Villa Vie Odyssey

Former names: MS Braemar (Fred Olsen), MS Crown Dynasty (Crown Cruise Lines)

Villa Vie Odyssey last position

Villa Vie Odyssey last location was at North Sea (coordinates 56.02235 N / -3.45597 W) cruising en route to ROSYTH. The AIS position was reported 1 year ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Villa Vie Odyssey

Year of build1993  /  Age: 31
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderUnion Naval de Levante SA (Valencia, Spain)
Building costUSD 75 million
Engines (power)Wartsila (13.1 MW / 17567 hp)
Speed19 kn / 35 km/h / 22 mph
Length (LOA)196 m / 643 ft
Beam (width)23 m / 75 ft
Gross Tonnage24344 gt
Passengers929 - 970
Passengers-to-space ratio25
Decks with cabins6
Last Refurbishment2024
Sister-shipsCelestyal Nefeli
Former namesMS Braemar (Fred Olsen), MS Crown Dynasty (Crown Cruise Lines)
OwnerVilla Vie Odyssey Ltd
OperatorVilla Vie Residences

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Review of Villa Vie Odyssey

The 1993-built (as "Crown Dynasty") cruise ship Villa Vie Odyssey was last named "MS Braemar" as part of Fred Olsen's cruise fleet. The sistership/same-designed Crown Jewel (1992-built) was later renamed to MS Gemini and time-chartered by Celestyal Cruises as "Celestyal Nefeli".

By design, the ship is similar to Superstar Gemini (Star Cruises/defunct).

Crown Dynasty's shipbuilding cost was USD 75 million. The vessel was last refurbished by Fred Olsen in 2019 November. The last drydocking was in 2023 December, following the acquisition by Villa Vie Residences.

The vessel (IMO number 9000699) is currently Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 311541000) and registered in Nassau.

History - construction and ownership

On November 29, 2022, Fred Olsen announced that is looking for a buyer for the 29-year-old MS Braemar. The last AIS report was on March 9, 2022 (at 18:30 UTC) showing the boat docked/laid up in Rosyth-Edinburgh. When the announcement was made, the shipowner had a total of 45x voyages scheduled for Braemar for 2023-2024 (April 28 through May 7).

On November 29th (2023), Villa Vie Residences (a new brand) announced a pending ship purchase agreement. The announcement was made by Mikael Petterson (the company's CEO). The vessel's name was not revealed but a video showed MS Braemar. The ship is expected to change ownership in February 2024, with a scheduled 8-day drydock followed by a 2-week drydock for refits and basic refurbishments. The residence ship's expected lifespan is 15 years (through 2039). Mikael Petterson also announced the possibility for Villa Vie Residences to acquire a second vessel, for US$100+ million.

On December 13th, Villa Vie Residences confirmed the vessel's acquisition from Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. Renamed (from Braemar to Villa Vie Odyssey), the 924-passenger ship starts revenue operations for the new owner in May 2024 following a multimillion drydock refurbishment that will transform it into a residential ship offering residences/villas instead of staterooms. The ship will also receive a large-capacity business center (grouping conference spaces and private offices), Starlink internet, interactive culinary center, a modern golf simulator and a premium golfing program and golf-themed land tours and classes led by a PGA-certified professional golfer.

Villa Vie Odyssey cruise ship (Fred Olsen Braemar)

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 1000-passenger ship Braemar was originally built in 1993 (as "Crown Dynasty" for Crown Cruise Lines, 1984-founded/2001-defunct) and joined Fred Olsen's 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.

MS Braemar cruise ship stretching

In 2009, MV Braemar (under 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 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.

Decks and Cabins

MS Braemar staterooms (a total of 485) include 19x Suites, 200x Balcony cabins, 130x Inside, in all 21 grades. Most Braemar staterooms are 130-175 ft2 Balcony rooms. The largest accommodation is the Superior Suite (300 ft2). Fred Olsen Braemar ship has a total of 40 solo cabins (single-occupancy rooms).

The boat has 8 decks, of which 7 are passenger-accessible and 6 with cabins.

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 alfresco breakfast and 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.

Villa Vie Odyssey cruise ship (Fred Olsen Braemar)

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 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; 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)
  • 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)

On Deck 8 are located the Golf Nets, a Deck Games area (shuffleboard, quoits, darts, tennis tables), the Sundeck/pool deck (2x swimming pools, 1x paddling pool, 2x Jacuzzies, sunbathing area served by Marquee Pool Bar) and the Walking Track.


Villa Vie Residences' customers/"cruise residents" own the majority of the company's shares and actively participate in decision-making, including planning the itineraries (regions and destinations to be visited throughout the year).

The Villa Vie brand prioritizes extended port stays (ranging from 2 to 7 days) allowing the ship's residents plenty of time to connect and fully enjoy each destination.

