Exploring Fred. Olsen’s Bolette: The Top 10 Questions Answered

22 Mar 2024


Welcome to our Travel Journal. In this edition, we're focusing on Fred. Olsen's Bolette, offering insights from our team at Ocean World Travel. Located in Chandlers Ford, close to Southampton, Hampshire, we're ideally placed to help you find your perfect cruise.

We are one of Hampshire’s leading Cruise Travel Agents because we believe in personal service. Whether you'd like to chat over the phone or visit us in person, we're here to tailor your cruise to fit you perfectly. Our expertise in Fred. Olsen Cruises means we can offer you the best advice and insights, ensuring you make the most of your time aboard the Bolette, or indeed any other of Fred. Olsen’s cruise ships.

From deck plans to dining options, entertainment to excursions, this article covers the top ten questions our customers ask about cruising on the Bolette. Join us as we explore everything this ship has to offer, demonstrating our knowledge and passion for Fred. Olsen Cruises and how we can help make your cruise experience unforgettable.

Bolette: A Flagship Overview

Bolette, the esteemed flagship of Fred. Olsen's fleet, is named in honour of Fred. Olsen's great-grandmother, embodying a legacy of classic elegance and timeless style. With a gross tonnage of 62,735, a length of 238 meters, and spanning a width of 34.45 meters, Bolette stands as a testament to modern maritime engineering while maintaining the intimate feel Fred. Olsen is celebrated for. Accommodating 1,338 passengers at standard occupancy across 690 cabins, and supported by a dedicated crew of 645, Bolette offers an unparalleled cruising experience.

Designed to lead by example in the world of smaller cruise ships, Bolette boasts spacious and comfortable public areas that provide guests with an abundance of room to unwind. Whether it's the bars, lounges, theatres, or the expansive deck spaces, every area is crafted to enhance guest comfort and enjoyment.

One of the ship's highlights, the Observatory, allows guests to partake in Signature Experiences of scenic cruising. The large panoramic windows offer breathtaking views, perfectly complemented by insightful commentary on the passing waterways and fjords. Meanwhile, the Auditorium becomes a culinary theatre, showcasing cooking demonstrations by the ship's talented chefs who share the secrets behind regional dishes, with guests invited to taste the delectable results.

On Deck 8, the Lido Bar and swimming pool await, complete with a retractable roof ensuring the pool area is inviting all year round, regardless of the cruising destination. This, paired with the renowned friendly and attentive service from the Bolette crew, ensures a warm and intimate onboard atmosphere, making every voyage with Bolette not just a journey, but a home away from home on the seas.

Bolette's Deck Plan

The Bolette, as Fred. Olsen's flagship, distinguishes itself with an ingeniously designed deck plan that harmonizes spaciousness with intimate cruising experiences. Across its 690 cabins, strategically distributed over multiple decks, guests are offered a wide range of accommodations. From well-appointed interior cabins to luxurious suites with expansive views, each living space is crafted to ensure comfort and privacy.

Bolette's deck plan is thoughtfully arranged to provide easy access to the ship's numerous amenities and facilities. At the heart of the ship, the Observatory on Deck 8 offers guests panoramic vistas, making it an ideal spot for scenic cruising. The large windows frame the passing landscapes, providing a serene backdrop for relaxation or engaging with the Signature Experiences offered onboard.

For culinary enthusiasts, the Auditorium is a hub of gastronomic activity, where cooking demonstrations bring guests closer to the regions they explore through taste. It's not just about watching and tasting; it's an interactive experience that invites guests to learn and engage with the culinary arts.

The outdoor spaces on Bolette are equally impressive. The Lido Bar, adjacent to the swimming pool on Deck 8, serves as a social hotspot, where guests can enjoy a drink under the retractable roof. This feature ensures the pool area remains a focal point of leisure and relaxation, regardless of the cruising region's weather.

