Braemar Review and Specifications
Specifications of Braemar
|Year built||1993 / Age : 27|
|Builder||Union Navale de Levante SA (Valencia, Spain)|
|Building cost||USD 75 million|
|Owner||Braemar Cruise Ltd|
|Operator||Fred Olsen Cruise Lines|
|Speed||19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph|
|Length (LOA)||195 m / 640 ft|
|Beam (width)||22 m / 72 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||24344 gt|
|Passengers||929 - 970|
|Decks with cabins||7|
|Former names||MS Crown Dynasty|
Current itinerary / position of Braemar
Braemar current cruise is 14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to La Romana. The itinerary starts on 13 Feb, 2020 and ends on 27 Feb, 2020.All Itineraries Current Position
|Date / Time||Port|
|13 Feb||Departing from Bridgetown, Barbados hotels|
|15 Feb||Scarborough, Tobago|
|17 Feb||Kralendijk, Bonaire Island, Dutch Antilles|
|18 Feb||Oranjestad, Aruba Island, Dutch Antilles|
|20 Feb||St Georges, Grenada|
|21 Feb||Castries, St Lucia Island|
|22 Feb||St Johns, Antigua|
|23 Feb||Basseterre, Port Zante, St Kitts Island|
|24 Feb||Tortola Island, Road Town, BVI|
|25 Feb||Philipsburg, St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles|
|27 Feb||Arriving in La Romana, Dominican Republic hotels|
Review of Braemar
Launched in 1993 as Crown Dynasty, MS Braemar cruise ship is Fred Olsen's vessel, with fleetmates Boudicca, Balmoral, and Black Watch. The vessel's sistership (by design) was named Crown Jewel (1992). It was later renamed to MS Gemini and currently chartered by Celestyal Cruises as Celestyal Nefeli.
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.
After the purchase of the vessel, in 2009 Fred Olsen stretched it by adding a mid-ship section with extra cabins, lounge, and swimming pools.
The 24,344-ton, 989-passenger cruise ship Braemar was originally built in 1993 as Crown Dynasty for the now-defunct Crown Cruise Lines. It joined the Fred. Olsen fleet in 2001. One of the biggest changes that past cruisers are going to note is the Braemar Room on Deck 5, leading into the new Scottish-inspired Morning Light Pub (that was released on sister cruise liner Balmoral in early 2008). Prior to the renovation, this space was more of a walkway, but now the expanded Braemar Room has become more of a public room in its own right, with Aztec and nautical-themed design of the decor. This space is also home to a new library, a card room, and an Internet room.
In 2009, MV Braemar (under the Fred Olsen’s ownership) was stretched by adding a prefabricated middle-section. The refit resulted in increased gross tonnage and passenger capacity. During the ship’s stretching (done in Germany, at the Lloyd Werft’s shipyard) were built new cabins, lounges and a restaurant, along with the 2 swimming pools (plus a paddling pool) on Marquee Deck 8 (Sun Deck).
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.
Cruise itinerary program
Fred Olsen Braemar itinerary program is based on the Mediterranean and Norwegian Fjords cruises with departures from Dover and Southampton, UK, as well as on Caribbean cruises out of Barbados, with Transatlantic repositioning crossings.
MS Braemar has a total of 485 cabins (of which 19 Suites, 200 Balcony rooms, 130 Inside) in 21 grades. Most Braemar staterooms are 130-175-sq. foot Balcony rooms. The largest aboard Braemar is the Superior Suite (300 ft2).
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
Most Braemar guests have dinner at the Thistle Restaurant for either 6:15 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. seating. The Thistle is an elegant, circular room with panoramic windows. Those who prefer a more intimate setting should choose the smaller Grampian Restaurant. This also has two seatings but it's mainly for travelers staying in the upper decks. Breakfast and lunch are open-seating, so guests can order waiter-served meals at either restaurant or try the self-serve Palms Cafe.
Follows the complete list of Braemar restaurants and food bars.
