Former name: Royal Viking Sky

Specifications of Boudicca

Year of build1973  /  Age: 48
BuilderWartsila Hietalahti shipyard (Helsinki, Finland)
ClassRoyal Viking Star
Building costUSD 25 million
Speed19 kn / 35 km/h / 22 mph
Length (LOA)206 m / 676 ft
Beam (width)25 m / 82 ft
Gross Tonnage28551 gt
Passengers880 - 924
Passengers-to-space ratio32
Decks with cabins8
Last Refurbishment2018, Aliaga-scrapped in 2021
Sister-shipsRoyal Viking Sea (Albatros), Royal Viking Star (Black Watch)
Former namesRoyal Viking Sky
OwnerBoudicca Cruise Ltd
OperatorFred Olsen Cruise Lines

Boudicca Review

Review of Boudicca

The 1973-built (as "Royal Viking Sky") cruise ship MS Boudicca was the second-oldest of the Fred Olsen fleet, with fleetmates Black Watch (sistership, 1972-built/2022-scrapped), Balmoral and Braemar. The cruise ship cost to build was USD 25 million. The vessel was last refurbished in 2018 and sold in 2020, with a drydock planned for November 2020.

On August 21, 2020, Fred Olsen confirmed the retirement (scrapping?) of its cruise ships Boudicca (1973-built, 47-years-old) and Black Watch (1972-built, 48-years-old). All bookings on Boudicca and Black Watch were automatically transferred onto the new ships (acquired from Holland America Line in July 2020) MS Bolette (fka MS Amsterdam) and MS Borealis (fka MS Rotterdam). After joining the fleet in September 2020, Bolette and Borealis increased the company’s passenger capacity by ~30%.

In late-September 2020 was announced that Boudicca and Black Watch are both sold to the Turkish company "Miray International Shipping Agency and Trade Co" (Istanbul-based) and not to be scrapped but to serve the new owner as hotel ships under the brand "Miray Cruises". On September 29th, Boudica left the UK (Port Rosyth-Edinburgh, Scotland) en route to TRTUZ (Port Tuzla, Istanbul Turkey).

For Fred Olsen, Boudicca (IMO number 7218395) sailed for 15 years (2005-2020) and was Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 309964000, registered in Nassau). The vessel's AIS transmitted for the last time on March 14, 2021 (at 18:17 UTC) showing the boat berthed in Tuzla. In late-May was announced that the 48-years-old Boudicca was beached for scrapping at Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility (İzmir Turkey).

Royal Viking Sky (Boudicca) had two sisterships - Royal Viking Sea (Albatros/2021-scrapped) and Royal Viking Star (Black Watch/2022-scrapped).

History - construction and ownership

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd is a Norwegian-owned and UK-based cruise shipping company, part of the Fred Olsen Group (Fred Olsen & Co / shipowner, headquartered in Oslo Norway). 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 Boudicca cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

Fred Olsen Group wholly owns the companies Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd, Fred Olsen Travel Ltd (worldwide tours and vacations via independent operators), Fred Olsen Marine Services AS (shipowner and vessel management), First Olsen Ltd (tanker ships), Dolphin Drilling Holdings Ltd (offshore drilling rigs), Fred Olsen Express (Canary Islands-based fast ferries / catamarans), Fred Olsen Freight Ltd (cargo shipping and air freight), Fred Olsen Windcarrier AS (transport and installation of offshore wind turbines), Fred Olsen Production AS (offshore petroleum production), Fred Olsen Renewables AS, SeaRoc Group Ltd (offshore and marine consultancy and contracting services), ZephIR Lidar UK (wind measurement devices), Ganger Rolf ASA (energy and shipping). Also part of Fred Olsen Group, the company Bonheur ASA manages several fully-owned companies, among which are NHST Media Group AS (newspapers and online media) and the real estate companies Stavenes Byggeselskap, Koksa Eiendom, Fred Olsens gate 2. Part of Fred Olsen Group is also Timex Group BV - parent of several watchmaking companies, including the subsidiaries in the USA, India and Philippines).

The 839-passenger cruise ship Boudicca is decked out, as an aging grande dame must be, in good quality, discreetly modern fabrics, though some of the color schemes are a little dated. But it doesn't matter: the vessel is well-proportioned and destitute of cheap flashiness and surface glitz, and these are the most important things to Boudicca's aim audience of 60-plus Brits.

