70 jobs axed at Ipswich-based cruise line
PUBLISHED: 10:26 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:50 12 August 2020
Fred. Olsen has made a third of its head-office staff redundant, less than a month after purchasing two new cruise ships.
The Ipswich-based cruise line axed around 70 posts as part of a restructure brought on by Covid-19.
Towards the end of June the cruise line employed “around 220” staff at its head office but now a spokeswoman confirmed the number was closer to 150.
However the firm said the new purchases and the restructuring were not related.
Peter Deer, managing director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the cruise industry particularly hard. We still don’t know when we can sail again, with the government still advising against cruising.
“Sadly, this does mean that we have had to streamline our head office operations by around one third.
“We are supporting any of our team members who have been affected by this restructure, including support with CV writing and interview skills.”
In July, it was announced that the cruise line had purchased two new ships from the Holland America Line.
The Bolette and Borealis – which previously sailed under the names Amsterdam and Rotterdam – can carry up to 1,380 and 1,404 guests.
At the time, Fred Olsen Junior, the company’s chairman, said he was “delighted” at the purchases, and that they demonstrated the firm’s confidence in the future.
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It has also emerged that the cruise line may be about to sell off some of its old fleet
A spokeswoman for the cruise operator said: “The purchase of our two new ships is essential for the future of our business, and will help us to come out of this current situation stronger. These are two separate business decisions.
“We are considering options for our current fleet but we have not confirmed anything at this stage.
“Whatever the outcome, the overall capacity across the fleet will still be increasing with the introduction of these new ships, and will help us to build a stronger future for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
“Importantly, no guests who have holidays booked with us will have their cruises cancelled as a result of changes to our fleet.”
The company’s new ships are expected to enter its fleet later this year after they have been rebranded.
Currently their ocean fleet is in Scotland at Babcock’s waterside manufacturing and repair facility in Rosyth.
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