Black Watch

Former name: Royal Viking Star

Black Watch current position

Black Watch current location is at North Sea (coordinates 56.02475 N / -3.45237 W) cruising en route to ROSYTH. The AIS position was reported 4 minutes ago.

All Itineraries Current Position

Specifications of Black Watch

Year built1972  /  Age: 48
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderWartsila Hietalahti shipyard (Helsinki, Finland)
Building costUSD 50 million
OwnerBlack Watch Cruise Ltd
OperatorFred Olsen Cruise Lines
Speed19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph
Length (LOA)205 m / 673 ft
Beam (width)25 m / 82 ft
Gross Tonnage28613 gt
Passengers804 - 846
Crew330
Passengers-to-space ratio33
Decks10
Cabins423
Decks with cabins8
Last Refurbishment2019
Former namesRoyal Viking Star
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Coronavirus update

Black Watch Itineraries

DateItineraryDeparture PortPrice from
2020 Jul 11 7 days, round-trip Exploring the Lochs of Scotland Liverpool
2020 Jul 18 9 days, round-trip Cruising the Fjords of Norway Liverpool
2020 Jul 27 9 days, round-trip Whales, Wonders Waterfalls Liverpool
2020 Aug 05 8 days, round-trip Scottish Isles Edinburgh Liverpool
2020 Aug 13 14 days, round-trip The Fjords of Greenland Liverpool
2020 Aug 27 5 days, round-trip Scotland with the Isles of Orkney and Mull Liverpool
2020 Sep 01 11 days, round-trip Uncovering the Natural Wonders of Iceland Liverpool
2020 Sep 12 13 days, round-trip Azorean Islands Portuguese Cities Liverpool
2020 Sep 25 12 days, round-trip Norways Northern Archipelagos with Lofoten Liverpool
2020 Oct 07 9 days, round-trip Authentic Portugal Liverpool
2020 Oct 16 9 days, round-trip Cultural Cities with the River Seine Liverpool
2020 Oct 25 12 days, round-trip Cultural Highlights of Southern Spain Liverpool
2020 Nov 06 32 days, round-trip Idyllic Islands of the Caribbean Liverpool
2020 Dec 08 14 days, round-trip Canaries Portugal with Madeira Meteor Shower Liverpool
2020 Dec 22 15 days, round-trip Canaries Christmas Funchal Fireworks Liverpool
2021 Jan 06 113 days, round-trip Around the World from Liverpool Liverpool
2021 Jan 06 2 days, one-way from Liverpool to Southampton Liverpool
2021 Jan 07 110 days, one-way from Liverpool to Southampton Liverpool
2021 Jan 08 109 days, round-trip Around the World Southampton
2021 Jan 08 80 days, one-way from Southampton to Colombo Southampton
2021 Jan 08 57 days, one-way from Southampton to Sydney Southampton
2021 Jan 08 21 days, one-way from Southampton to Havana Southampton
2021 Jan 29 88 days, one-way from Havana to Southampton Havana
2021 Jan 29 59 days, one-way from Havana to Colombo Havana
2021 Jan 29 35 days, one-way from Havana to Sydney Havana
2021 Mar 05 53 days, one-way from Sydney to Southampton Sydney
2021 Mar 05 24 days, one-way from Sydney to Colombo Sydney
2021 Mar 29 29 days, one-way from Colombo to Southampton Colombo
2021 Apr 27 2 days, one-way from Southampton to Liverpool Southampton
2021 Apr 29 5 days, round-trip Irish Highlights Scottish Scenery Liverpool
2021 May 04 18 days, round-trip Islands of the Mediterranean Liverpool
2021 May 22 7 days, round-trip Sailing Around Iconic Ireland Liverpool
2021 May 29 5 days, round-trip Five Celtic Cruise Liverpool
2021 Jun 03 12 days, round-trip Islands of Northern Norway with the Midnight Sun Liverpool
2021 Jun 15 17 days, round-trip Balearic Island Discovery Liverpool
2021 Jul 02 9 days, round-trip The Natural Wonders of Iceland Liverpool
2021 Jul 11 8 days, round-trip Spectacular Fjordland Adventure Liverpool
2021 Jul 19 10 days, round-trip Flavours of France Spain Liverpool
2021 Jul 29 8 days, round-trip Lochs Legends of Scotland Liverpool
2021 Aug 06 8 days, round-trip Spellbinding Fjords of Norway Liverpool
2021 Aug 14 14 days, round-trip Fjords Icebergs of Remote Greenland Liverpool
2021 Aug 28 5 days, round-trip Scenic Scotland in Five Liverpool
2021 Sep 02 24 days, round-trip Amalfi Coast, Tuscany Italian Riviera Liverpool
2021 Sep 26 11 days, round-trip French Cities with Spain the Seine Liverpool
2021 Oct 07 11 days, round-trip Andalusia, Portugal the Algarve Liverpool
2021 Oct 18 15 days, round-trip Exploring the Azores and Portugal Liverpool
2021 Nov 02 14 days, round-trip Authentic Culture of Morocco Liverpool
2021 Dec 03 3 days, round-trip Adventure to Antwerp Southampton
2021 Dec 06 14 days, round-trip Landscapes of the Canary Islands Southampton
2021 Dec 20 15 days, round-trip Norwegian White Christmas Southampton
2022 Jan 04 81 days, one-way from Southampton to Liverpool Southampton
2022 Jan 04 79 days, round-trip Latin America with the Chilean Fjords Southampton
2022 Jan 04 49 days, one-way from Southampton to Callao Southampton
2022 Jan 04 25 days, one-way from Southampton to Buenos Aires Southampton
2022 Jan 28 55 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Southampton Buenos Aires
2022 Jan 28 25 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Callao Buenos Aires
2022 Feb 22 30 days, one-way from Callao to Southampton Callao
2022 Mar 24 2 days, one-way from Southampton to Liverpool Southampton
2022 Mar 26 10 days, round-trip Uncrowded Iceland Liverpool
2022 Apr 19 17 days, round-trip Whales, Waterfalls Volcanic Islands Liverpool

