Braemar Review and Specifications

Specifications of Braemar

Year built1993  /  Age : 25
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderUnion Navale de Levante SA (Valencia, Spain)
Building costUSD 75 million
OwnerBraemar Cruise Ltd
OperatorFred Olsen Cruise Lines
Speed19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph
Length (LOA)195 m / 640 ft
Beam (width)22 m / 72 ft
Gross Tonnage24344 gt
Passengers929 - 970
Passengers-to-space ratio25
Decks with cabins7
Last Refurbishment2014
Sister-shipsCelestyal Nefeli
Former namesMS Crown Dynasty

Current itinerary of Braemar

Braemar current cruise is 14 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of the Baltic. Prices start from USD 3099 (double occupancy rates). The itinerary starts on 14 Sep, 2018 and ends on 28 Sep, 2018.

Date / TimePort
14 Sep      Departing from Southampton, England   
17 Sep     Copenhagen, Denmark   
19 Sep     Helsinki, Finland   
20 Sep - 21 Sep     Saint Petersburg, Russia   
23 Sep     Riga, Latvia   
25 Sep     Travemunde, Lubeck, Germany   
26 Sep     Kiel Canal, Germany   
28 Sep      Arriving in Southampton, England   

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, 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.

MS Braemar cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

Fter the purchase of the vessel, in 2009 Fred Olsen stretched it by adding a mid-ship section with extra cabins, lounge and swimming pools.

MS Braemar cruise ship stretching

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, the 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. The space is also home to a new library, card room and Internet room.

In 2009, MV Braemar (under the Fred Olsen’s ownership) was stretched by adding a prefabricated middle-section. The refit resulted in an 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 paddle pool) on Marquee Deck 8 (Sun Deck).

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

Cruise itinerary program

Braemar itinerary program is based on 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.


Most Braemar staterooms are 130-175-sq.foot Balcony rooms (200). There are a total of 485 staterooms in 21 categories. 4 are the wheelchair accessible cabins. The largest aboard Braemar are the Superior Suites (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.

MS Braemar cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

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.

MS Braemar cruise ship (Fred Olsen)

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; Internet Room 
  • Bookmark Cafe (a la carte priced patisserie; offers luxury chocolates, specialty coffees, hand-made chocolates)
  • 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, padding pool, sunbathing area; served by the 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 wiki

  • Cabin grades number: 21
  • Total number of cabins: 485 (of which 19 Suites, 19 Balcony rooms, 130 Inside)
  • Dining Rooms: Thistle (MDR, a la carte).
  • Restaurants and food bars: Grampian Restaurant, Palms Cafe (buffet-style, no set dinner times), Marquee Bar (al-fresco).
  • Lounges & Bars: Neptune Lounge, Braemar Room, Observatory Lounge, Coral Club, Lido Bar, Marquee Pool Bar, Morning Light Pub, Cafe Venus, Arts & Crafts Room, Card room, Atrium.
  • Atlantis Spa & Salon, Fitness Centre, 3 swimming pools, 2 Jacuzzis, Internet/WiFi access, Library, laundry/self-serve laundromats, promenade, Boutique, Fine Jewellery, Port Shop, Photo Gallery, Sun Deck, golfing.
  • Braemar cruise ship 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, ms Braemar was given a massive overhaul at Blohm+Voss shipyard (Hamburg) and emerged as a brand new vessel with an extra 31-meter long mid section. 70 new cabins were added, along with a new lounge (Observatory), the 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 debute on Braemar's sister ship Balmoral).
  • The Braemar ship went into dry dock again 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 & Crafts Centre.
  • When Braemar cruises in the Caribbean, flight-inclusive deals from UK are offered via the Canaries. Return flights are from Bridgetown Barbados to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
  • 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).

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.

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Braemar Itineraries

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.

DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice from
2018 Jun 12 16 days, round-trip Arctic Russia & Northern Norway Southampton
2018 Jul 06 16 days, round-trip Mediterranean with Lavender in Provence Southampton
2018 Aug 12 11 days, round-trip Islands & Cities of Scandinavia Southampton
2018 Aug 23 8 days, round-trip French River Cruising to Bordeaux Southampton
2018 Aug 31 14 days, round-trip The Flavour of Spain Southampton$1999
2018 Sep 14 14 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of the Baltic Southampton$3099
2018 Sep 28 4 days, round-trip River Seine Sojourn Southampton$399
2018 Oct 02 23 days, round-trip Historic Towns & Cities of the Adriatic Southampton$2599
2018 Oct 25 9 days, round-trip German Rivers & Waterways Southampton$749
2018 Nov 03 5 days, round-trip Cruising the Seine Southampton$499
2018 Nov 08 7 days, round-trip World War One Centenary Cruise Southampton$799
2018 Nov 15 18 days, round-trip Island-Hopping in the Tropics Southampton$1799
2018 Dec 03 30 days, one-way from Southampton to Bridgetown Southampton$3299
2018 Dec 03 16 days, one-way from Southampton to Bridgetown Southampton$1299
2018 Dec 20 13 days, round-trip Caribbean Christmas & New Year Bridgetown$2599
2019 Jan 03 14 days, round-trip Islands of the Caribbean Bridgetown$2099
2019 Jan 17 27 days, round-trip Amazon River Adventure Bridgetown
2019 Jan 17 11 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Manaus Bridgetown$2299
2019 Jan 31 13 days, one-way from Manaus to Bridgetown Manaus$2299
2019 Feb 14 14 days, round-trip Islands of the Caribbean Bridgetown$2199
2019 Feb 28 14 days, round-trip Islands of the Caribbean Bridgetown$2199
2019 Mar 14 16 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Southampton Bridgetown$1549
2019 Mar 30 8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux Southampton$599
2019 Apr 07 11 days, round-trip The Highlights of Andalusia Southampton$1199
2019 Apr 18 13 days, round-trip The Canary Islands with Madeira Southampton$1499
2019 May 01 5 days, round-trip City Break in the Netherlands & Belgium Southampton$549
2019 May 06 12 days, round-trip Spain & Portugal with the Seville Fair Southampton$1499
2019 May 18 8 days, round-trip Norwegian Fjords & Cities Southampton$999
2019 May 26 13 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of the Baltic Southampton$1699
2019 Jun 08 13 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of Seville & Bordeaux Southampton$1599
2019 Jun 21 8 days, round-trip Cruising the Scenic Fjords of Norway Southampton$1099
2019 Jun 29 10 days, round-trip Welcome to Denmark Southampton$1299
2019 Jul 09 14 days, round-trip Mediterranean with Lavender in Provence Southampton$1799
2019 Jul 23 8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux Southampton$1099
2019 Jul 31 14 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of the Baltic Southampton$1999
2019 Aug 14 8 days, round-trip Cruising the Fjords of Norway Southampton$1199
2019 Aug 22 5 days, round-trip City Break in the Netherlands & Belgium Southampton$649
2019 Aug 27 11 days, round-trip Spain, Portugal & Madeira Southampton$1499
2019 Sep 07 7 days, round-trip Mystery Closer Cruise Southampton$899
2019 Sep 14 13 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of Seville & Bordeaux Southampton$1799
2019 Sep 27 25 days, round-trip Greek Islands & Corinth Canal Southampton
2019 Oct 22 8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux Southampton$999
2019 Oct 30 13 days, round-trip The Canary Islands with Madeira Southampton$1499
2019 Nov 24 9 days, round-trip French, Belgian & Spanish City Overnights Southampton$899
2019 Dec 03 30 days, one-way from Southampton to La Romana Southampton$3399
2019 Dec 03 16 days, one-way from Southampton to Bridgetown Southampton$1149
2019 Dec 19 14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to La Romana Bridgetown$1799
2020 Jan 02 14 days, one-way from La Romana to Bridgetown La Romana$1449
2020 Jan 16 14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to La Romana Bridgetown$1349
2020 Jan 30 14 days, one-way from La Romana to Bridgetown La Romana$1549
2020 Feb 13 14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to La Romana Bridgetown$2299
2020 Feb 27 30 days, one-way from La Romana to Southampton La Romana$3099
2020 Feb 27 14 days, one-way from La Romana to Bridgetown La Romana$1549
2020 Mar 12 16 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Southampton Bridgetown$1149
2020 Mar 28 12 days, round-trip Four Fred's in Funchal with Spain & Portugal Southampton$1499