Bryant On Brabant (A Ship Review)
Our very own Georgie Bryant recently sailed on board Fred. Olsen’s first river cruise ship, Brabant. Here’s a run-down of what you can expect on board.
I have just returned from a fantastic four days on board the Fred. Olsen river cruise ship, Brabant. Before arriving, I had no preconception of this vessel, although I have previously cruised on Black Watch and Braemar.
Upon entering, the warm smiles of the staff - in the true, genuine Fred. Olsen way - greeted me and I instantly felt at home. Although the ship is nearly 13 years old, you would think it was built yesterday in the traditional timeless Fred. Olsen style.
Exploring Each Deck
The cabins are all the same size, which is very generous. The lower deck cabins do not benefit from a full-sized window but they still offer enough natural light for peace and relaxation and you can see the outside world. The gym, hairdressers and spa are also located on this deck.
The Strauss deck, which is the middle deck on board, has the reception area and dining room. There is only one restaurant and, because the capacity is just 156 people, one sitting is offered. This is usually 1-1.30 for lunch and 7-7.30 for dinner; most tables are located close to a window so you can see the sights as you settle down for a magnificent meal.
The Mozart deck, the highest indoor deck, has the most wonderful panoramic bar and it is here that you can sit back and enjoy the wonders of the riverbanks as you gently sail by. The Amadeus Club is located on this deck, at the very back of the ship and offers free tea, coffee, hot chocolate, speciality teas and biscuits 24 hours a day on a “help yourself” basis. There is also a large television where they often play films in the evening.
The sundeck wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Fred. Olsen shuffleboard and this is located in the very centre. There are plenty of chairs and tables with a limited amount of sun loungers towards the back; drinks are served here whilst sailing during the afternoons only.
There is a small pool at the back of the ship, big enough for a quick dip rather than a few lengths, but very welcome in the hot weather.
The quality of the food on board is fantastic with three courses offered at lunch, as well as a salad bar, and six courses in the evening. There are two choices for soup and three choices for main – all other courses are on a yes or no basis.
Fred. Olsen River Cruises offers a drinks-inclusive option which is £15 per day and allows free-flowing wine, beer and soft drinks during lunch and dinner. This is worth every penny and you can take your drink up on deck or into the bar afterwards.
Excursions are not included in the price of your cruise, however, the docking locations in most towns are only 15-20 minutes’ walk from the centre or place of interest. If you find yourselves further away, a complimentary coach will whisk you into the centre at regular times throughout the day.
I would recommend Brabant to all age groups, however, due to 80% of the passengers being past Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines guests, you do find that the average age is 70-85. A river cruise, however, is not the liveliest of holidays, so if you are looking for a relaxing break that offers light evening entertainment by way of bingo and quiz nights then you would love this option.
If you would like to know more about our Fred. Olsen River Cruises on board Brabant, speak to Georgie and the rest of the team by calling 0800 954 0064. To learn more about all of the itineraries we offer, sign up to our mailing list today.