The cruise ship Black Watch is owned and operated by Fred Olsen cruise lines. Built in 1972, the ship was known as Royal Viking Star, Westward and Star Odyssey before it was purchased by Fred Olsen in 1996.
The Black Watch cruised around the Canary Islands before entering dry dock at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, in early December 2009 for an extensive refurbishment. A casual dining area was created as a part of the refurbishment programme. This area was designed by the design firm Space.
The ship resumed operations in December 2009 with a five-day mini cruise to European Christmas markets, leaving from Southampton, UK.
The refurbishment created a casual dining area on the ship’s lounge on deck 6 with a seating capacity of over 120 persons. The Braemar Garden, which was renovated in late 1999, replaced the 80-seat Garden Cafe. The dining area has a separate 40-seat section for private dinners, a new bar, buffet and soft furnishings. Several bathrooms were also refitted. Covered boats were supplied by Fassmer Davit International to replace the Black Watch’s remaining three open lifeboats.
The Black Watch is an eight-deck ship measuring 205.5m in length and 25.5m in width. The ship has a gross tonnage of 28,613t and a crew capacity of up to 330. It can cruise at a maximum speed of 20kt.
The ship can accommodate up to 868 passengers in 423 cabins. The top-most deck accommodates the suites including Premier, Marquee, Superior and Balcony, which range between 210ft² and 550ft². The cruise vessel also provides space for 160ft² balcony cabins, 150ft² single balcony cabins and superior single balcony cabins.
The ship also features inside and outside cabins. Extending between 140ft² and 160ft², these cabins are available on the Marina and Atlantic decks. The Atlantic deck, together with the main deck, also houses 150ft² L-single outside cabins and 140ft² N-single inside cabins.
All cabins are classified on a grade basis. Superior outside cabins, graded as A, B and C and ranging between 160ft² to 200ft², are found on the lido and main decks. The main and lido decks are also occupied by 260ft² DS deluxe suites and 240ft² JS junior suites.
Except the inside cabins, all cabins are fitted with either picture or porthole windows and are furnished with a sofa, chairs and two single beds. Amenities include a TV, hair dryer and refrigerator. Separate sitting rooms, veranda and DVD/CD players are available in the premier and marquee suites.
On-board facilities include a medical centre, internet access and a reception on the main deck. For entertainment, the ship offers four lounges, a marina theatre, bar and casino. The lounge deck accommodates the Braemar and Neptune lounge, while the lido lounge and the observatory are located on the lido and the marquee deck, respectively. The ship has several dining options: the Glentanar Restaurant, Orchid room, The Garden Cafe and a marquee pool bar. Relaxation facilities include a spa, a card room, a library, fitness centre, golf nets, sauna and pool area. A new dining service called The Evening Inn was launched in January 2011.