The Fred Olsen ships really create a sense of belonging, a genuine feeling of warmth. Today three ships are available for the clients of the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. They are the Black Prince, Black Watch and Braemar.
The present Black Prince cruise ship was built for Fred Olsen in 1966, at the Lubecker Fender Werft shipyard in Germany and it is the second passenger ship in the company's history of that name. The Black Prince was originally designed for a dual purpose role - in the winter months it served as a joint passenger and cargo vessel to the Canary Islands and in summer it was used as a passenger and vehicle ferry on the North Sea route between England and Norway. The vessel was converted to a total passenger service in 1986, and a part of the existing cargo hold was useful for the storage of the newly designed Marina Park - a unique water sports centre that could be taken out of the stern of the ship and floated on the ocean's surface and used as a base for water sports. Additional space was created inside the stern and transformed into a superb indoor fitness centre with a heated pool, a large area for table tennis, a badminton court and an area suitable for children's entertainment in the peak of the family season in summer.
The Black Watch came into service in November, 1996 - it is the third Black Watch in the company's history. The first appeared in 1938, at the same time as the first Black Prince, and both Fred Olsen ships were sadly lost during the Second World War. However, the figurehead from the Black Watch, which depicts an officer of The Black Watch regiment, was salvaged and after restoration found its place in the garden of one of the Olsen estates in Scotland. The second Black Watch was built in 1966, (along with the second Black Prince) and this ship was sold to Nor-Cargo in Bergen, 1986. The third and the current Black Watch has already gone through more than one identity. Originally built in 1972 at the Wartsila shipyard in Finland and named the Royal Viking Star, it joined the sister ships Royal Viking Sea and Royal Viking Sky, which were acknowledged to be one of the finest passenger fleets afloat at the time. With their sleek lines and an elegant overall design, the Fred Olsen ships brought a feeling of traditional sophistication to cruising, which is unluckily lost in some of the bigger 'floating hotels' that form today's modern cruise fleets. This elegance and sophistication has not been lost and her Black Watch's future with Fred Olsen ensures the continuation of this elegant age of cruising.
Elegant, but not stuffy" best describes the atmosphere on board the Braemar that came into service in 2001. The Fred Olsen cruises took the former Crown Dynasty and refitted it with expansive windows, large open decks and a spectacular five-deck atrium to create a sense of space, noticeably absent from so many of today's cruising giants. The Braemar's stylish mood is enhanced by polished woods and gleaming brass, set off by subtle lighting and rich fabrics in mellow hues. At 19,089 tons and with 376 well-appointed cabins and suites, the Braemar upholds the Fred Olsen tradition of small-ship intimacy without compromising on the personal space.
The motto of Edward, Prince of Wales, was "Ich Diene" - I Serve. Those passengers, who have had the opportunity to sample the friendly service onboard the Fred Olsen ships will agree that it is still true today.