Black Watch Review

Review of Black Watch

Launched in 1972 as Royal Viking Star, MS Black Watch is the oldest of the Fred Olsen ships, with fleetmates BoudiccaBalmoral, and Braemar. The cruise ship cost to build was USD 50 million. The vessel was last refurbished in 2019 December.

History - construction and ownership

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is a Norwegian-owned and UK-based cruise shipping company, part of the Fred Olsen Group. The company is headquartered in Ipswich (Suffolk England) and is owned by Bonheur and Ganger Rolf. The company was founded in 1848 (in Hvitsten, Norway) by the three Olsen brothers (Petter, Andras, Fredrik Christian) who bought their first ships and established an international shipping company. Today Fred Olsen Group is into its 5th family generation and operates subsidiary companies specializing in cruise passenger shipping, trade, shipbuilding, aviation, offshore industries.

MS Black Watch cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

The 28,613-ton, 807-passenger cruise ship Black Watch was acquired in 1996 by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. The cruise ship was renamed "Black Watch" after a Scottish Regiment and nowadays is best known for its innovative worldwide voyages, outstanding service, and affordable rates. Since Black Watch cruise ship carries mainly British travelers the U.K. influence is apparent in everything from onboard amenities and lectures to cuisine and currency (all charges are assessed in British pounds). The cruise vessel inspires extreme loyalty between past cruisers as on a typical cruise upwards of 50 % may be repeaters.

In 1981, the vessel (under the Royal Viking Line’s ownership) was stretched by adding a 91 ft / 28 m long prefabricated middle-section. The refit resulted in an increased gross tonnage (from 28,220 to 28,610) and passenger capacity (from 758 to 820). During the ship’s stretching (done in Germany, at the Seebeckwerft AG’s shipyard in Bremerhaven) were built new cabins (including 9 balcony suites – the industry’s first), 2 lounges, the dining room’s size was doubled.

The list of other stretched (elongated) cruise ships includes the fleet mates Balmoral, Boudicca, and Braemar, also the MSC Cruises ships Armonia, Lirica, Opera, the Phoenix Reisen’s Albatros and the Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of The Seas.

During the 2018 drydock at Blohm+Voss (Hamburg), to the ship were added two fibreglass-bottomed boats, each with capacity 12 passengers.

Cruise itinerary program

Fred Olsen Black Watch itinerary program is exclusively based on UK departures from Bristol, Glasgow, Southampton, Liverpool, with round-trip itineraries. The list of feature destinations includes South America and the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, British Isles. Black Watch also offers World Cruise deals to ports in Australia, Asia, South Pacific.

Cabins

Black Watch has a total of 423 cabins (of which 79 Suites, 37 Balcony rooms, 48 Inside) in 21 grades. Most Black Watch staterooms are 160-200-sq.foot Oceanview rooms (225). 4 are the wheelchair accessible cabins. The largest aboard Black Watch is the Superior Suite (550 ft2).

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Breakfast and lunch in the MDR of the Glentanar Restaurant, as well as in a smaller annex, are generally open seating. Dinner is served in 2 assigned seatings. The nice Orchid Room features an Asian theme and serves as an alternative formal dining area. Braemar Garden is the casual buffet option onboard for meals and late-night snacks. Snacking options are also offered near the pools. Room service light meals are complimentary during limited hours.

