Britain-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines rechristened this ship Black Watch when it was acquired it in 1996 from the venerable Royal Viking Line. Long, leisurely voyages, ideally suited to this 804-passenger ship, recall the days of the great ocean liners — none more so than the annual world cruise. Keeping with tradition, spacious public rooms on this classically elegant vessel look out onto teak decks with generous promenades. The Glentanar Restaurant, Orchid Room, and Garden Café serve cuisine to suit the British palate, and it never disappoints.
What We Love
Classic Ambiance: "Elegant, but not stuffy," best describes the clubby onboard atmosphere. This is a ship that’s popular with Brits who like to explore the world and take their time doing it. The well-appointed cabins and suites continue the tradition of small-ship intimacy without compromising on personal space — especially the new Terrace Balcony cabins.
Movie Time: Unusual on more modern ships — where giant poolside screens are more common — the Marina Theatre on Black Watch screens recent releases the old-fashioned way.
Best Known For
Low-Key Social Vibe: Rendezvous spots the Morning Light Pub and the Braemar Lounge are popular at night, and by day passengers can mingle while playing tennis on the Sun Deck or enjoying traditional British afternoon tea.
Well-Stocked Library: A true haven of peace, the ship's much-loved library has a comprehensive inventory of fiction, historical, geographical, and autobiographical books.
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Who It's Best For
Solo Cruisers: The wide variety of single cabins include one Balcony Suite on the Marquee Deck and three on the Bridge Deck; one Outside cabin on the Main Deck, six on the Atlantic Deck, and two on the Marina Deck; six Superior Inside cabins on the Main Deck; and 11 Inside cabins on the Atlantic Deck.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It Was Built in the 1970s: This is a vintage ship that has been well maintained, but its onboard facilities are considerably more modest than those found on newer ships.
Gary Buchanan is a UK-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written multiple books about cruising.
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Black Watch at a Glance
- Line: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- Number of Passengers: 804
- Ship Size: Medium
- Launch Date: 1972
- Refurbish Date: 2009