Boudicca, Balmoral & Marco Polo
My first stalking of the year saw half the Fred. Olsen fleet in on the 5th January 2016 and exactly five years since two were in.  Back on the 5th January 2011 there was Black Watch and Balmoral, which I visited with the late Steve Read who was the ONLY shipping journalist to cover the six ship event, getting permission to visit four inckuding both Freds.  Sadly he died a month later but was my inspiration for my own coverage of the 4B's in Bergen, when all the fleet met.  2016 was Boudicca and Balmoral and not docked together as five years earlier.  Balmoral was in Mayflower while Boudicca was in City sporting the new balconies and livery she acquired during her November/December refit.  Both were due to sail 4.45pm.  Meanwhile in Ocean was a rare visitor.  Marco Polo had arrived instead of going to Avonmouth.  She had last called in 2009 when she was still a Transocean ship and there was a Fred Olsen present then in the shape on Black Prince, which was embarking on her farewell cruise.  We went over to meet Oskar Osmundsen, who had arrived for our cruise the following day.  Due to her 8.45pm departure time, I just caught the bus from Town Quay and went to work after the other two sailed.
To see photos of the Black Watch and Balmoral in 2011, click here, the entire magnificent fleet in Bergen back in July 2015, click here or Marco Polo's 2009 call, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 5th January 2016
Not to be reproduced without permission