Oddfellows’ cruise

A group of 40 members of the Oddfellows enjoyed a very successful 12-night Baltic cruise aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral to celebrate the organisation’s 200th anniversary last year.

The Oddfellows group on board Balmoral

The Oddfellows group on board Balmoral

The very special group trip was organised by Wendy Atkins, Secretary of the Ipswich branch of Oddfellows, and joining the cruise were 20 local members, as well as 20 more from all over the UK. Says Wendy, “I organised a cheese and wine ‘Cruise with Fred. Olsen’ evening for the Ipswich branch back in 2005 and this led to me booking a group mini cruise aboard the Black Watch that year. We’ve travelled with the company every year since; hence I was asked by the Oddfellows head office to arrange a Baltic cruise for the national ‘Active Travel Club’.”
The cruise took the group to ports in Germany, Poland, Denmark, Estonia and – the highlight of the trip – St Petersburg in Russia, for an overnight stay. Wendy recalls, “We experienced excellent weather and calm seas, which added to our enjoyment.”
Whilst on board, the organisation’s bicentenary was celebrated with a private cocktail party and Deputy Cruise Director, Ricky Jermy, cut a special celebration cake. “We were also able to sit together every night at dinner, which meant we could discuss what everyone had done that day,” states Wendy. “The cruise was voted a great success by the Oddfellows, many of whom made new friends and vowed to cruise again.”
Following this venture, Wendy reports, “The Oddfellows have already planned two more Fred. Olsen cruises for this year – to the Norwegian fjords and Iberia in July and September respectively. As some members will have travelled before, it also means that they can benefit from the Oceans loyalty scheme, which gives a discount on bookings and onboard spend.
I have a wonderful contact at Fred Olsen who really supports me, and can highly recommend the company
to other GTOs.”