In 1982, MV Boudicca (under Fred Olsen's ownership) was stretched by adding a 91 ft / 28 m long prefabricated middle-section. The refit resulted in an increased gross tonnage (from 21,890 to 28,372) and passenger capacity (from 536 to 900). During the ship's stretching (done in Germany, at the Seebeckwerft AG's shipyard in Bremerhaven) were built new cabins and lounges.

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.

Decks and Cabins

MS Boudicca staterooms (462 total, in 21 grades) include 102 Suites, 57 Balcony, 191 Oceanview and 64 Inside cabins. Most are sized 160-200-ft2 (15-19 m2). The ship has 4 wheelchair-accessible cabins. The largest is the Premier Suite (570 ft2 / 53 m2 including the terrace).

The boat has 10 decks, of which 8 are passenger-accessible and 6 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The main dining room on Boudicca is divided into 3 venues: Four Seasons, Heligan and Tintagel. While breakfast is typically open seating, there are 2 seatings for lunch and dinner. Food display counters are offered for guests to help themselves for breakfast and lunch. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines features above-average cuisine. A number of popular British pub standards are offered, such as bangers and mash, spotted dick and toad in the hole. Breakfast buffets are quite repetitious. Self-serve deck buffets are provided at the Poolside Café and fast food items - at the Marquee Bar.

MS Boudicca cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

Follows the complete list of Boudicca restaurants and food bars.

  • Main Dining Room Restaurants (Tintagel, Four Seasons, and the smallest Heligan Room; all offer open-seating buffet Breakfast (7:30 - 9:30 am) and Lunch (12:00 - 2 pm; Dinner is waiter-served, with two fixed seatings at 6:15 pm and 8:00 pm)
  • Secret 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-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

Boudicca was "stretched" in the early '80s with the addition of a 91-foot midsection, and while the cruise liner is still keeping a classic profile, she has gained a significant amount of open-air sunbathing area on the top deck. In 2006 Boudicca underwent a renovation to bring the ship in line with the fleet's understated, old-world style. In January 2011, the vessel went into dry dock, during which the windowless gym was moved up to Deck 10, allowing more free space on Deck 4 for new inside cabins. The retail outlet Port Store was added. Carpets were replaced throughout the vessel, and enclosed lifeboats were mounted.

MS Boudicca cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

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

  • 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)
  • The Heligan Room doubles as Arts & Crafts Room - during drydock 2018, Heligan Room was converted into "Indian Ocean Restaurant".
  • The Iceni Room; Bar & Lounge; Cafe Venus
  • Neptune Lounge (400-seat, ship's theater lounge/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)
  • Library Lounge; Internet Room; Card Room (bridge-playing club lounge); Casino
  • Bookmark Cafe (a la carte priced patisserie; offers luxury chocolates, specialty coffees, hand-made chocolates)
  • 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, 2 whirlpools, exercise pool, 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.


Fred Olsen Boudicca itinerary program was based on the Mediterranean and Northern European voyages with roundtrip UK departures from Southampton, Liverpool, Dover. Destinations included Europe's Arctic (North Cape), Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands, British Isles, North Africa.

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On May 25, 1972, the vessel was launched as Royal Viking Sky, and on June 5, 1973, entered service for Royal Viking Line. mv Boudicca cruise ship was built for the company Nordenfjeldske Dampsibsselskap and was chartered to the Royal Viking Line. Prior to entering service with Fred Olsen, the vessel has also chartered to the NCL Norwegian Cruise Line (as "ms Sunward"), Birka Cruises (as "Birka Queen"), Princess Cruises (as Golden Princess /link to 2001-built ship), Star Cruises (as "SuperStar Capricorn"), Hyundai Merchant Marine (as "Hyundai Keumgang") and also to Iberocruceros (as "Grand Latino").

In the early '80s, the Boudicca ship was "stretched" with an additional 91 ft long midsection. The refit added a vast open-air sunbathing space in the middle of its top deck. The vessel underwent a major refit for bringing it in line with the Fred Olsen fleet's old-world style, right after it was acquired in 2005. In 2011, the ship went into drydock for another refit that changed the place of the windowless gym to Deck 10, thus making space for 17 new cabins on Deck 4. The Port Shop (a retail outlet) was also added, enclosed lifeboats were fixed, carpets were replaced throughout.