The company offers two all-inclusive options for the residents. The first option is ownership (starting at US$100,000, with monthly maintenance fees from US$1750 per person), while the other option is a "pay-as-you-go" plan (residents select and combine portions/segments of the World Cruise itinerary with a 10% upfront deposit, starting at US$89 pp per day).

Fred Olsen Braemar itineraries

Fred Olsen's Braemar cruise itinerary program was based on ex-UK voyages visiting ports in the Mediterranean, Iberia (Spain and Portugal), the Canary Islands and the Norwegian Fjords. The itineraries were roundtrips from England (homeports Dover and Southampton). The ship also offered seasonal Caribbean fly-cruises (departures out of Bridgetown Barbados), with Transatlantic repositioning crossings between the Caribbean and Europe.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the ship was passed for 3+ years (March 2020 through May 2023), restarting on April 28th from Southampton.

MS Braemar was well-known worldwide for its annual (since 2019) voyages in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Med) passing through the Corinth Canal.

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The vessel was launched in 1993 as "Crown Dynasty" for Crown Cruise Lines (1984-founded/2001-defunct). In the period 1993-1997, it was chartered to Cunard Line as "Cunard Crown Dynasty". Named "MS Braemar", it was part of Fred Olsen's fleet in the period 2001-2023, with registered shipowner Braemar Cruise Ltd.

The vessel (Union Naval Valencia yard/hull number 198) is powered by 4x Wartsila marine diesel engines (model 8R32E) with total power output 13,12 MW.

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 sistership Balmoral).

Fred Olsen Braemar went into drydock on November 12th, 2014, for an 8-day general refurb works, various engineering works, as well as extensive interior and exterior painting. A new Cafe Bar/patisserie was installed on Lounge Deck 5 (Cafe Venus) serving luxury chocolates and high-quality coffees. The Library area was also reconfigured. The Card Room was moved to Atlantic Deck 3 and integrated with the Arts & Crafts Center.


MS Braemar'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 was operated with fly-cruise UK deals pakaging the voyage with flights from England via the Canaries. Return flights were from Bridgetown Barbados to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Fred Olsen also offered an all-inclusive cruise package upgrade (additional fixed price PP per day) and UK fly-cruises to the Canary Islands (year-round discounted airfare from Southampton).

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 1800 pp.

Villa Vie Odyssey cruise ship (Fred Olsen Braemar)

In 2019, MS Braemar set a world record as the longest ship ever to pass through Corinth Canal (Greece). The 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 cabins, inclusive of port taxes). Ports of call included Malaga, Valletta, Agios Nikolaos, Rhodes, Ermoupoli, Corinth Canal (passing), Patras, Katakolon, Argostoli, Messina Strait, Stromboli Island, Trapani, Ibiza, Cartagena, Lisbon. The third passage (booking code M2212) was scheduled as a Southampton roundtrip leaving on April 20, 2022. In 2021 were scheduled additional Corinth Canal transition cruises - Sept 23/2022 (25-days from Southampton England) and March 27/2023 (10-20-days from Valletta Malta).

Ex-Cuba itineraries 2022 (canceled)

Fred Olsen's Braemar Caribbean winter programs (2021-2022 and 2022-2023) were based on homeporting in Havana Cuba. However, both fly-cruise programs were eventually canceled (in Dec 2020 and Jan 2021).

Both seasons had to start with 30-day Transatlantic crossings (from Southampton to Havana).

Next tables show the two itineraries leaving roundtrip from Cuba.

15-day "Latin American Civilisations" itinerary

Date / TimePort
05 JanDeparting from Havana, Cuba
09 JanSantiago de Cuba
11 JanSanta Marta, Colombia
12 JanCartagena, Colombia
13 JanColon, Panama
16 JanCozumel, Mexico
17 JanProgreso, Mexico
20 JanArriving in Havana

14-day "Islands of the Caribbean" itinerary

Date / TimePort
19 JanDeparting from Havana
23 JanCockburn Town, Grand Turk Island
25 JanSt Johns, Antigua
26 JanPort Zante-Basseterre, St Kitts
27 JanRoad Town, Tortola Island BVI
28 JanPhilipsburg, St Maarten Island
31 JanNassau, Bahamas
02 FebArriving in Havana

On each voyage, prices started from GBP 2610 (EUR 3125 / USD 3585) per person with double occupancy)

Ex-UK itineraries 2023 (canceled)

When Braemar was opened for sale by Fred Olsen in November 2022, for the ship were scheduled a total of 45x voyages mainly out of the UK (homeports Southampton and Dover) as well as the Caribbean program (with homeporting in Havana Cuba) and the Mediterranean program (roundtrips from Malaga Spain and Valletta Malta).

Next are listed the canceled programs/itineraries as duration and themes.

