Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has conceded the tough economic climate is proving a “shared problem” for the cruise sector.

Launching the company’s 2009-2010 worldwide brochure, marketing director Nigel Lingard said: “We are being somewhat challenged by economic factors and by fuel prices that are exponentially growing. It is going to be a difficult year.”

Lingard admitted that “in an ideal world the cruiseline would not be adding 60% extra capacity in a year when so many additional ships were being launched”.

Balmoral joined the fleet in February and Braemar is undergoing a refit to significantly increase capacity. The enlarged fleet will mean the cruiseline will carry 100,000 passengers a year. Its current market share of the cruise sector is 6%.

Lingard said the company planned to continue producing brochures. He said: “There may be a lot of silver surfers out there but there are plenty that don’t surf. The brochure is a great marketing tool.”

New for 2009 are ex UK cruises from Portsmouth on Boudicca. Brochure highlights include three round the world cruises, two ships on the Caribbean Fly Cruise programme and fly cruises from 19 regional UK airports.