Further enhancing the onboard experience are the ship's numerous lounges and bars, each with its unique atmosphere. From the tranquility of the Earth Room to the lively tunes in the Morning Light Pub & Lounge, there's a space to match every mood. Additionally, the various dining venues onboard cater to all tastes, from casual meals in the buffet restaurant to formal dining experiences.

With its elegant design, Bolette not only upholds Fred. Olsen's legacy of intimate and comfortable cruising but also elevates it, offering guests a floating haven where they can truly relax and enjoy the journey. The deck plan of Bolette reflects a deep understanding of what makes a cruise memorable: the perfect blend of comfort, style, and accessibility.

Bolette Reviews

Passengers who have sailed on Fred. Olsen's Bolette consistently extol the ship for creating a welcoming atmosphere, underscored by the crew's unparalleled attention to detail and commitment to service excellence. The Bolette's modest size is often cited as a key factor in fostering a sense of camaraderie and intimacy not commonly found on larger vessels. This unique aspect enhances the guest experience, allowing for meaningful interactions among passengers and with the crew.

Reviews of Fred. Olsen's Bolette frequently laud the culinary offerings, noting the exceptional quality of dining that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences. The accommodations are praised for their comfort and elegance, providing a serene haven for guests. Additionally, the meticulous upkeep of the ship ensures a clean and inviting environment throughout.

The Bolette distinguishes itself by blending traditional cruising charm with contemporary amenities, affording guests the opportunity to explore diverse destinations without sacrificing comfort or style. This harmonious balance is celebrated in passenger reviews, which often highlight the ship's capacity to deliver an exceptional cruising experience, enriched by a rich array of onboard amenities and activities designed to engage and delight guests at every turn.

The Bloomsbury and Terrace Restaurants

Bolette's Itinerary

Discover the diverse range of Fred. Olsen's Bolette itineraries, which span from short jaunts to longer voyages. Popular destinations encompass the scenic fjords of Norway, the cultural tapestry of the Mediterranean, the unspoiled beauty of the British Isles, and the exotic allure of the Caribbean. The ship is known for its exploration-focused cruises, offering passengers unique port calls and immersive shore excursions that highlight local cultures, landscapes, and wildlife.

Quick links:

Fred. Olsen's Bolette itineraries departing from Southampton

Fred. Olsen's Bolette itineraries departing from Liverpool

Dress Code for Bolette Cruises

When packing for a cruise on the Bolette guests will find the dress code designed for comfort and ease. This brief guide aims to simplify what to bring for time spent both on the ship and exploring ashore, ensuring every guest feels at ease and appropriately dressed for any occasion.

Daywear on Bolette

Daytime on Bolette calls for casual wear. Guests enjoying the deck views or engaging in the plethora of available activities will fit right in with shorts, T-shirts, or polo shirts in warmer climates. Cooler days may necessitate lightweight trousers and a sweater or jacket.

Poolside lounging is a popular pastime, necessitating swimwear alongside flip-flops or sandals to navigate the decks comfortably. Given the decks can be slippery and the sun more intense at sea, additional items like T-shirts, casual shorts, hats, sunglasses, and sun cream are recommended for optimal comfort and protection.

Dress Code for Shore Excursions

The dress code for excursions varies greatly with the destination and season. In warmer regions like the Canaries, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean, typical summer attire is appropriate. However, for visits to places of worship or cultural sites, a more conservative approach to dressing is advisable.

For cooler destinations, incorporating trousers, a jumper or jacket, and a raincoat into one's packing list is wise, catering to unpredictable weather. Regardless of the climate, comfortable walking shoes are essential for exploring the diverse destinations Bolette visits.

Evening Wear on Bolette

Evening attire on Bolette strikes a balance between casual and formal, with smart casual being the norm for most nights. This includes options like dresses, skirts, trousers, or dark jeans paired with a shirt, polo, or blouse. Some guests may opt for a jacket and tie, although it's based on personal preference.

Formal nights, featured on cruises of five nights or more, offer an opportunity for guests to dress up. Men typically wear dinner jackets or dark suits and ties, while women may choose from dresses, gowns, or smart separates.

