Fire-damaged Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship Black Watch departed Madeira for the United Kingdom and should return to service in time for her next cruise in 9 days time.

The line hopes Black Watch will be back in operation to set sail on her 26-night Arctic cruise July 17 from Tilbury, London. The vessel left Funchal, Madeira on July 7, Thursday, and called in at El Ferrol, Northern Spain on Saturday, before making her way back to Tilbury for further repairs.

Black Watch


The line was forced to cut short a 13-night voyage and fly almost 700 passengers home out of Madeira on Monday after fire broke out in 44-year-old ship's engine room.

Fred Olsen also cancelled Friday's 9-night Norwegian fjords cruise out of Tilbury due to ongoing repairs. The line issued the following statement:

"Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Black Watch has set sail from Funchal, Madeira and is scheduled to arrive in El Ferrol, Spain on Saturday 9th July 2016, to collect supplies and undergo further assessment‎. It is intended that Black Watch will then sail north to London Tilbury for further repairs. An exact time frame for this has yet to be confirmed. 

"Fred. Olsen fully expects Black Watch to set sail on her scheduled 26-night W1610 Arctic cruise from London Tilbury as planned, on Sunday 17th July 2016.

"Fred. Olsen is pleased that many Black Watch guests continue to make new bookings, which we hope is a testament to the Captain, Officers and crew on board Black Watch and the professional way in which the situation has been handled. Fred. Olsen appreciates the kindness and co-operation of all its Black Watch guests and their families, and thanks them for their patience and understanding in these very challenging circumstances."