Christine’s prize cruise – thanks to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

At our 2023 conference, we were delighted to be able to offer a prize of a free cruise thanks to our friends at Fred Olsen Cruises. The lucky winner was Christine and she tells us all about the adventures she and her husband had on the Dutch waterways……
“I persuaded my slightly reluctant husband to come with me on the Dutch Waterways cruise. February did not seem to be an optimal time to be crossing the North Sea, however we were lucky. Mostly it was very calm and once ashore it was mild and fairly dry.
“Rotterdam was our first destination. This is a city famous as the departure point for travel to the USA and we passed the SS Rotterdam, flagship of the Holland America line and the Hotel New York, now rescued and renovated. We had a day and a half here so we got a little taste of the place. A lot of very innovative modern architecture including some cube houses in bright yellow and an enormous indoor food market. We were pleased to see a C&A shop as they survive in Europe!
“We were delayed getting into Amsterdam the next day via the North Sea canal because it had apparently been stormy overnight (we didn’t notice) and the ship had to negotiate a lock which was fascinating but not something that should be done in heavy weather. This meant that we only had half a day in Amsterdam but it was just enough time to refresh our memories of this interesting place. The main streets and squares were very crowded with tourists like us but mostly much younger. We did have time to visit one of the “brown” cafés where marijuana is openly on sale, (we didn’t participate honest!), work out how to pay on a tram…just tap in and out with a bank card, and walk through the red light area. I waved to the ladies on view as they all looked very bored.
“On board there were a lot of activities and plenty of opportunities to eat. My trousers are much tighter and I am not getting on the scales for a while. We took part in quizzes, played shuffle board, listened to all kinds of music, saw three shows, heard a lecture on modern navigation and watched various dance classes. We were also part of a partisan audience who watched the Rugby Six Nations (my husband is Scottish.)
“All in all it was an enjoyable and very interesting five days.”

Don’t forget that the NHS Retirement Fellowship is one of Fred Olsen’s Affinity partners which offers our members a 5% discount on your first booking and a further 5% on repeat bookings. They are also developing a new additional benefit of a free afternoon tea onboard for any Fellowship member who books.

Visit and then telephone the NHSRF booking hotline on 0800 0355 108 (you will need to have your NHSRF membership card number ready!).