Published: 16:30, 18 August 2021
| Updated: 16:45, 18 August 2021
A cruise line company's new flagship had the White Cliffs of Dover as a backdrop for its maiden voyage.
Bolette left the Western Docks on Monday with farewell sprays from port water tugs and coloured smoke to mark the occasion.
The Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship went for the first of eight departures from the town.
The inaugural voyage will offer scenic sailing of the Isles of Scilly’s 140 islets near Cornwall, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the coastlines of the Channel Islands.
This milestone sailing follows an extensive refurbishment programme that has seen public areas revamped, cabins updated, new bathrooms installed and carpets laid throughout.
New features include an all-weather pool and two-tiered theatre. The ship takes less than 1,400 passengers on cruises.
Peter Deer, managing director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: "This is a very important day for us, as we introduce our new flagship to the world. The team on board has worked incredibly hard to add our own Fred. Olsen touches to the ship, with every element designed with elegance and attention to detail."
Captain Mikael Degerlund said: “Launching a new ship always brings a buzz of excitement, but launching a new flagship is even more special. There has been a real energy on board as the final preparations have been made over the past few weeks."
Sonia Limbrick, head of cruise at the Port of Dover said: “We are delighted that Fred. Olsen have chosen us as the homeport.
" We look forward to our excellent relationship with them reaching new heights.”
Bolette, named after the great-great-grandmother of company Chairman, Fred. Olsen Jnr, is the second in the fleet to set sail, following on from sister ship Borealis in early July.
Both ships were purchased by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in the summer of 2020.