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Braemar - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines - cruise ship review and photos.

After a very pleasant overnight crossing from Amsterdam, our DFDS Seaways ferry King of Scandinavia arrives at Newcastle-upon-Tyne at precisely 9 in the morning. We are up on the bridge as Captain Hilmar Larsen expertly docks the 31,360 ton ferry astern of Braemar at Newcastle's Tyne Commission Quay.  

Captain Hilmar Larsen on the bridge of the 'King of Scandinavia'

Being very familiar to the Newcastle area, I have decided to bring my car along on the ferry and by 9.30 AM we are driving (on the left side of the road, naturally) in southerly direction. Half an hour later we reach the charming town of Durham, famous for its university, its cathedral and its beautiful location on the banks of the banks of the River Spey.

After a visit to the historic Durham Cathedral, a walk through the center of town and a cup of drab in a typically English tea room it is already time to head back to the Tyne Commission Quay. With my car safely parked on the dockside it is time to check in for our cruise. Only half an hour after dropping off our luggage we are already in a bus bringing us to Braemar. Welcome Aboard!

Ah, it is the dreaded anti-bacterial hand foam! Fred. Olsen routinely 'foams' you when you get on the ship, when you enter the restaurant and even before shaking the Captain's hand. Completely 'anti-bacterialized' we first venture to our living quarters. 

For Lucy and me cabin 3031 will be our home in the week to come. Our D grade outside cabin sports a bright and very pleasing yellow and blue color scheme and comes with twin beds and portholes (which equals one porthole per bed). Storage space, sound insulation and lighting are all excellent. On the down side, the bathroom is rather small and the pre-historical shower head is in desperate need of replacement. In charge of folding the famous Fred. Olsen duvets every night is our charming, ever-smiling Thai cabin attendant. She doesn't speak much English, but sure knows how to clean as our room is absolutely spotless.

It is five o'clock and the band plays on the aft deck. With a drink in hand, we say farewell to Newcastle as Braemar is saluted by our ferry King of Scandinavia and sails down the River Tyne  The weather is remarkably cooperative and we spend some time on the wide Promenade Deck soaking up some northern rays before it is time to dress for dinner and head for the Thistle Restaurant.  Our cruise has officially started!

First glimpse of the Northumbrian coast

'King of Scandinavia' arrives at Newcastle
The city of Durham
Durham
Braemar toiletries
Stateroom 3031
Stateroom 3031

'King of Scandinavia' seen from Braemar

The historic city of Durham
Braemar at Newcastle
A beautiful first evening at sea
First evening on board
First evening on board
Neptune Lounge
Sunset on the North Sea

 

Photos and text: 2007 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on November 4, 2007

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