For those preferring a laid-back dining experience, the buffet restaurant offers a casual dress option, requesting that guests avoid swimwear and loungewear for a more relaxed meal environment.

Overall, Bolette and the wider Fred. Olsen fleet aim to provide a dress code that allows guests to enjoy their cruise with comfort and flexibility, ensuring a pleasant experience whether onboard or ashore.

WiFi Connectivity on Bolette

For guests aboard Fred. Olsen's Bolette, staying connected with friends and family while enjoying your cruise has been significantly enhanced with the introduction of the new fast Starlink maritime service. This advancement ensures that whether you're using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other devices, you can easily send emails, stay updated with the latest news, and share your holiday experiences on social media.

To access the internet aboard Bolette, simply connect to the guest WiFi, create an account, and choose the internet package that best suits your needs. The convenience of WiFi accessibility throughout the ship means you can stay connected in the comfort of your cabin or while relaxing in any of the public areas.

Charges for the service are straightforward and will be directly billed to your on-board account, making it an effortless process to manage. This seamless connectivity solution is part of Fred. Olsen's commitment to enhancing the guest experience across its fleet, ensuring that your time spent on board is as enjoyable and connected as you wish.

Bolettes Lounges

Fred. Olsen's Bolette, renowned for its variety and quality of onboard experiences, offers an array of lounges each designed to cater to different moods and interests. From tranquil spaces dedicated to the planet and nature to lively bars with live music, Bolette ensures every moment at sea is a delight.

The Earth Room

Introduced in 2023, the Earth Room is a sanctuary for those passionate about our planet. Curated by Fred. Olsen himself, it houses a collection of rare books covering vital topics like climate change and sustainability. This lounge serves as an ideal spot for thought-provoking discussions and learning, equipped with videos and digital literature to spark conversation and inspire action.

The Botanical Room

Adjacent to the Oriental Tea Room, the Botanical Room celebrates the natural world's beauty. Its vibrant decor, echoing the hues of nature, invites guests to immerse themselves in botanical literature. It’s a peaceful corner for those with a love for gardening and flora to explore and be inspired.

The Observatory

Offering panoramic views, the Observatory is the prime location for scenic discoveries. With live commentary on the fascinating landscapes that unfold before you, it’s a haven for those who love to pair exploration with education. By night, it transforms into a musical venue, where guests can enjoy a selection of champagnes and cocktails against the backdrop of live bands.

The Bookmark Café and Lounge

A quiet retreat located on the Lounge Deck, the Bookmark Café is perfect for those peaceful moments. Start your day with a selection of teas or enjoy a crafted coffee while diving into a book. With handmade chocolates and freshly baked treats on offer, it’s a cosy spot for relaxation and indulgence.

Morning Light Pub & Lounge

Echoing the heritage of the Olsen family, the Morning Light Pub & Lounge exudes warmth and tradition. It's a space where guests can enjoy a pint from a curated selection of beers and ciders, engage in the nightly Fred. Olsen quiz, or listen to live music, all within an atmosphere that feels like a home away from home.

Ocean Bar

The Ocean Bar stands as the social heart of Bolette. It’s where evenings begin with the Martini Experience or a gin tonic selection. Post-show, the space buzzes with energy as the resident band or DJ sets the rhythm for the night, making it the perfect spot for those who love to dance and socialise.

The Oriental Tea Room

Designed with serene elegance, the Oriental Tea Room offers a tranquil setting for tea enthusiasts. Serving a variety of Eastern teas and tea-inspired cocktails, it’s a place of gentle relaxation and cultural exploration, offering a unique tasting experience that transports guests to far-off lands.

Lido Bar

For those enjoying the sun on the Lido Deck, the Lido Bar provides refreshing drinks to complement your relaxation. Whether it’s a beer, soft drink, or a tropical cocktail, this bar ensures you stay cool and hydrated in the most pleasant surroundings.

