In 1991, Christer Salén, the owner of a small laid-up cruiseship named Caledonian Star, was contacted by a man named Andrew Cochrane who was planning in starting up a small-ship cruiseline for which the out of work ship seemed very suitable. Salén was then the director of the Swedish-based company Salén Group, a company that was started in 1915 with a 200-ton motorbarge named Robur. The company grew in the 1920's after they started in the banana-trade to Sweden and they bought a shipyard in the 1930's. After the second worldwar, from 1945 onwards, the Salen Company also ferried refugees from the concentrationcamps on a service between Lübeck and Trelleborg, later also to Canada and even Australia. From the 1950's onwards, Salen also started to be involved in the oiltrade, and with their 210.000-ton Sea Sovereign from 1969, they owned the largest Swedish merchant ship at the time. In 1967, the company further diversified in buying the REX-group of companies, including the TOR-Line ferrycompany, that was eventually sold to the Danish company DFDS in 1982. Between 1971 and 1977, Salen was also the owner of Sweden's biggest shipyard, the Götaverken Yards at Göteborg where many major cruiseships and ferries were built. Due to bad financial times, Salen's companies were declared bankrupt in the mid 1980's, but Christer was able to start over concentrating on airplane purchase and leasing and he also was involved with two smaller airlines in Great Britian. In 1989, he also bought the expedition cruiseship Frontier Spirit (later Caledonian Star). When he was contacted by Andrew Cochrane by telephone in 1991, he immidiately understood that his idea to give some work to the ship was viable and in just a ten minute phonecall, the idea for Noble Caledonia was laid-out.
Within only a week time, the company name Noble Caledonia was registered in London, offices were obtained and that same weekend and advertisements went out to the newspapers. In the beginning of the next week, bookings were possible for probably one of the fastest-founded cruisecompanies ever. This speed was needed, as the laid-up ship was fully staffed and paid dockingfees also, so money had to come in. Quickly, itineraries were planned, mostly to the Russian Far East, Indonesia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The line was to be a very personal and intimate style expedition cruiseline on small but very comfortable ships. Their biggest sellingpoint is their very friendly and direct guest service and a small group of employees really knowing their passengers. The line has now many repeaters who enjoy the personal attention they recieve within the company.
The fleet now is three ships, Island Sky, Caledonian Sky and Hebridean Sky, all three former ships of the Renaissance Cruises' Renaissance-class of ships. Island Sky entered the fleet in 2004, Caledonian Sky in 2012 and Hebridean Sky in 2016. Next to those fully owned ships, the company also sells cruises aboard ships of many different companies or charters those for special voyages. Companies that are working together with Noble Caledonia include Ponant, G Adventures, HAPAG-Lloyd, Sea Cloud Cruises and Quark Expeditions, among many others. Also, the company sells cruises aboard many rivercruiseships in mostly Europe and Russia. The line is also still owned by the two families from the start, the Cochrane family and the Salén family. Being a privately-owned company, they also (like also MSC) do not have to worry about shareholders and financial institutions, keeping lines very short towards their passengers.
Another ship that has been sailing for Noble Caledonia is placed below with a link to her page. Many other ships on the site have been used by Noble Caledonia and can be found on their website, here, I only concentrate on ships that were really owned by Noble Caledonia.
Caledonian Star (1991-2001) is now placed under Lindblad Expeditions as Endeavour
More information and bookings can be made via Noble Caledonia's website