Olympic fervour is set to take over the world, but as for the world of cruising, its reception is likely to be mixed. Only a few cruise ships are visiting London during the Games and one ship has even been taken hostage for their duration!
According to Celebrity Cruises, passengers on board its ships during the Games will receive, via satellite, live coverage of Olympic events along with a daily compilation of highlights from all 26 sports featured. The Games will be available for viewing in staterooms and suites or in bars and lounges on the ships. Passengers can also keep abreast of upcoming events through listings in the ships’ daily newspapers.
There aren’t many cruise lines providing itineraries for passengers who want to enjoy the Games. Silversea Cruises’ Silver Cloud, however, will be arriving in London on July 26, the day before the opening ceremony, on a journey from Copenhagen (departing July 10), with port stays including Helsinki, Finland; St Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. The same ship will be departing London the day after the closing ceremony, August 13, on a voyage to Monte Carlo, with port stays including Bordeaux, France; Bilbao, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.
Several hundred passengers booked to sail with Fred.Olsen Cruises during the Games were dismayed to discover their voyages were cancelled or rescheduled earlier this year after the cruise line signed a deal to charter the 929-passenger Braemar to LOCOG, the games’ organiser, to house Olympic staff.
Accommodation is limited in London during the Olympics, so the ship will provide much-needed lodgings. Braemar will dock at either Royal Albert or King George V docks in East London, a nexus of Olympic action, serving as a floating hotel for 900 Olympic workers from July 12 to August 15.
Three Braemar sailings were cancelled and four others scheduled as a result. Guests affected have been offered alternative cruises with an undisclosed “goodwill gesture” for their trouble, or a full refund – an offer that renders the cancellations and reschedules legal.