New lease of life for Black Watch

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One of my favourite cruise ships, Fred Olsen’s Black Watch, is about to be spruced up. The ship will go into dry-dock on December 2, when she returns from a trip to the Canary islands, and will be back at sea in time to sail on a five-day Christmas markets cruise leaving Southampton on December 14.
Soft furnishings will be replaced in the Neptune Lounge theatre and adjoining Pipers Bar, the splendid Observatory bar, and in the main Glentanar restaurant. A number of cabins will have their bathrooms re-fitted.
The biggest change will be the creation of a new casual restaurant from the space currently occupied by the Garden Café and the Braemar Lounge.
The Braemar Garden will be similar to the Secret Garden on sister ship Boudicca and will be a much-needed improvement. The existing Garden Café can get crowded at breakfast, and soon gets fully booked when it’s the venue for themed dinners, such as curry night.
But it will be a shame if the improvements shrink the Braemar Room too much. It’s a lovely relaxing L-shaped lounge, filled with comfortable armchairs and sofas – great for chilling out during the day, watching the sea from the big picture windows, or for meeting friends over a drink before and after dinner.
The new dining area will seat 120, and will include a screened-off area which can be used for private dining for up to 40.
The work on Black Watch, which was built in 1972 as the Royal Viking Star, “stretched” in 1981 with the addition of a new mid section, and re-fitted when bought by Fred Olsen in 1996, will be carried out at the Blohm and Voss yard in Hamburg, Germany.
Fred Olsen marketing director Nigel Lingard, said: “This is a major refurbishment and will improve and enhance the facilities on board. The new casual dining area will be fresher and more contemporary, and will offer a more spacious option for those choosing this dining option.”
Another improvement to be carried out during the dry-docking is one that Lingard must hope will never be needed: the ship’s remaining three open lifeboats are being replaced by two covered boats.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:37+00:00 8 October 2009|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. dorset black watch virgins 6 January 2010 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to our first cruise with FO and the Black Watch..leaving Southampton weather permitting on the 13th to Rio..i hope we will impressed with the ship and FO we have had other cruises and enjoyed vvmuch..

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