The interior of Fred Olsen cruise ships will be smoke free beginning in 2009.

Smoking will be banned in all indoor areas and permitted only on cabin balconies and specially designated areas of outdoor deck space on all five of its vessels.

This new rule will be effective initially on three vessels: the Boudicca, Black Prince and Braemar on their first sailings of 2009 (Jan. 1, 5 and 8, respectively). The Black Watch and Balmoral will follow suit after completion of their 2009 world cruises, April 13 and May 29, respectively.

Currently, indoor smoking on Fred Olsen vessels is restricted to specially designated areas of certain lounges on each ship.

"A recent very extensive survey among our current and past passengers has proved to us without a doubt that this course of action is what most people want and, frankly, expect," said Mike Rodwell, managing director of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, in a statement. "Even those passengers who are committed smokers understand the situation and accept that smoking onboard will be restricted to balconies and specified deck areas.

"While we may have a few negative comments initially, I am confident that many new customers who are non-smokers will be encouraged to cruise with us in the future."

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