Black Watch in Olden, Norway on June 26, 2010. Photo: Dex
Acquired by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines in late 1996, this ship originally built for long distance cruising for the now defunct Royal Viking Line (it was built for one of the three original shipping partners who formed the line – Bergenske Dampskibsselskab), has a sharply raked bow and a sleek appearance that was stretched in 1981 with the addition of a mid-section.
The ship’s name is taken from the famous Scottish Black Watch regiment, although the ship itself is all white. There is a good amount of open deck and sunbathing space and a decent health-fitness area high atop the ship, as well as a wide wrap around teakwood promenade deck (with wind breaker at the aft part of the deck).
Black Watch is a comfortable (not luxurious) ship in which to cruise, with a moderate standard food and service from a friendly, mostly Filipino staff that provides decent (though not faultless) service. Cruises are well organized with interesting itineraries and complimentary shuttle buses in many ports of call. Onboard currency is British pound.
|Cruise Line:||Fred Olsen Cruise Lines|
|Entered Service:||June 1972 / Nov. 1996|
|Original Cost:||$22.5 million|
|Former names:||Star Odyssey, Westward, Royal Viking Star|
|Gross Tonnage||28,613 tons|
|Navigation Officers:||European / Filipino|
Extracted from the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2010 http://www.berlitzpublishing.com/
This is a family-owned and family-run company which was founded in Hvitstein, a town on Oslofjord, Norway in 1848. Today, a fifth-generation Olsen, Fred Jr. runs the company from its headquarters in Suffolk, England. The group also has interests in the hotels, aviation, shipbuilding, ferries and offshore industries. The company specializes in cruises for adults who are usually retired and of senior years – typically over 65.