First cruise after Lockdown - July 29th - August 6th 2021

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Title by Fred Olsen

Off for a cruise on this lovely Fred Olsen ship.

The MV Borealis
Fred’s bought the Rotterdam off Holland-America, renamed it Borealis & have been refitting it during the Covid lockdown. They bought the Amsterdam as well & that will be called Bolette.


Fred’s picture of Borealis. Not mine, as we could not get off

There are hourly trains from London, Euston to Liverpool Lime Street. Covid restrictions made it more complicated than usual to get on board the ship. See below!

The trip took us from Liverpool to

Scottish Isles
Scilly Isles
Off Cowes

& back to Liverpool

Thursday 29th July - Boarding

Quite a normal paced start & we left at 10:10. The first problem was the Euston bus stop was closed, so we had further to walk to the station. However, everything went smoothly from then on. I put Avis in the first 2nd Class coach but went up the other end outside, as our seats were the other end. This was not a problem. Opposite was a Canadian woman who was on the wrong train but we got her off at Stafford with instructions how to get to the Stockport train! At Liverpool, Avis had a tea & bun, then we got a taxi to the Exhibition Centre but although we were there at our scheduled time, we were in a long queue to get registered & Lateral Flow Tested. Then, we had to wait for our tests. We were organised in coach-sized batches & had a very slow ride to the actual cruise Terminal, still in a tent. Finally, we got on the ship at about 16:15 & went straight up to the Poolside Bar on the 8th (Lido) Deck for something to eat, as I had had nothing since breakfast & Avis is always hungry. There was a not-very-good pop group there & the driver made an announcement but because of the echo off the sliding roof, you could not make out a word, so, if there had been a Lifeboat Drill, we would have missed it anyway. We unpacked at last & I changed into my posh Alpine for dinner, proper short-sleeved shirts & one of Dad’s silk ties. (For my Alpine trips, this & light slacks were what I would wear in hotels). The company seemed all right, with very talkative Joan. I told Jeff history stuff he had no idea about. It was men one side & women the other on a straight table for 6, 8 actually but there are sometimes strange Covid restrictions all over the ship, which is a good deal larger & roomier (including our cabin) than the Balmoral. I had some curried fish. Then, disaster, well, not really. I went to get my driving glasses for the show & sent Avis to the Neptune Lounge. There is one design flaw in this ship, the old Rotterdam. Deck 4 does not go through & I sent her up there, so she would not have been able to get straight to the Neptune Lounge. I searched the ship, missing most of the show. Then, security put out a notice at the end of the show for her to go to Reception, where we finally met up. What I saw of the show was a funny man with a clever sequence of gags about Covid, which I thought in bad taste, considering almost everyone has a Covid tragedy tale to tell. I left Simon the Cruise Director a note in Reception, saying I had my talks, which he had asked for.

No port photo, as it was dull

Day 1 - Scottish Isles

Port 2 - Scilly Isles

Port 3 - Portland

Port 4 - Portsmouth

Day 5 - Off Cowes

Next Page - Scottish Isles

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: Last revised 8/8/2021 ©2014-2021 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.