This is the first time that so many Fred. Olsen ships have undergone refurbishment within such short succession.
Work started on 804-guest Black Watch, which arrived in Germany on November 4, 2014. Following drydocking the ship will continue the line’s first-ever ‘Mystery Cruise’ of 14 nights, sailing from Tilbury on November 15, 2014.
Braemar is due to arrive in Hamburg on November 12, 2014, after which the 929-guest ship will depart on a three-night mini-cruise to France from Southampton November 20, 2014.
Balmoral, which carries 1,350 guests, rounds off the planned dry dock works. The ship will arrive on December 9, 2014, and will leave the shipyard to start a two-night pre-Christmas cruise to France from Southampton on December 19, 2014.
The Blohm+Voss schedule for the three Fred. Olsen cruise ships comprises various engineering works, general refurbishment and interior and exterior painting.
During the dry dock, Black Watch will also see 27 cabins on Lido Deck 7 fitted with balcony terraces. These new Balcony Terrace cabins will extend out 1.2mtr from the ship’s bulkhead.
Balmoral and Braemar will also follow on from Boudicca and Black Watch by having Fred. Olsen’s popular ‘Café Venus’ installed on board, serving high-quality coffee and luxury chocolates. The new Café will be created on Balmoral on Lounge Deck 7, by reconfiguring the Library area, to create a more open, sociable public space.
On Braemar, Café Venus will be installed on Lounge Deck 5 by reconfiguring the Library area, and the Card Room will be moved and integrated with the Arts and Crafts Centre on Atlantic Deck 3.
Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘We experience extremely high demand for balcony cabins across our fleet, and in particular on board the smaller-sized Black Watch, and our new Balcony Terrace cabins are an innovative response to this.’
He commented, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is pleased to be returning to Blohm+Voss for this important work. Balmoral and Braemar are both well-known to the Hamburg shipyard, as they both underwent mid-section extensions in 2007 and 2008 respectively.’
In November 2007, Balmoral was extended by a section of 30.27mtr. Braemar followed in May 2008, being extended amidships by a section of 31.20mtr.