Fred Olsen Cruise Lines unveils Journey Navigators programme

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines plans to recruit 16 experts who will join sailings to enhance the onboard experience as part of a new Journey Navigators programme.

Four experts – a nature scout, a culture curator, a maritime guide and an entertainment host – will be on board each ship on every 2023-24 sailing.

Speaking during a tour of Bolette in Southampton on Wednesday, head of sales Geoff Ridgeon said: “It’s about exploring the world from the ship and enjoying the time that you spend at sea.

“Starting in 2023, we’re going to launch Journey Navigators and they are going to bring that experience to life.”

The line said nature scouts will be hired “for their expertise and passion for the natural world” and will help passengers “enjoy the natural beauty of places”.

Passengers can join the onboard nature scout and stargaze or spot sea life, the line added.

The onboard culture curator will organise onboard talks. “Passengers will really get to learn about the places that we’re visiting on a much deeper level,” Ridgeon said.

Maritime guides will host bridge and galley tours as well as question and answer sessions with crew members.

The line said entertainment hosts would ensure passengers’ days are filled with “live music, dancing, quizzes, competitions and all other forms of fun and games on every cruise”.

Ridgeon confirmed the line would soon reveal “a reasonable sized” programme of educationals for the rest of this year. “I think it’s fundamentally important that agents can sail with us,” he added.

Agents will be invited by the line to join a fam trip sailing or a ship visit at a UK regional port, Ridgeon said.

“There will be opportunities going in and out of the UK,” he said. “Some will be part cruises because agents will not be able to go for a whole voyage.”

He confirmed there were still “pockets of availability” on the line’s remaining 2022 cruises. “Every cruise line has a reasonable amount of availability,” he explained. “The market is very much moving into the late arena.”

Ridgeon predicted the cruise sector would return to “a forward booking” market during the second half of the year.

“Having a lates market is something that we’re not used to but it’s a by-product of coming out of the pandemic,” he added. “We’re optimistic about 2023-24.”

More: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines unveils 2023 Grand Voyage

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines previews summer 2023 schedule

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