Piano Bar

The Piano Bar is Bolette’s haven of tranquillity, where guests can unwind to the soothing sounds of live piano music. Ideal for pre-dinner drinks or a nightcap, the Piano Bar offers a refined atmosphere to relax and enjoy the company of fellow travellers.

Each of these lounges on Bolette has been thoughtfully designed to ensure that whether you’re seeking education, relaxation, or entertainment, you'll find a space that suits your mood perfectly.

Entertainment and Leisure on Bolette

Fred. Olsen's Bolette is not just a cruise ship; it's a vibrant, floating entertainment and leisure hub, designed to cater to every taste and interest. From thrilling performances to tranquil crafting sessions, Bolette ensures your journey at sea is as enriching as the destinations you visit.

Neptune Lounge & Balcony

The heart of Bolette's entertainment is the Neptune Lounge, a splendid two-tiered venue where the ship's Show Team dazzles guests with memorable performances. Comedians deliver side-splitting comedy, while the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell parties offer a touch of ceremony. By day, this space transforms for Signature Experiences, hosting guest speakers and Q&A sessions that deepen your connection to your voyage's destinations.

The Olsen Art Studio

In tribute to the Olsen family's art appreciation, The Olsen Art Studio is a haven for creatives. Whether you're a seasoned artist or looking to rekindle a past passion for art, this studio is your canvas at sea. Offering classes under the guidance of skilled instructors and open space for personal projects, it's an artistic retreat designed to inspire.

The Auditorium

Bolette's Auditorium is a versatile venue for cooking demonstrations, cinema evenings, and more. Its design ensures every seat is the best in the house, ideal for experiencing culinary presentations and other interactive events. It complements the entertainment found in the Neptune Lounge, adding another layer to your onboard experience.

Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi

The Lido Deck hosts an all-weather swimming pool and Jacuzzi, making relaxation and leisure a breeze. Whether you're cooling off with a swim or soaking in the Jacuzzi, the retractable roof ensures the pool area is enjoyable year-round. The nearby Poolside Café serves up delectable dishes for a leisurely dining experience.

The Bolette Card Room

For those who enjoy a game of cards, the Bolette Card Room is a serene setting for a friendly or competitive round. With comfortable seating and an assortment of games, it’s a cosy corner for leisure. Bridge players will find camaraderie and challenge, with tuition available on certain cruises to hone your skills.

Boutique Shopping

Bolette's onboard shops cater to your every need, from holiday gifts to personal indulgences. The Boutique Shop offers designer brands at Duty-Free prices, while the Port Shop covers essentials and souvenirs. The Jewellery Shop presents an opportunity to bring home something special, ensuring your cruise memories are accompanied by a tangible token.

The Bolette Flower Shop

Enhance your cabin or surprise a loved one with a bouquet from the Flower Shop. Offering a selection of year-round and seasonal flowers, create a personalised bouquet or choose from pre-made arrangements. For Formal Night, single stems are available to add a sophisticated touch to your ensemble.

On Bolette, every day presents an opportunity to explore, relax, and enjoy. Whether you're soaking in knowledge and culture or indulging in leisure and relaxation, Bolette's array of entertainment and amenities ensures your cruise is filled with moments to cherish.

Bolettes Drinks Package Upgrade

Embarking on a cruise with Fred. Olsen presents an ideal occasion for guests to indulge and enjoy a break from the daily grind. To enhance this experience, Fred. Olsen has introduced the Drinks Package Upgrade, aimed at making guests' holidays as carefree and enjoyable as possible.

Choosing the Drinks Package Upgrade means guests can savor additional glasses of their preferred beverages without worrying about the end-of-voyage bar tab. This option is favored by a significant number of passengers, who value the convenience and peace of mind it offers.

The package grants access to an array of drinks options: white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines by the glass, as well as selected house beers, spirits, and soft drinks, available at any time throughout the day. Whether relaxing by the pool with a cool drink or toasting the end of a day's adventures with a gin and tonic, the package ensures a seamless beverage experience onboard. Notably, Fred. Olsen includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options within this package, catering to a wide range of guest preferences without the need for a separate non-alcoholic drinks package.

