-arranged dining times for dinner, which is served in its two main restaurants, Thistle and Grampian. For those who prefer less formal dining, this ship's Palms Cafe offers informal, buffet-style dinners with open seating.

Maiden Voyage

According to ShipsTips.com, the Fred. Olsen Braemar's original maiden voyage was in 1993 for the Crown Cruise Line. It was rebuilt in 2001 and lengthened in 2008. The Braemar formerly sailed for the Crown, Norwegian and Cunard lines as the Crown Dynasty, the Crown Majesty, the Norwegian Dynasty and as the Cunard Dynasty.

In The News

In 2007, TravelWatchdog.com published a report detailing how passengers were not given the trip they were promised and had paid for when the Fred. Olsen Braemar deviated course on one of its Amazon River cruises. The ship was also in the news in 2010 when two passengers had to be airlifted by helicopter from the boat after one suffered a heart attack and another broke a hip in separate incidents.

WATCH:

A tour of the Fred. Olsen Braemar.

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