Cruise ShipsFred Olsen Cruise LinesPast and PresentRoyal Viking Line

MV Black Watch – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7108930

MV Odin

ex Black Watch, Star Odyssey, Westward, Royal Viking Star

© Ray Thorsteinson/Marc Piche

Royal Viking Star – © Ray Thorsteinson/Marc Piché

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1972 by Oy Wartsila Ab, Helsinki, Finland (Yard No 395) as a Passenger (Cruise) Ship for Royal Viking Line, Oslo, Norway 

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $22.5 million
  • Length on deck: 177.70m (overall)(1971), 205.57m (1981), 169.73m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 25.19m (extreme)(1971), 25.19m (1981)
  • Draught: 7.30m (maximum)(1971), 7.547m (1981)
  • Tonnage: 21,847 gross (1971), 28,221 (1981), 28,613 (ITC 69)/11,854 net (ITC 69)/3,595 deadweight (1971), 5,656 (1981)
  • Engines: Four 9-cylinder Sulzer-Wartsila diesels
  • Propulsion/Propellers: (13,400kW)/2
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 539 (1971), 759 (1981)
  • Passenger decks: 8
  • Crew: 310
  • Navigation Officers: European
  • Call Sign: LILY, C6CN2,  C6RS5, T8A3855
  • MMIS Number:  511100668
  • IMO Number: 7108930
  • Official Number: 8000293
  • Registry: Bergen/Norway 🇳🇴, Nassau/The Bahamas 🇧🇸, Bergen/Norway 🇳🇴, Nassau/The Bahamas 🇧🇸, Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹, Nassau/The Bahamas 🇧🇸, Palau 🇵🇼
  • Sister Ships: Royal Viking Sky (396), Royal Viking Sea (397)

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


July 1st 1970: Keel laid.

May 5th 1971: Launched.

June 26th 1972: Delivered to Royal Viking Line, Oslo as ROYAL VIKING STAR and installed in cruise service. Manager Fred. Olsen Marine Services AS

Royal Viking Star – © Marc Piché

August 30th – November 22nd 1981: As an alternative to new a new build, lengthened at Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven.

1988: Sold to Kloster Cruise, Nassau, Bahamas.

April 1991: Renamed WESTWARD.

April 1994: She was again sold to Royal Cruise Lines, Nassau, Bahamas , renamed STAR ODYSSEY and went into service cruising the Mediterranean.

© Mike Jackson

Star Odyssey – © Mike Jackson

October 1996: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Nassau, Bahamas, bought her for $55,000,000 and renamed her BLACK WATCH

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines  Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Black Watch – © Fred Olsen Cruise Lines (all)

November 15th 1996: Made her first cruise under this banner.

March 17th 1997: Re-registered to Hvitsten in Norway

2001: Re-registered again, this time to Nassau in the Bahamas. She continued to cruise Europe, Mediterranean and Baltic, with port of call Dover.

December 15th 2004: The vessel went to the Blohm and Voss shipyard following her 2005 world cruise in April. Her engines, auxiliary engines, gearboxes, and propellers were replaced with more fuel-efficient gear that was installed on new rubber mountings to reduce vibration and noise. More balconies were fitted on the Bridge Deck cabins and a general refurbishing of all public areas was undertaken. It was intended for this refit to expand the life expectancy.

April 20th 2005: Arrived at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg, Germany.

Black Watch – © Aleksi Lindström

June 11th 2005: Re-engined with a total of four new engines, four exhaust boilers and two gearboxes. New control systems and propeller blades designed to reduce noise and vibration were also fitted along with two auxiliary engines. Additionally, 14 suites with balconies, were being created while existing cabins were upgraded some with new balconies.

June 23rd 2005: Expected to return to service with a short cruise to Guernsey and Amsterdam.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Nigel Thornton

Black Watch – © Ray Goodfellow (left) and © Nigel Thornton (right)


© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton   © Nigel Thornton

Black Watch – © Nigel Thornton (all)

2006: Registered owner; Partrederiet Fred. Olsen Shipping ANS II. Registered manager; Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Black Watch – © Robert Fournier

December 17th 2007: Arrived at Dover with apparent stabilizer problems. Divers attended. Sailed for Portland later in the day.

