Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines was proud to work with the BBC this year to film a six-part documentary series aboard its flagship Balmoral, called 'The Cruise: A Life at Sea', which will be broadcast on BBC2 from Tuesday 9th July 2013, at 8.30pm.
This gentle, heart-warming observational documentary, produced by the BBC's Religion and Ethics Department, is based on The Mission to Seafarers' Anglican Chaplain, Reverend Colin Still, as he travels around the globe aboard Balmoral's 112-night 'World Cruise', giving advice, support and solace to his floating 'parish at sea'.
Viewers will be able to join the ship as she departs from Southampton on 5th January 2013 and visits 33 exotic destinations, taking in 20 countries and crossing three oceans, before returning to the UK on 27th April 2013.
With over 1,700 guests and crew on board, Reverend Still is very much in demand; during this epic 'Grand Voyage', we see him conducting services, renewing wedding vows, escorting shore tours, giving spiritual advice and guidance to guests and crew, whatever their religion, and taking part in all the fun aboard this sunshine cruise - Fred. Olsen's longest ever.
Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
"We were very excited to undertake our most ambitious filming project with the BBC earlier this year, which we hope will give viewers a real flavour of life on board with Fred. Olsen, and the valuable role that the Chaplain plays during a cruise.
"Our thanks go to Reverend Still for his hard work during his four months aboard Balmoral, and we hope that viewers enjoy this engaging look 'behind the scenes' at what we do and where we can take you."
Reverend Still, from Brighton, has cruised with Fred. Olsen several times, including to the Amazon and on a previous 'World Cruise'. He is a long-standing Chaplain with The Mission to Seafarers, which provides counselling and support services to seafarers around the world.
Reverend Still said:
“I am delighted to have been a part of this new BBC programme and work with Fred. Olsen and The Mission to Seafarers. This job is a valuable piece of Christian ministry, listening to and supporting those who wanted to talk to me.
“I most enjoyed building a bond of trust with passengers and the crew on the long voyage, and I particularly enjoyed the marriage renewal ceremonies, as they are such happy occasions. In terms of the challenges I faced, the work takes a lot of creative energy, being on duty all the time. That said, this important work has given me the opportunity to see so much of the world; we passed through both the Panama and Suez canals, visited New Zealand and Australia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. The Mission to Seafarers has seafarers’ rest and support centres in all of these places, so I valued meeting new faces in the global Mission family.”
For those whose 'wanderlust' has been awakened by the series, Fred. Olsen will be offering two 'Grand Voyages' in January 2014: Balmoral will embark on a 104-night 'Around the World Cruise with Burma, Japan, Hawaii and Latin America'; and Black Watch will depart on a 'South America & Australasia World Voyage' of 114 nights - two nights longer than the ‘World Cruise’ in 2013!
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.