  • (Apr 28) 5 days "Discover Normandy in Five Nights" (Southampton roundtrip, US$690
  • (May 3) 25 days "Greek Islands and Corinth Canal" (Southampton roundtrip, $5764)
  • (May 28) 10 days "Scenic Isles, Irish Loughs and Cities" (Southampton roundtrip, $1843)
  • (Jun 7) 8 days "Springtime Waterfalls and Norwegian Fjords" (Southampton roundtrip, $1324)
  • (Jun 15) 17 days "Sunsets and Cities of the Mediterranean Brought Closer" (Southampton roundtrip, $3227
  • (Jul 2) 8 days "Denmark with Fredericia Festivities" (Dover roundtrip, $1382)
  • (Jul 10) 10 days "Europersquos Castles, Palaces and Cultural Landmarks" (Dover roundtrip, $1613)
  • (Jul 20) 15 days "Scenic Rivers of France and Into the Heart of Seville" (Dover roundtrip, $2535)
  • (Aug 4) 7 days "Scenic Summertime and Norwegian Fjords" (Dover roundtrip, $1324)
  • (Aug 11) 14 days "Islands, Cities and Archipelagos of Scandinavia" (Dover roundtrip, $2420)
  • (Aug 25) 5 days "Bank Holiday Devon and Cornwall in Five" (Dover roundtrip, $921)
  • (Aug 30) 8 days "Discovering Edinburgh and Historic Isles of Scotland" (Dover roundtrip, $1497)
  • (Sep 7) 7 days "Classic Norwegian Fjords" (Dover roundtrip, $1267)
  • (Sep 14) 11 days "French Cities and Cruising the Seine and Loire Rivers" (Dover roundtrip, $1843)
  • (Sep 25) 13 days "Cultural Capitals of Northern Europe and the Kiel Canal" (Dover roundtrip, $1959)
  • (Oct 8) 8 days "German Cities and Scenic Waterways" (Dover roundtrip, $1267)
  • (Oct 16) 14 days "Scenic Rivers of France and Into the Heart of Seville" (Dover roundtrip, $2305)
  • (Oct 30) 15 days "Discovering Cultural Morocco with the Fleet in Funchal" (Dover roundtrip, $2420)
  • (Nov 14) 5 days "Antwerp and Amsterdam in Five" (Dover roundtrip, $575)
  • (Nov 19) 14 days "Exploring Southern Spain and Into the Heart of Seville" (Southampton roundtrip, $2074)
  • (Dec 3) 16 days eastbound Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to Bridgetown Barbados ($1613)
  • (Dec 3) 30 days eastbound Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to Havana Cuba ($4841)
  • (Dec 19) 14 days repositioning from Bridgetown to Havana ($3804)
  • (2024 Jan 2) 14 days "Latin American Civilisations" (Havana roundtrip, $3112)
  • (Jan 16) 14 days "Islands of the Caribbean" (Havana roundtrip, $3112)
  • (Jan 30) 14 days repositioning from Havana to Bridgetown ($3112)
  • (Feb 13) 14 days repositioning from Bridgetown to Havana ($3169)
  • (Feb 27) 15 days westbound Transatlantic crossing from Havana to Malaga Spain ($2305)
  • (Feb 27) 25 days westbound Transatlantic crossing from Havana to Valletta Malta ($3688)
  • (Feb 27) 35 days westbound Transatlantic crossing from Havana to Valletta ($5822)
  • (Feb 27) 45 days westbound Transatlantic crossing from Havana to Valletta
  • (Feb 27) 57 days westbound Transatlantic crossing from Havana to Southampton ($9569)
  • (Mar 13) 10 days repositioning from Malaga to Valletta Malaga ($2074)
  • (Mar 13) 20 days repositioning from Malaga to Valletta Malaga ($4150)
  • (Mar 13) 30 days repositioning from Malaga to Valletta ($6283)
  • (Mar 13) 42 days repositioning from Malaga to Southampton ($7839)
  • (Mar 23) 10 days "Corinth Canal and Ancient Greece" (Valletta roundtrip, $2650)
  • (Mar 23) 20 days "Corinth Canal and Ancient Greece (Valletta roundtrip, $4726)
  • (Mar 23) 32 days repositioning from Valletta to Southampton ($6340)
  • (Apr 2) 22 days repositioning from Valletta to Southampton ($4207)
  • (Apr 2) 10 days "Corinth Canal and Ancient Greece" (Valletta roundtrip, $2650)
  • (Apr 12) 12 days repositioning from Valletta to Southampton ($2189)
  • (Apr 24) 8 days "European River Cities with Springtime Tulips" (Southampton roundtrip, $1267)
  • (May 2) 5 days "Bank Holiday Escape to France and the River Seine" (Southampton roundtrip, $863)
  • (May 7) 25 days "Corinth Canal and the Greek Islands" (Southampton roundtrip, $5764)

The above prices are in USD per person (based on double occupancy).