Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ and A&P Falmouth today welcomed officials from the UK Government and industry body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for a tour of its multi-million pound refurbishment of flagship Bolette.
Among those who visited were Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Truro and Falmouth, and a senior policy advisor for Department for Transport, alongside Andy Harmer OBE, Managing Director of CLIA UK & Ireland, and Julie Green, Vice President of Strategic Communications at CLIA, with the purpose of the visit to showcase the working shipyard and demonstrate the value of cruise to the UK economy.
The visitors were were given a tour of the Bolette to showcase the projects that are ongoing at the shipyard both on and off the ship.
Stuart Ferguson, Head of Quality and Resource at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“Dry docks form an important part of any cruise line operation, by giving us the chance to maintain, inspect and refurbish parts of the ship that we simply can’t do while we are sailing.
“Each of our ships will undergo routine time in dry dock around every two years, and we are really proud to be completing these projects here in shipyards in the UK. It means the money we spend is invested in and supports communities locally, as well as vital supply chains in the surrounding areas.
“That aside, it also provides an opportunity for us to provide valuable knowledge and experience to the many apprentices who work with the team at A&P, and give them the opportunity to work on a passenger ship.”
Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Truro and Falmouth, said:
“It was a pleasure to visit A&P Falmouth to see the work being carried out on a cruise ship in dry dock. Cruise ship refurbishments help to refine the skill sets and shipbuilding capabilities of our shipyards, and result in significant benefits for the local economy. The UK’s National Shipbuilding strategy will only be a success if every part of the maritime industry contributes.
“I am therefore delighted to see the cruise industry using British shipyards for refurbishments, with this being the second time that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has made use of the A&P Falmouth facilities.
“Falmouth is a leading cruise destination, bringing significant economic value to the area, without adding any pressure to current resources and I look forward to continuing Falmouth’s strong relationship with the cruise industry.”
Andy Harmer OBE, Managing Director for CLIA UK and Ireland, said:
“The cruise industry generates significant economic value across the UK. The work being done by A&P Falmouth for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines shows that this value is generated not only by shipbuilding but also because of ongoing investment, whether it relates to refurbishments, retrofits, or upgrades.
“Cruise lines are always looking beyond the horizon and future-proofing ships. As well as the economic impact, it is fantastic to see how UK shipyards are benefiting from the opportunity to develop workforce skills.”
Mike Spicer, Managing Director at A&P Falmouth, said:
“A&P was delighted to welcome Cherilyn Mackrory MP, the Department for Transport and Andy Harmer to our facility today.
“A&P’s location in the south west makes it an ideal facility for cruise ships operating in this area. Today’s visit provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase our capabilities.
“Contracts such as these make a significant economic contribution to the prosperity of the south west and helps to support our workforce and apprenticeship programme. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines over the months and years to come.”
This is the second time that Fred. Olsen has used A&P Falmouth for refurbishment projects, with fellow ship Balmoral having undergone work at the shipyard in May 2022. Bolette’s programme further demonstrates Fred. Olsen’s commitment to investing in UK shipyards and economies, and follows on from an extensive refurbishment programme carried out with sister ship Borealis at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead in November 2022.
Bolette will leave A&P Falmouth on Tuesday, 7th March and will set sail for Newcastle, where she will be based for the spring and summer season.
For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit https://www.fredolsencruises.com/.
For further information on A&P Falmouth, visit https://www.ap-group.co.uk/facilities/ap-falmouth
For further information on CLIA UK, visit https://cruising.org/en-gb