Fred. Olsen MS Borealis cancels 38 day cruise and turns back

It could happen to any ship, but the Borealis has had to cancel their cruise and turn back. The 36 or 38-day cruise to the Caribbean and the Americas cruise depending on whether you embark at Liverpool or Southampton was in Funchal this morning and guests were told by a general letter to everyone that the cruise had been cancelled. Chat sites immediately filled with people searching for answers and the whispers began to reverberate.


Doris Visits were one of the first calls with Ellis Barker at the Fred Olsen press office and she confirmed of the ship has regrettably had to cancel a cruise. The statement prepared for Doris Visits is as follows. 

Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“When we set sail on this cruise, we did so in good faith and continued to work very closely with our partners in the Caribbean on procedures during our planned ports of call.

“Due to some positive test results among our crew, despite those involved having mild or no symptoms, it looked increasingly unlikely that we would be able to visit many of the Caribbean ports that we had planned, due to requirements imposed by each of the islands.

“Ultimately, we did not feel confident we could operate this cruise without compromising on guest experience, and could no longer offer a cruise of which we could feel proud.

“While our team worked painstakingly to source alternative destinations for Borealis to visit, requirements continued to change very quickly. With this in mind, we made the difficult decision to return back home to the UK. All guests will of course receive a full refund.

“We know that this has been very disappointing for our guests, and for that, I am truly sorry.”


The Borealis is a new ship to the Fred Olsen fleet and it could happen to any ship afloat.

Tonnage (GT) 61,849
Cabins 702
Passengers 1,360 (standard occupancy)
Crew 662
Bars & Lounges 11
Restaurants 6
Facilities Swimming pools | Spa | Gym | Jacuzzis | Auditorium


More details about the ship and further cruise information


These links take you to the cruise operators own website - book direct - have your online contact direct with them

Whilst the CDC had recently been rather sceptical about cruising the industry disagreed with their stance because they impose strict travel rules which in most cases is both jabs, a booster and a test. They have protocols on board that have been working well in most cases and many ships are totally infection-free. Remember there are hundreds of ships at sea so we hear of the unlucky ones like the Borealis which is reported to have positive tests after leaving Liverpool. It is our view that the figures of outbreaks onboard a ship appear less than on land and many of our guests across all our chat sites are and have been holidaying without incident. However, we all know it is a risk. Where a ship is vulnerable is in an enforced change to its itinerary and the inevitable disappointment to guests. This can happen if a ship cannot meet the entry requirements a destination has had to impose or has to abide by a restriction.  

Our page on cruise insurance & requirements: click> INSURANCE & TESTING

The cruise which left Liverpool on the 4th January, and then Southampton, early evening on the 6th January is one we wanted to be on. It is a similar route to the one in the drug smuggling cruise novel which kicks off the Cruise Ship Crime Investigators series which is currently being worked up for a set of possible movies. The Bolette was meant to head to Ponta Delgada in the Azores but ended up rerouting to Funchal in Madiera. The real ship’s itinerary was to include St Johns in Antigua, Basseterre in St. Kitts, Santa Marta in Colombia, and then Cartagena in Colombia which we at Doris Visits want to see. It is a major destination used in Stuart St Paul’s cruise novel CRUISE SHIP HEIST. Colon in Panama also a route in that mystery novel, Puerto Limon in Costa Rica where ex-special services officer Kieron Philips joined the book’s fictitious ship, then Belize City in Belize on the 25th January. It was then to go to Cozumel in Mexico followed by Nassau in the Bahamas. It was then due in Funchal in Madeira where in the book the final showdown takes place. The ship is now returning to the UK. The book series is a set of on ship crime mysteries a little like a cross between NCIS and Miami Vice. Each book reveals a lot about the workings above and below decks and a cruise route.

CHAT GROUPS – a fantastic way to help others and a place to find answers. We run Facebook Groups for cruisers – see the list in black boxes after the ships and fleets listed above. FRED OLSEN CHAT SITE