- Thistle 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)
- Grampian Restaurant (ship’s 2nd largest dining room, with the same menu as the Thistle; features floor-ceiling windows and intimate design)
- Palms 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)
- Lido Bar (outdoor bar for al fresco Breakfast & Lunch)
- 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
MS Braemar is clearly a vessel which attracts repeat cruisers, and much of this is due to the friendliness of the travelers and the camaraderie the small vessel engenders. A lot of the conversations on this cruise liner start with "Last time I was on Braemar..." or "We sailed on the cruise before the extra space was added...." But, instead of acting cliquey, the repeat cruisers are very welcoming, even offering cruising tips to Fred. Olsen newbies.
Follows the complete list of Braemar lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.
- Arts & Crafts Room; Art Gallery
- Atrium (4-deck high; has a spacious seating area)
- 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 (378-seat; 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)
- Library; Card Room; Internet Room
- Bookmark Cafe (a la carte priced patisserie; offers luxury chocolates, specialty coffees, hand-made chocolates)
- Cafe Venus
- Braemar Lounge (relaxation place with large windows); Casino
- Morning Light Pub (features stand-up comedy acts, live music performances)
- Coral Club (170-seat, with floor-ceiling windows and dance floor; disco nightclub)
- Pool Deck area (swimming pool, 2 whirlpools, paddling pool, sunbathing area; served by the Marquee Pool Bar)
- The Wellness Centre (Atlantis Spa & Fitness; has treatment rooms for massages, Steam Room, Sauna, gym; the Fitness Centre hosts exercise classes Yoga/Pilates/aerobics/meditation/dancing 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; Deck Games area (shuffleboard, quoits, darts, tennis tables); Walking Track.
Braemar - user reviews and comments
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Other Fred Olsen cruise ships
MS Braemar was built in 1993 as Crown Dynasty for Crown Cruise Lines. In the period 1993-1997, she was chartered to Cunard and sailed as "Cunard Crown Dynasty". The ship joined Fred Olsen's fleet in 2001.
In 2008, the vessel was drydock reconstructed at Blohm+Voss Shipyard (Hamburg Germany) and emerged as a brand new (larger) cruise liner with an extra 31-m long midsection. All 70 new cabins were added, along with a new lounge (Observatory), Grampian Restaurant and an expanded Sun Deck (plus one new swimming pool). The biggest change is the Braemar Room (Deck 5) leading into the new Morning Light Pub (Scottish-inspired, it had a debut on Braemar's sister ship Balmoral).
The Braemar ship went into drydock on Nov 12, 2014, for an 8-day general refurbishment, various engineering works, interior, and exterior painting. A new cafe was installed on Lounge Deck 5 (Cafe Venus) serving luxury chocolates and high-quality coffees. The Library area was reconfigured. The Card Room was moved on Atlantic Deck 3 and integrated with the Arts and Crafts Center.
Braemar ship's drydock 2019 (November 14-23 at Blohm+Voss Hamburg) was for general maintenance and engineering works, interior renovations (public areas) and cabin refurbishments.
In the Caribbean, Braemar fly-cruise UK deals are offered with flights from England via the Canaries. Return flights are from Bridgetown Barbados to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Fred Olsen also offers an all-inclusive cruise package upgrade (additional fixed price PP per day) and UK fly-cruises to Canary Islands (year-round discounted airfare from Southampton, England).
In 2018, the ship offered a 14-night "Choose Your Cruise" (Baltic Sea itinerary May 29 - June 11) leaving roundtrip from Southampton UK. On the voyage, passengers were allowed to vote on call ports (choosing between 2 ports) and decide between the Baltic capitals or alternative ports (in Holland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Estonia). After counting, ballots were delivered to the Captain, who announced the winning port. The originally scheduled itinerary only included St Petersburg (Russia) and passing Kiel Canal (Germany). The pairs with optional ports of call were Amsterdam-Rotterdam, Copenhagen-Hundested, Tallinn-Saaremaa, St Petersburg (overnight), Helsinki-Kotka, Wismar-Travemunde (Rostock). Fred Olsen also added GBP 200 pp in onboard credit and free drinks and tours on bookings made by March 1, 2018. Prices started from GBP 1,800 pp.
