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Fred Olsen Cruise Line are one of the most popular United Kingdom based and focussed cruise lines.  The Olsen family started their fleet back in 1848 in Norway and are still a family owned business five generations later with Fred Olsen Junior at the helm as Chairman.  Fred Olsen are known for their smaller, friendlier ships that have a very loyal following.  Indeed over 50% of their guests have sailed with the line before. 


But did you know that on many of their cruises guests have a choice of 2 types of cruise fare?   These are Freedom Fares and Saver Fares.  In this article I will explain the difference between the 2 fares and the pros and cons of each fare type to help you choose the right fare for you.


So to begin I will take a look at what you will find included in both fare types.  These inclusions are common to both fares and apply to all Fred Olsen ocean cruises. 


You can expect en-suite accommodation from inside cabins through to suites with room service and luggage porterage, on a full board meal plan including, breakfast, 3 course lunch, 5 course dinner, buffet service and late night buffet.  Use of the gym and where available sauna  and steam room as well as pools and jacuzzis.  All guests can enjoy a well stocked library, internet café and games room and a daily activity programme including lectures, quizzes, games etc.  Live entertainment for example production shows, and guest entertainers in the show lounge and musicians and bands etc in other venues.  Plus an invitation to the traditional Captain's drinks party.  So no matter which fare type you choose you can expect the same great cruise experience and friendly service.


So how do the two fare types differ and what are the benefits guests can expect from each type of fare?  The first thing to consider is whether you are wanting maximum flexibility and ability to make requests and choice over your holiday or whether you are prepared to sacrifice freedom of choice and flexibility to achieve the best price.  So it is important to know that Freedom Fares, as their name suggests, offers you the greatest freedom of choice and flexibility.  Whereas the Saver Fare is more restrictive but will offer you a greater discount.


The Freedom Fare is available from the day the cruise is released and is always available.  The first thing to note is that your room type, grade and room number are chosen at the time of booking. Your main dining room restaurant will be confirmed at time of booking and you will be able to request your sitting and table size at the time of booking, however these cannot be guaranteed.  You will be able to pay the standard deposit and the standard cancellation policy and charges will apply.  Plus you are able to transfer your booking to another cruise subject to terms and conditions.  Plus if ou are an Oceans member discounts and benefits are applicable to your cruise subject to your membership level. 


The Saver Fare is not always available and is dependent on availability.  If there is availability and it is not guaranteed that the Saver Fare will be released, then the Saver Fares are normally released around 12 weeks before the departure date of the cruise.  It is rare for Saver fares to be available on the best selling and most popular cruises.


Saver Fares are heavily discounted compared to the Freedom Fare however as you will see compared to the Freedom Fare it is heavily restricted.  The first thing to say is that in effect a Saver Fare is similar to a Guarantee Fare.  Your room number and grade may not be confirmed to you until you check in for your cruise, however you are often informed in advance but it is subject to confirmation and Fred Olsen can change it.  So if you want a particular grade or cabin position on the ship then I would not advise this fare for you.  You will not be able to request your restaurant, sitting time or size of table unless you pay a £2pp per night supplement and it will be subject to availability, so if your preferred dining time or restaurant are not available this supplement will not be offered you..  So if you have a preference for restaurant or dining time I would not recommend the Saver Fare.  You will have to pay the full fare at time of booking  and the fare is 100% not refundable.  You cannot transfer your booking to another cruise unlike the Freedom fare.  You cannot make any requests relating to your room or dining choices.  If you are a member of Oceans you cannot take advantage of any of the usual discounts or benefits. 


If you have a particular cruise you have your heart set on and have particular requirements or wishes you want to guarantee for your cruise to be right for you then you should choose the Freedom Fare.  If you are wanting to pay a deposit then spread your cost or save up I would recommend the Freedom Fare.  However if you are not so worried about particular requests and have the money to pay your full balance at the time of booking an Anchor Fare could prove to be right for you and give you a great saving!


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