MS Black Watch cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

Follows the complete list of Black Watch restaurants and food bars.

  • Glentanar Restaurant (main dining room; hosts the formal Gala Dinner; with 2 fixed dinner seatings at 6:15 pm and 8:30 pm, open-seating buffet-style Breakfast 8:00 - 10:00 am and Lunch 12:00 - 2:30 pm)
  • Orchid Room (annex to the MDR)
  • Garden Cafe (alternative buffet-style restaurant, open-seating; offers Breakfast 7:00 - 9:30 am, Brunch 10:30 - 11:30 am, Lunch 12:30 - 2:30 pm, Afternoon Tea 3:30 - 4:30 pm, Dinner 6:30 - 9 pm and Supper Club 11:30 pm - 12:30 am; also features a 24-hour open tea-coffee station)
  • The Grill restaurant (former Poolside Cafe, an alternative, buffet-style venue for breakfast and lunch; offers al-fresco dining)
  • Marquee Bar (casual restaurant for lunch; al-fresco dining, with large, floor-ceiling panoramic windows; serves the pool area with alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The continuing renovation project on Black Watch cruise ship means she is an attractive cruise liner and an appealing option, particularly for the older set looking for a relaxing and authentic cruising experience.

MS Black Watch cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

Follows the complete list of Black Watch lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Marina Theatre (150-seat cinema room)
  • Port Shop (duty-paid, sells essentials, hats, swimwear, toiletries, beachwear, sweets, books, snacks)
  • Photo Gallery & Shop (offers digital images printing/transferring; personal video making; sells photo and video equipment at duty-free prices)
  • Neptune Lounge (ship’s theater & main entertainment venue for grand-style show productions in the evenings at 8:45 pm and 10:45 pm; during the day serves the Fred Olsen enrichment program, with various lectures and seminars, multimedia presentations, dance classes, workshops, bridge lectures, cards playing tournaments)
  • Boutique Shops (duty-free luxury gifts, perfumes, cosmetics, fashion clothing, watches, fine jewelry, Fred Olsen logo merchandise)
  • Explorers’ Library; Internet Room; Dalreoch Card Room (bridge-playing club lounge)
  • Bookmark Cafe (a la carte priced patisserie; offers luxury chocolates, specialty coffees, hand-made chocolates); Cafe Venus
  • The Braemar Garden (adjoins the Glentanar Restaurant); Braemar Lounge (relaxation place; offers live music performances; served by the Braemar Garden’s Bar; also serves Afternoon Tea); Casino
  • Morning Light Pub (features stand-up comedy acts, live music performances)
  • Lido Lounge & Bar (live piano  performances; transforms into a disco in the late hours)
  • Pool Deck area (swimming pool, whirlpool, 2 exercise pools, sunbathing area)
  • Fitness Centre (Wellness complex; there is no Spa, but the ship offers Sauna Rooms and Treatment Rooms for massages)
  • The Gymnasium (gym room, with floor-ceiling windows, modern equipment; hosts various exercise and dance classes)
  • Beauty Salon (part of the Wellness Centre; offers hairdresser/barber services, facial/body treatments, manicure/pedicure, massages)
  • Observatory Lounge (indoor observation lounge with piano, glass dancefloor, panoramic windows for 270-degree views; serves Afternoon Tea)
  • Golf Nets; Tennis Court; Deck Games area (shuffleboard, quoits, darts, tennis tables, board games, jigsaw puzzles); Walking Track.

Black Watch - user reviews and comments

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Black Watch Wiki

On May 12, 1971, the cruise ship was launched as Royal Viking Star, and on June 26, 1972, entered service for the Royal Viking Line. The vessel has also sailed as "ms Westward" for NCL Norwegian and as "Star Odyssey" for the Royal Cruise Line. On 15 November 1996, the ship entered service for Fred Olsen under its current name.

Since the ms Black Watch caters primarily to British travelers (from the UK), influence is evident in all the onboard activities, enrichment programming, cuisine, even currency (charges are valued in GBP /pounds). All Fred Olsen ships inspire extreme loyalty among past guests. On a typical Black Watch cruise, over 50% are repeaters.

Fred Olsen also offers an all-inclusive cruise package upgrade (additional fixed price PP per day) and the UK fly cruise deals to Canary Islands (year-round discounted airfare from Southampton, England).

Black Watch ship's drydock 2019 (December 11-20, at Blohm+Voss Hamburg) was mainly for general maintenance and engineering works, interior renovations (public areas) and stateroom refurbishments (including bathroom upgrades).

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