Ipswich Town legend John Wark was guest of honour on board the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines vessel Braemar at a celebration marking the company’s travel partnership with the club.

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Captain Bent Ivar Gangal gave the former Blues, Liverpool and Scotland star a tour of the ship, during a call at Harwich International Port, accompanied by Nathan Philpot, Fred. Olsen’s sales and marketing director, and Simon Milton, Town’s academy sponsorship manager.

Under the two-year deal,

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk, and sister company Fred. Olsen Travel, which is based in Ipswich, will look after the club’s travel requirements, including hotels, domestic and international flights, and even the players’ medical trips.

The agreement also gives Town supporters discounts on holidays and cruises, with every trip booked by Blues fans meaning that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Fred. Olsen Travel will invest funds back into the club.

Mr Philpot said: “We have been delighted to be joined by our partners Ipswich Town Football Club on board Braemar in our local port, Harwich, and we hope that we have been able to give John and Simon a flavour of why we believe that our relationship with the club is so important.

“We may offer cruises to all four corners of the globe from 10 ports around the UK, but we are a local Ipswich-based company, and we are pleased to be reinvesting our earnings on every cruise booking made by Town fans back into the Club. Hopefully, supporters can go on their cruise holiday knowing that they helped to develop the next young player and made a difference to their team.”

Mr Milton added: “Ipswich Town are delighted to have Fred. Olsen as their official travel partners and continue the long-standing relationship between both companies.

“Our Academy U10 team will continue to wear the Fred. Olsen logo with pride on their shirts and we look forward to welcoming Nathan Philpot to the training ground to meet the team in the new season.”

Besides the guests from Ipswich Town, the Braemar also played host to a number of students from the One sixth form college and Suffolk New College in Ipswich, with which Fred. Olsen has been working to develop specialist hotel management, travel and tourism study modules.

Many of the students took the opportunity to be photographed with the former footballers and to have the chance to hold John’s prized 1978 FA Cup winners shirt.

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