Braemar Review and Specifications
Specifications of Braemar
|Year built||1993 / Age : 26|
|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 of Braemar
Braemar current cruise is 14 days, round-trip Islands of the Caribbean. The itinerary starts on 14 Feb, 2019 and ends on 28 Feb, 2019.
|Date / Time||Port|
|14 Feb||Departing from Bridgetown, Barbados|
|16 Feb||St Georges, Grenada|
|18 Feb||Willemstad, Curacao Island, Dutch Antilles|
|19 Feb||Kralendijk, Bonaire Island, Dutch Antilles|
|21 Feb||Tortola Island, Road Town, BVI|
|23 Feb||Grand Turk Island|
|25 Feb||Basseterre, St Kitts Island|
|26 Feb||St Johns, Antigua|
|27 Feb||Roseau, Dominica|
|28 Feb||Arriving in Bridgetown, Barbados|
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.
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.
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 Armonia, Lirica, Opera, 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.
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 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.
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, padding 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.
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 liner was drydock reconstructed 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 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 & Crafts Centre.
In the Caribbean Braemar fly-cruise deals from UK 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.
Braemar - user reviews and comments
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Other Fred Olsen cruise ships
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|
|2019 Jan 17||28 days, round-trip Amazon River Adventure||Bridgetown|
|2019 Jan 17||14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Manaus||Bridgetown|
|2019 Jan 31||14 days, one-way from Manaus to Bridgetown||Manaus|
|2019 Feb 14||14 days, round-trip Islands of the Caribbean||Bridgetown|
|2019 Feb 28||14 days, round-trip Islands of the Caribbean||Bridgetown|
|2019 Mar 14||16 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Southampton||Bridgetown|
|2019 Mar 30||8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2019 Apr 07||11 days, round-trip The Highlights of Andalusia||Southampton|
|2019 Apr 18||13 days, round-trip The Canary Islands with Madeira||Southampton|
|2019 May 01||5 days, round-trip City Break in the Netherlands & Belgium||Southampton|
|2019 May 06||12 days, round-trip Spain & Portugal with the Seville Fair||Southampton|
|2019 May 18||8 days, round-trip Norwegian Fjords & Cities||Southampton|
|2019 May 26||13 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of the Baltic||Southampton|
|2019 Jun 08||13 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of Seville & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2019 Jun 21||8 days, round-trip Cruising the Scenic Fjords of Norway||Southampton|
|2019 Jun 29||10 days, round-trip Welcome to Denmark||Southampton|
|2019 Jul 09||14 days, round-trip Mediterranean with Lavender in Provence||Southampton|
|2019 Jul 23||8 days, round-trip Into the Heart of Spain & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|2019 Jul 31||14 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of the Baltic||Southampton|
|2019 Aug 14||8 days, round-trip Cruising the Fjords of Norway||Southampton|
|2019 Aug 22||5 days, round-trip City Break in the Netherlands & Belgium||Southampton|
|2019 Aug 27||11 days, round-trip Spain, Portugal & Madeira||Southampton|
|2019 Sep 07||7 days, round-trip Mystery Closer Cruise||Southampton|
|2019 Sep 14||13 days, round-trip Cruising to the Heart of Seville & Bordeaux||Southampton|
|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|
|2019 Oct 30||13 days, round-trip The Canary Islands with Madeira||Southampton|
|2019 Nov 24||9 days, round-trip French, Belgian & Spanish City Overnights||Southampton|
|2019 Dec 03||30 days, one-way from Southampton to La Romana||Southampton|
|2019 Dec 03||16 days, one-way from Southampton to Bridgetown||Southampton|
|2019 Dec 19||14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to La Romana||Bridgetown|
|2020 Jan 02||14 days, one-way from La Romana to Bridgetown||La Romana|
|2020 Jan 16||14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to La Romana||Bridgetown|
|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||30 days, one-way from La Romana to Southampton||La Romana|
|2020 Feb 27||14 days, one-way from La Romana to Bridgetown||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|
|2021 Apr 16||25 days, round-trip Greek Islands & Corinth Canal||Southampton|