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What Everyone Should Know About MYSTERY CRUISES

Have you ever considered booking a mystery cruise? There are many advantages to booking a cruise where you don’t know the full itinerary but there are some disadvantages too.

In this post, we will look at what types of mystery cruises are available and look at the benefits/drawbacks of a cruise like this.

What is a Mystery Cruise?

A mystery cruise is a cruise where the guests only know the length of the cruise and the start and endpoints.

Fred Olsen is the most popular cruise line to offer mystery cruises. No passengers know which ports will be visited during the cruise.

A number of cruise lines provide mystery cruises and the amount to which the itinerary is a ‘mystery’ varies from one cruise line to another.

Which Cruise Lines Offer Mystery Cruises?

Fred Olsen

Visit Fred Olsen’s website here.

Fred Olsen is the only cruise line in the UK that currently offers mystery cruises. They cruise regularly from the UK to a range of destinations. The majority of Fred Olsen cruises still have set itineraries.

An example mystery cruise from Fred Olsen is described as below:

“As a family run business, we are free to do things a little differently, and our Mystery Cruise is a great example of that; designed to allow you to step into the shoes of explorers, officers, navigators and seafarers, giving you a sense of what it must have felt like to sail the high seas in search of new lands.
Your itinerary is kep a secret – with only our Journey Planners knowing the full details. An atmosphere of anticipation will begin the moment you board Borealis, building as your journey progresses, with everyone having their theory as to which port will be appearing on the horizon next.
Every destination will be kept a secret until the last possible moment, so you won’t know where you’re going until you arrive. The atmosphere on board is friendly, sociable and lots of fun.”

Fred Oslen

Mystery Cruises

Some cruises with Fred Olsen are complete ‘mystery cruises’ which means that no passengers onboard have any idea about where the ship is going. It is claimed that only the captain knows where the ship is going – but I’m sure most of the crew do know!

Fred Olsen Balmoral Olden

What Are The Advantages of Taking a Mystery Cruise?

Guests Can Visit New Ports

  • Taking a mystery cruise means that you may have the opportunity to visit ports that you’ve never been to before.
  • Ports on a mystery cruise tend to be lesser known in order to give the passengers something different.
  • Most people who cruise on mystery cruises do so because they want to try something new and new ports are often part of the fun.

Guests Can be Indecisive!

  • I am incredibly indecisive and actually really think I’d like a mystery cruise. A mystery cruise takes all of the stress out of planning because you really cannot spend a lot of time doing your research.

The Itinerary is Exciting

  • Many guests book mystery cruises just for the excitement of finding out where they are going the next day. I have to admit it does sound like a lot of fun.
  • It would give you a talking point with your fellow guests and I imagine that the atmosphere on board is a lot of fun.

What Are The Disadvantages of Taking a Mystery Cruise?

Guests May Be Disappointed by the Ports They Visit

  • It is possible that guests may be disappointed with the choices of ports, but I suppose this is just a risk you take with a mystery cruise!
  • By taking a cruise that has multiple port calls you can increase the chance that you’ll find a port you like. On mystery cruises, the captain and crew usually try to find a variety of ports, some large ports and some smaller.
  • How will you know what to pack? Will you need shorts, or thermals and a raincoat? Packing could be far more tricky that when you know where you are going!
Tromso Norway

“Mystery Cruise Mutiny”

I was invited on BBC Radio Norfolk to talk about a news story to do with a mystery cruise with Fred Olsen Cruiselines.

Guests embarked on a mystery cruise from Newcastle and a few complained to the newspapers when their first stop on the cruise was Great Yarmouth. Personally, I think that when you take a mystery cruise you are taking a risk as to where you end up cruising to.

According to The Sun Newspaper

  • Disgruntled cruise ship passengers staged a ‘mutiny’ after their mystery voyage ended up stopping at Great Yarmouth and a Dutch port likened to “a council estate.”
  • Some travellers refused to even step off the Balmoral ship after forking out up to £1,400 for an 11-night stay.
  • Others got into heated rows with staff aboard the 710-room vessel about the “lacklustre” itinerary.

‘It’s mutiny on here.’ Having set off from Newcastle, many of the guests expecting to find ‘hidden gems’ were underwhelmed when the liner docked for its first stop in Norfolk (UK) – nothing more than a very expensive lift home for some.”

Disgruntled Guest

Mystery Cruise Mutiny Full Newspaper Artice

Before You Go!

I recently took a cruise with the British traditional cruise line Fred Olsen. The itinerary was advertised as “In search of the Northern Lights.”

I had a wonderful time. To find out more about it and see if traditional cruising with fixed meal times and dress codes is for you, read the article below:

I Took a Traditional British Cruise with Fred Olsen (Entertainment, Food & Ship Review)

To find out whether my search for the Northern Lights was successful, click here:

I Cruised Through ROUGH SEAS to Find The Northern Lights

Although the sea was pretty rough, and I did get seasick, I was so glad I took this cruise! If you are worried that you may get seasick, there are plenty of things that you can do to treat and prevent it. Find out how here:

13 Actionable Tips to Prevent and Treat Seasickness on a Cruise

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here: Emma Cruises YouTube Channel.  I bring you a new video every week on a range of topics. I share cruise tips, tours, vlogs, and more.

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