Laundry Service on Bolette

Guests sailing with Fred. Olsen’s Bolette are afforded convenient and efficient laundry services, reflective of the thoughtful amenities provided across the entire Fred. Olsen fleet. Bolette is equipped with a fully functioning Laundry Room, designed to meet the needs of guests preferring to manage their laundry during their voyage. This self-service option includes washing machines pre-loaded with detergent and softener, ensuring a hassle-free experience. For a nominal fee of £2.50, guests can obtain a token from Guest Services, allowing them to easily use these facilities. Additionally, the room features tumble dryers, irons, and ironing boards, catering to those who prefer to take care of their garments personally.

Recognising the desire for a completely carefree holiday, Bolette also offers a comprehensive laundry service. Within the welcome pack found in each cabin, guests will discover a laundry bag intended for those who wish to return home with a suitcase full of clean clothes. Simply fill the bag with your laundry, and your cabin attendant will take care of the rest, offering a 'wash and fold' service that epitomises the convenience and attention to detail characteristic of Fred. Olsen cruises. Detailed pricing and further information about this service can be found in the cabin welcome pack.

Please note that, in line with safety measures across the Fred. Olsen fleet, travel irons and steamers are not permitted on board Bolette, ensuring the well-being and safety of all guests during their cruise.

Gym - Staying Fit on Bolette

Keeping up with your fitness regime while on holiday is straightforward and enjoyable aboard Fred. Olsen’s Bolette, thanks to the ship’s fully-equipped Fitness Centre. Located conveniently on Lido Deck 8, the Fitness Centre on Bolette ensures that staying in shape at sea is as enjoyable as it is on land.

The gym is staffed with friendly, fully-qualified fitness instructors ready to assist you, whether you’re looking to get your heart rate up on the treadmills, build strength on the rowing machines, cycle on the exercise bikes, or work on your fitness with free weights. Their expertise is at your disposal to help you make the most of your workout.

For those interested in group fitness, Bolette offers a range of complimentary classes designed to suit all levels and preferences. From yoga and Pilates to aerobics and stretch and tone classes, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, the ‘walk a mile’ group offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the ship's surroundings at a leisurely pace, perfect for those who prefer a more relaxing workout. Or, you might choose to swim a few lengths in the pool, taking advantage of the beautiful sea views as you exercise.

The location of the Fitness Centre on Bolette ensures easy access for all guests, and you’ll find details of opening hours in your Daily Times once aboard. Please note, the Fitness Centre is available to guests aged 18 and over, ensuring a focused and mature environment for your workout needs.


Embarking on a cruise with Bolette offers an exquisite blend of relaxation, discovery, and entertainment. From the peaceful ambience of the Earth Room to the lively tunes in the Morning Light Pub & Lounge, Bolette caters to every mood and preference. Whether you’re diving into rare books about our planet, enjoying panoramic views from the Observatory, or unwinding in the Botanical Room, each space on Bolette is designed to enhance your cruising experience.

Dressing for the occasion is made effortless with Bolette’s adaptable dress code, ensuring you’re as comfortable exploring the deck as you are indulging in the evening’s festivities. With daywear that suits every climate and elegant evening options that range from smart casual to formal, you’re always perfectly attired for the moment’s activities.

As you plan your voyage on Bolette, or any of Fred. Olsen’s distinguished fleet, rest assured that every aspect of your journey has been thoughtfully curated to provide an unforgettable experience. From the meticulous attention to onboard facilities and services to the diverse and engaging entertainment options, a cruise on Bolette is more than a holiday—it’s an adventure that captivates and delights at every turn.

Ready to embark on your next adventure with Fred. Olsen’s Bolette? Contact Ocean World Travel today. Whether you prefer a conversation over the phone or a visit to our office in Chandlers Ford, we're here to tailor your cruise experience with expertise and care. Don't just dream about your next journey—let us help make it a reality. Call us on 02380 714 790 or drop by; your next maritime adventure begins with Ocean World Travel.