Black Watch Review and Specifications
Specifications of Black Watch
|Year built||1972 / Age : 47|
|Builder||Wartsila Hietalahti shipyard (Helsinki, Finland)|
|Building cost||USD 50 million|
|Owner||Black Watch Cruise Ltd|
|Operator||Fred Olsen Cruise Lines|
|Speed||19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph|
|Length (LOA)||205 m / 673 ft|
|Beam (width)||25 m / 82 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||28613 gt|
|Passengers||804 - 846|
|Decks with cabins||8|
|Former names||Royal Viking Star|
Current itinerary of Black Watch
Black Watch current cruise is 18 days, round-trip Exploring Cape Verde & the Canaries. The itinerary starts on 14 Mar, 2019 and ends on 01 Apr, 2019.
|Date / Time||Port|
|14 Mar||Departing from Southampton, England|
|16 Mar||La Coruna, Spain|
|19 Mar||Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal|
|22 Mar||Mindelo, Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde|
|23 Mar||Praia, Santiago Island, Cape Verde|
|26 Mar||Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands|
|27 Mar||Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands|
|29 Mar||Lisbon, Portugal|
|01 Apr||Arriving in Southampton, England|
Review of Black Watch
Launched in 1972 as Royal Viking Star, Black Watch is the oldest of the Fred Olsen ships, with fleetmates Boudicca, Balmoral and Braemar. The ship cost US $50 million to build and was last refurbished in 2014.
History - construction & ownership
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is a Norwegian-owned, UK-based cruise shipping line with four ships, part of the Fred. Olsen Group. The headquarters of the company are in Ipswich, Suffolk, the UK, and it is owned by Bonheur and Ganger Rolf. The company of Fred Olsen originated in 1848 in Hvitsten, a little town on Oslofjord, Norway, by three Olsen brothers, Petter, Andras and Fredrik Christian, who bought their first ships and established an international shipping company. Today the line is into the 5th generation of the family and operates companies skilled within cruise and passenger shipping trade, ships' crewing, ship building, aviation and offshore industries.
The 28,613-ton, 807-passenger cruise ship Black Watch was acquired in 1996 by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. The cruise ship was renamed the 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 fleetmates 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.
Cruise itinerary program
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 Caribbean, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, British isles. Black Watch also offers World Cruise deals to ports in Australia, Asia, South Pacific.
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 are the Superior Suites (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.
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, alternative, buffet-style venue for breakfast and lunch; offers al-fesco 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.
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 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 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 cruise line also offers an all-inclusive cruise package upgrade (additional fixed price PP per day) and UK fly cruise deals to Canary Islands (year-round discounted airfare from Southampton, England).
Black Watch - user reviews and comments
Photos of Black WatchAdd Photo
Black Watch ship related cruise news
- Cruise Industry
Fred Olsen is launching line's new 108-night ‘Around the World’ cruise, setting sail onboard Black Watch on January 8, 2021, via &lsquo...February 21, 2019
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The Black Watch cruise ship made her entrance into the harbour of Newcastle (NSW Australia) on Thursday morning, January 3. The Fred Olsen Cruise...January 3, 2019
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A 168-night voyage is set to be the longest itinerary in the history of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. The Grand Voyage aboard mv Boudicca departing in...August 3, 2018
- Cruise Industry
Fred Olsen commenced its 2018-2019 cruise seasons from Newcastle and Liverpool on Thursday, April 26, 2018. The 1,350-passenger flagship mv Balmoral...April 27, 2018
A Spanish maritime rescue helicopter transported a cruise ship passenger to Lanzarote's hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack...October 26, 2017
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...July 10, 2016
Nearly 700 Fred Olsen Cruise Lines cruise passengers will be flown home from Madeira following a fire onboard the Black Watch ship. Crew...July 4, 2016
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Other Fred Olsen cruise ships
Black Watch Itineraries
The below listed Black Watch cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Fred Olsen fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2019 Feb 28||14 days, round-trip Carnival in the Canary Islands||Southampton|
|2019 Mar 14||18 days, round-trip Exploring Cape Verde & the Canaries||Southampton|
|2019 Apr 01||10 days, round-trip French River Cruising with Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2019 Apr 11||2 days, one-way from Southampton to Liverpool||Southampton|
|2019 Apr 13||28 days, round-trip Discovering the Adriatic & Dalmatian Coast||Liverpool|
|2019 May 11||13 days, round-trip Islands of the Azores & Cities of Portugal||Liverpool|
|2019 May 24||5 days, round-trip Scottish Islands & Lochs in Five||Liverpool|
|2019 May 29||9 days, round-trip Scenic Scottish Islands||Liverpool|
|2019 Jun 07||13 days, round-trip Crossing the Arctic Circle with Midnight Sun||Liverpool|
|2019 Jun 20||8 days, round-trip Isles of Scotland||Liverpool|
|2019 Jun 28||9 days, round-trip A Taste of Iceland||Liverpool|
|2019 Jul 07||8 days, round-trip Fjords, Mountains & Glaciers||Liverpool|
|2019 Jul 15||15 days, round-trip Exploring the Beautiful Baltic||Liverpool|
|2019 Jul 30||14 days, round-trip The Fjords of Greenland||Liverpool|
|2019 Aug 13||8 days, round-trip Scotland & the Edinburgh Military Tattoo||Liverpool|
|2019 Aug 21||5 days, round-trip Scottish Islands & Lochs in Five||Liverpool|
|2019 Aug 26||8 days, round-trip Fjords, Mountains & Glaciers||Liverpool|
|2019 Sep 03||7 days, round-trip Sailing Around Iconic Ireland||Liverpool|
|2019 Sep 10||10 days, round-trip French River Cruising with Bordeaux||Liverpool|
|2019 Sep 20||13 days, round-trip Scenic Islands of Northern Norway||Liverpool|
|2019 Oct 03||9 days, round-trip Exploring Portugal’s Highlights||Liverpool|
|2019 Oct 12||16 days, round-trip Western Med with the French Riviera||Liverpool|
|2019 Oct 28||14 days, round-trip The Canary Islands with Madeira||Liverpool|
|2019 Nov 11||15 days, round-trip You Choose Your Cruise||Liverpool|
|2019 Nov 26||11 days, round-trip Spain, Portugal & Morocco||Liverpool|
|2019 Dec 21||1 day, round-trip Party||Southampton|
|2019 Dec 22||15 days, round-trip Christmas & New Year Canaries Cruise||Southampton|
|2020 Jan 06||11 days, round-trip Spain, Portugal & Madeira||Southampton|
|2020 Jan 17||14 days, round-trip Islands of the Canaries||Southampton|
|2020 Jan 31||14 days, round-trip Northern Norway with Sami National Day||Southampton|
|2020 Feb 14||5 days, round-trip City Break in the Netherlands & Belgium||Southampton|
|2020 Feb 19||13 days, round-trip Authentic Andalusia with the Cádiz Carnival||Southampton|
|2020 Mar 03||14 days, round-trip Fred. Olsen’s Canary Island History||Southampton|
|2020 Mar 17||7 days, round-trip Highlights of the Low Countries||Southampton|
|2020 Mar 24||2 days, one-way from Southampton to Liverpool||Southampton|
|2020 Mar 26||14 days, round-trip Four Fred's in Funchal with the Azores||Liverpool|