Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines launches new app to enhance guest experience
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has introduced an interactive new app to assist its guests in making the most of their cruise experience, both whilst on board Fred. Olsen's four ocean ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – and during their time ashore.
Fred. Olsen has created the new app in response to increasing demand from its guests for more technological solutions to help to inform and enhance their cruise experience. It will be available to download from the App Store (Apple) and Google Play (Android) free of charge, and is accessible on both mobile and tablet devices.
A completely bespoke build, the new app will include the following key features:
- Pre-cruise countdown
- Ability to complete 'Guest Information' and pre-book 'Shore Tours'
- Ability to view 'Cruise History'
- Access to 'Onboard Room Account'
- Access to digital 'Daily Times', including the ability to filter and favourite activities, as well as set reminder alerts. Fred. Olsen will continue to support those guests who still wish to receive physical copies of the daily onboard newsletter
- Access to 'Restaurant & Bar Menus'
- Destination information – scheduled changes and ports of call can be adjusted within the app, if required, aiming to inform guests in a more succinct, easily-accessible way
- Access to 'Ship Tracker'
- Access to 'Deck Plans'… and much more!
Ben Williams, Head of Marketing for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: "We are extremely excited to introduce the new Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines app, the latest development to improve the guest experience across our ocean fleet, from start to finish.
"We have been working with Ipswich-based agency, SimpleClick, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, to develop this interactive new app. SimpleClick's understanding of the Fred. Olsen product and systems made them the obvious choice for this project. Being a smaller, local agency, they are very responsive, and their agile approach to working has enabled them to keep up with the changing demands of the project, as well as ensuring that the app was delivered on time.
“One of the main challenges was developing an app that moves across time zones and can be used with minimal internet connectivity, which is essential in ensuring that we are able to enhance our guests’ cruise experience. This allows guests to see the digital ‘Daily Times’ newsletter and restaurant menus each day, as well as giving independent guests a host of destination information ‘on the go’.
"We are very pleased with the outcome and would like to thank the entire SimpleClick team for their help and support. We are confident there will be a strong uptake of the app, because it enhances all aspects of the user journey. We have lots of future functionalities planned already, so we hope that uptake grows, as the app develops."
Claire Thorpe, Director at SimpleClick, said: "We have been working with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines for almost 10 years and have developed a wonderful business relationship, frequently working at their offices to ensure goals are met and the high level of service they expect is delivered. We’re really happy to launch such an innovative app that will revolutionise the guest experience onboard."
Fred. Olsen identified two key drivers to the development of the new app. One, that Fred. Olsen's clientele is now more digital-literate, meaning that guests are more familiar with accessing and using apps in order to research relevant information, including for their cruise holidays. The second is Fred. Olsen's commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, and the ‘push’ alert and guest service messaging functionality will present an important opportunity to reduce paper usage on board the ships.
To make guests aware of the new app, Fred. Olsen will e-mail them in advance of embarkation, so that they have enough time to be able to download it before their cruise departs. Information on the new app will also be shown on the digital screens across the ships to encourage guests to embrace the new technology.
By downloading the app before they embark, Fred. Olsen guests will not need to purchase any WiFi on board the ships to be able to make use of it. Once they have installed the app on their mobile device or tablet, they can connect to the ship's network without having to pay for on board WiFi, which will allow the app’s function to work in its entirety and will significantly reduce the risk of connectivity issues. However, some features do require WiFi or internet access.
In order to access the app, users will simply need to login with their existing 'My Cruises' details, which they use to manage their booking via the Fred. Olsen website. No additional information will be attained, nor required, in order to be able to use the app.
Following the introduction of the app, Fred. Olsen will be gathering guest feedback on the new technology and making any adjustments and improvements necessary. It is also planned that Fred. Olsen will add its European river cruise product, Brabant, to the app in due course.