Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’s Bolette, Borealis and Balmoral united in Madeira to celebrate the Fleet in Funchal event on Thursday, November 9.
The three ships sailed into Funchal harbor carrying over 3,000 guests who were greeted with live music and a quayside decked out with bunting, entertainment and a variety of carnival stalls.
Peter Deer, managing director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “This year marks the 175th anniversary of Fred. Olsen’s start as a shipping company and we are thrilled that we have been able to bring our current fleet together for the first time – although it is the third time we have held fleet events with Bergen in 2015 and Cadiz in 2018.
“A huge thank you needs to go to the Ports of Madeira and our partners in the city for their incredibly warm welcome and for the phenomenal fireworks display as the three ships sailed away in the evening.
“Of course, our fleet events would not be possible without the wonderful teams working across Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, so a big thank you to all of them too.
“We hope that our guests thoroughly enjoyed an unforgettable experience with the Fleet in Funchal celebrations.”
Together with the Ports of Madeira and Madeira Tourism Board, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines planned a program of festivities and activities for the big day. In addition to live music, local cuisine and dance performances, guests could also participate in a treasure hunt through the city, sample Madeiran wine and watch the inter-ship Tug of War contest.
Another contest, Battle of the Bartenders, saw contestants making cocktails and while a celebrity panel judged their performance.
Paula Cabaço, Madeira Port’s CEO, said: “For Madeira, it was an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to host the celebration of the first post-pandemic reunion of the Fred, Olsen Cruise Lines fleet in the port of Funchal.
“For the port of Funchal, it was an unprecedented and beautiful event, during which everything went smoothly and will certainly remain in our memory.
“This beautiful initiative promoted a unique synergy between the port and the city, with unique moments of interaction and celebration in which passengers and crew came into contact with the population and regional habits and customs.
“We believe this was a turning point and shows that the cruise industry is vigorous and working for the good of all.”