MS Boudicca started operations for Fred Olsen in 2010, replacing in the fleet MS Black Prince (former ferry ship, built 1966, scrapped in 2009). "Boudicca" is the name of the heroic queen-warrior of the British Iceni tribe. Boudicca, like all other Fred Olsen liners, is known for her classically British feel. Passengers tend to be 50+, mainly British.

Fred Olsen Cruise Line 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).

Brochure 2018-2019 ("Venture to the four corners of the world") included two World Cruises - 107-night (MS Black Watch, departing from Southampton on November 12, 2019, prices from GBP 9,850 pp) and company's ever-longest itinerary - 168-night (on Boudicca), departing October 3, 2019, prices from GBP 15,000 pp).

MS Boudicca refurbishment 2018 review

During the drydock in 2018 at Blohm+Voss Hamburg (March 17-27), to the ship were added two fibreglass-bottomed boats, each with capacity 12 passengers. The extensive refit also included general maintenance works, cabin refurbishments (all staterooms and public areas), painting all the vessel's interiors and exterior (hull and superstructure).

  • All passenger cabins were updated with new carpeting, new soft furnishings, and upholstery, new lamps, new balcony furniture, mini-fridges, electronic safes, flat TVs (interactive system).
  • All public areas and venues (bars, lounges, dining venues) were extensively upgraded and redesigned.
  • Morning Light Pub (deck 6) was moved to the port side of Secret Garden Cafe.
  • The Heligan Room (deck 6, port side) was converted into "Indian Ocean Restaurant".

The list of deck plan changes after the ship's 2015 refurbishment (done by Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven Germany) includes:

A total of 28 cruise cabins (located on Lido Deck 7) were refitted/upgraded with private balconies. The newly added verandas extend out 4 ft / 1,2 m from the bulkhead of the ship. Fred Olsen balcony staterooms have extremely high booking demand across the line’s fleet. Same terrace balconies were installed on the Black Watch during the ship’s 2014 dry dock refurbishment. Since Lido Deck is also the ship’s Promenade Deck (outdoor walking area), these new verandas are impinging onto but not interrupting the walk-around Promenade. There is a transparent railing between the veranda and the open-deck area. This means less privacy as other passengers will be walking right in front of the balcony screens.

General maintenance works included: new hull coating, modification of the piping system, the ship’s stabilizers and the rudder were repaired and the bow thruster (propulsion unit) was replaced.

Boudicca refurbishment 2013 review

The list of deckplan changes after the boat's 2013 drydock refurbishment (done by Blohm+Voss in Hamburg Germany) included three new (remodeled) lounge and bar areas: Morning Light Pub (former Neptune Bar), Cafe Venus (specialty coffee/chocolate shop, around the Library), The Grill (specialty restaurant, former Poolside Cafe buffet).

South Africa itineraries 2018

In 2018, mv Boudicca offered a new South Africa program operated with the UK to South Africa fly-cruise deals. The boat's fares were inclusive of flights from London (or Manchester) to Cape Town (departure port).

The 14-night roundtrip itinerary included overnights in Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay and Durban. The 3-night stay in Cape Town offered as tour options Scale Table Mountain (cable car ride), wine tours (Stellenbosch, Constantia), Camps Bay strolling, visiting the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront complex and the Newlands (cricket ground), Cape Town Harley Davidson bike tour, boating, shark diving, whales-dolphins watching.

Inaugural "Whale-Watching Cruise" 2019

In 2019, Fred Olsen partnered with ORCA (marine wildlife charity) for an inaugural Iceland cruise on Boudicca. The 13-day "Icelandic Wonders and Wildlife" voyage is part of the new partnership "to monitor whale and dolphin numbers and to help to conserve and protect the seas as a safe environment in which these species can live and thrive".

During seadays, two ORCA volunteers (wildlife experts) spend up to 16 hours per day on ship's open decks to help Boudicca passengers to spot and identify animals and also to record data about the marine wildlife. The ORCA volunteers also held lectures and Q&A sessions on the ship and accompany whale-watching’ tours.