In 2019, MS Braemar set a world record as the longest ship ever to pass through Corinth Canal (Greece). Ship’s second passage (in 2021) was scheduled as the following itinerary: (booking code M2109) 25-day "Greek Islands and Corinth Canal’ cruise roundtrip from Southampton, departure April 16, 2021. Prices started from GBP 4000 per person (based on two adults sharing twin-bedded Inside Cabin, inclusive of port taxes). Ports of call: Malaga, Valletta, Agios Nikolaos, Rhodes, Ermoupoli, Corinth Canal (passing), Patras, Katakolon, Argostoli, Messina Strait, Stromboli Island, Trapani, Ibiza, Cartagena, Lisbon.
The below listed Braemar 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|
|2020 Jan 30||14 days, one-way from La Romana to Bridgetown||La Romana|
|2020 Feb 13||14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to La Romana||Bridgetown|
|2020 Feb 27||14 days, one-way from La Romana to Bridgetown||La Romana|
|2020 Feb 27||30 days, one-way from La Romana to Southampton||La Romana|
|2020 Mar 12||16 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Southampton||Bridgetown|
|2020 Mar 28||12 days, round-trip Four Fred's in Funchal with Spain & Portugal||Southampton|
|2020 Apr 09||5 days, round-trip Tulips & Chocolates||Southampton|
|2020 Apr 14||14 days, round-trip Scenic Landscapes of the Azores & Madeira||Southampton|
|2020 Apr 28||10 days, round-trip Spain & Portugal with Seville Feria Fireworks||Southampton|
|2020 May 08||8 days, round-trip Springtime Scenery of the Fjordland||Southampton|
|2020 May 16||8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2020 May 24||8 days, round-trip Mystery Closer Cruise||Southampton|
|2020 Jun 01||13 days, round-trip Capital Cities of the Baltic||Southampton|
|2020 Jun 14||14 days, round-trip Crossing the Arctic Circle with Midnight Sun||Southampton|
|2020 Jun 28||12 days, round-trip Authentic Andalusia with Lisbon||Southampton|
|2020 Jul 10||10 days, round-trip Welcome to Denmark||Southampton|
|2020 Jul 20||8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2020 Jul 28||14 days, round-trip Sailing to the Heart of the Baltic||Southampton|
|2020 Aug 11||8 days, round-trip Cultural Cities of Scandinavia||Southampton|
|2020 Aug 19||8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2020 Aug 27||5 days, round-trip Delights of Devon & Cornwall||Southampton|
|2020 Sep 01||8 days, round-trip Cruising the Scenic Fjords of Norway||Southampton|
|2020 Sep 09||13 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of Seville & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2020 Sep 22||11 days, round-trip Exploring the Capitals of Scandinavia||Southampton|
|2020 Oct 03||8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2020 Oct 11||15 days, round-trip Western Med Closer Cruise||Southampton|
|2020 Oct 26||5 days, round-trip Netherlands & Belgium City Break||Southampton|
|2020 Oct 31||11 days, round-trip Authentic Andalusia with Lisbon||Southampton|
|2020 Nov 11||13 days, round-trip Exploring the Canaries & Madeira||Southampton|
|2020 Nov 24||16 days, one-way from Southampton to Bridgetown||Southampton|
|2020 Dec 10||13 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Santo Domingo||Bridgetown|
|2020 Dec 23||15 days, one-way from Santo Domingo to Bridgetown||Santo Domingo|
|2021 Jan 07||14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Santo Domingo||Bridgetown|
|2021 Jan 21||14 days, one-way from Santo Domingo to Bridgetown||Santo Domingo|
|2021 Feb 04||14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Santo Domingo||Bridgetown|
|2021 Feb 18||14 days, one-way from Santo Domingo to Bridgetown||Santo Domingo|
|2021 Mar 04||16 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Southampton||Bridgetown|
|2021 Mar 20||12 days, round-trip Authentic Andalusia with Lisbon||Southampton|
|2021 Apr 01||8 days, round-trip Springtime Scenery of the Fjordland||Southampton|
|2021 Apr 09||7 days, round-trip Tulips & Chocolates||Southampton|
|2021 Apr 16||25 days, round-trip Greek Islands & Corinth Canal||Southampton|
|2021 May 11||9 days, round-trip Southern Norway with National Day in Oslo||Southampton|
|2021 May 20||8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2021 May 28||5 days, round-trip Netherlands & Belgium City Break||Southampton|
|2022 Sep 23||25 days, round-trip Corinth Canal and Greek Islands||Southampton|
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