Date / TimePort
18 JunDeparting from Dover, England
21 JunEskifjordur, Iceland
22 Jun - 23 JunAkureyri, Iceland
24 JunIsafjordur, Iceland
25 Jun - 26 JunReykjavik, Iceland
29 JunKirkwall, Orkney Island, Scotland
01 JulArriving in Dover

Boudicca’s "Icelandic Wonders and Wildlife" cruise prices started from GBP 1100 per person (double occupancy rates).

Fred Olsen World Cruise 2019-2020

Next table shows all dates and ports of Fred Olsen's longest-ever cruise itinerary - MS Boudicca's 168-day world cruise roundtrip from homeport Dover.

Date / TimePort
03 OctDeparting from Dover
05 OctLa Coruna, Spain
08 OctFunchal, Madeira Island, Portugal
09-10 Oct (overnight)Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
11 OctSanta Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands
14 OctMindelo, Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde
15 OctPraia, Santiago Island, Cape Verde
23 OctSaint Helena Island, St Helena UK
27 OctWalvis Bay, Namibia
28 OctLuderitz, Namibia
30 Oct - 01 Nov (overnight)Cape Town, South Africa
03 NovPort Elizabeth, South Africa
05 NovRichards Bay, South Africa
09 NovMamoudzou, Grande-Terre, Mayotte
10 NovNosy Be Island, Madagascar
13-15 Nov (overnight)Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles
15 NovPraslin Island, Seychelles
19 NovMale, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives
21 NovColombo, Sri Lanka
24-25 Nov (overnight)Port Blair, South Andaman Island, India
27-29 Nov (overnight)Phuket, Thailand
30 NovPulau Weh Island, Sabang Indonesia
02-03 Dec (overnight)Singapore
06 DecSemarang, Java Indonesia
08 DecLembar-Lombok, Indonesia
09 DecPulau Komodo Island, Indonesia
10-12 Dec (overnight)Benoa, Bali Indonesia
15 DecBroome, Kimberley, Western Australia
19 DecFremantle-Perth, Western Australia
21 DecAlbany, Western Australia
24 DecKangaroo Island, South Australia
26-27 Dec (overnight)Melbourne, Victoria Australia
29 DecHobart, Tasmania
31 Dec - 02 Jan (overnight)Sydney, NSW Australia
04 JanBrisbane, Queensland Australia
07 JanTownsville, Queensland Australia
08-10 Jan (overnight)Cairns, Queensland Australia
12 JanAlotau, Papua New Guinea
14 JanMadang, Papua New Guinea
15 JanWewak, Papua New Guinea
19 JanPulau Ambon Island, Malukus Indonesia
21 JanPulau Komodo Island, Indonesia
22-24 Jan (overnight)Benoa, Bali Indonesia
27 JanSingapore
29 JanPhuket, Thailand
31 Jan - 01 Feb (overnight)Yangon, Myanmar
05-07 Feb (overnight)Colombo, Sri Lanka
10-11 Feb (overnight)Cochin, India
13-14 Feb (overnight)Mormugao-Goa, India
15-16 Feb (overnight)Mumbai, India
17 FebPorbandar, India
20 FebDubai, UAE
21 FebKhasab-Musandam, Oman
22 FebMuscat, Oman
24 FebSalalah, Oman
01-02 Mar (overnight)Aqaba-Petra, Jordan
04 MarAshdod-Jerusalem, Israel
05 MarLimassol, Cyprus Greece
07 MarHeraklion, Crete Greece
08 MarPiraeus-Athens, Greece
10 MarValletta, Malta
12 MarPalma de Mallorca, Spain
13 MarCartagena, Spain
14 MarMalaga, Spain
16 MarPorto-Leixoes, Portugal
19 MarArriving in Dover

UK-Japan 2021 fly-cruise

In mid-March 2019, Fred Olsen announced the company's ever-first "Authentic Japan" fly-cruise from homeport Tokyo with flights from Southampton. The itinerary program starts in January 2021 on MS Boudicca and features as maiden ports Beppu, Hiroshima, and Nagoya.

Itinerary's all call ports are Tokyo (overnight), Nagoya, Kobe-Osaka (overnight), Hiroshima, Beppu, Nagasaki, Keelung (Taiwan) and Hong Kong China (overnight). Early bookings (made by May 31, 2019) received a complimentary package with included gratuities.