© Jens Boldt

Black Watch – © Jens Boldt (Hamburg 11/12/2009)

2012: Still in service.

© Micke Asklander  © Micke Asklander

© Micke Asklander

Black Watch – ©  Micke Asklander (all)

December 11th 2015: Received new livery.

“Following a recent refurbishment at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca has been given a new colour scheme and livery. Boudicca is the first ship in the fleet to be given the new colours. The previously white hull is now a dark grey, topped with a red line above.

Nathan Philpot, Sales & Marketing Director, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“The painting of the hulls is a positive statement and represents the on-going changes to position Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet within the premium market. A grey hull harks back to Fred. Olsen’s heritage, to when the first Black Watch and Black Prince were launched in the 1930s; these were two of the most luxurious ships afloat at the time. The use of the ‘Cartier’ red line is a visual reminder to all our guests and crew of what we refer to internally as our ‘Red Carpet’ service.”

Balmoral has also began her transformation, with Black Watch and Braemar being painted in due course.”

Source: Cruise Critic

© John Wilson  © John Wilson

Black Watch – © John Wilson


Black Watch – © Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)

© Nigel Scutt (Dover Marina)

Black Watch – Arriving at Dover 13/05/16 © Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)

November 20th 2016: Extended refit in Hamburg updating cabins and create new restaurants and bars.

© Erwin Willemse  © Erwin Willemse

Black Watch – © Erwin Willemse

April 13th 2020: Arrived in Firth of Forth for extended lay-up (Coronavirus) later moving to the port of Rosyth

August 21st 2020: Fred Olsen announced the ship would be retired, but disposal is, as yet, unknown.

September 25th 2020: 

“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has found a buyer for the classic Black Watch and Boudicca ships as the company modernizes its fleet with the addition of the former Rotterdam and Amsterdam from Holland America Line.

The Black Watch and Boudicca will leave the Fred. Olsen fleet with immediate effect, and will not be scrapped, but instead serve as hotel ships.

The ships are believed to be heading to Miray International, according to sources speaking to Cruise Industry News on the condition of anonymity.

The Turkey-based company specializes in ship management and also Providing accommodation vessels for large-scale projects. Miray did not return a request for more information. “.

Source: Cruise Industry News

© Patrick Hill

Black Watch/Braemar/Blamoral – © Patrick Hill (Leith, 02/10/2020)

October 21st 2020: Left Rosyth bound for Tuzla.

October 22nd 2020: Passed Dover

October 26th 2020: Left Gibraltar.

© Brian Donovan © Brian Donovan © Brian Donovan © Brian Donovan 

Black Watch – © Brian Donovan (Leith, 21/10/2020)

November 3rd 2020: Arrived Tuzla Anchorage.

Black Watch & Boudicca – © Google Earth (Image date 29/04/2021)

August 1st 2021: Remains in Tuzla

February 12th 2022: Currently moored in Yalova (Turkey).

© Selim San

Black Watch – © Selim San (Yalova, 12/02/2022)

April 16th 2022: Noted as being renamed ODIN. Left Yalova for Yalova Anchorage where she showed destination as Suez.

June 3rd 2022: Noted as having arrived at Bhavnagar Anchorage (Near Alang, India) however she is currently the subject of a dispute:

BLACK WATCH and BOUDICCA were sold to a Turkish buyer. According to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines who stipulates that after its last use, the ship may only be scrapped at a certified shipyard in Turkey in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention (Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships). After being resold and renamed ODIN, the ship is now anchored off India, not far from the beaches of the notorious demolition sites in Alang. The suspicion is that the ODIN ex BLACK WATCH (IMO 7108930) to be beached there soon. That would probably be a breach of contract. According to Olsen Cruise Lines, they have therefore taken legal action to prevent their former liner from being scrapped in India.”

““While we do not have a full picture of what has happened to the vessel since the sale, we understand that the vessel has since changed hands. Unfortunately, we have not received a full picture from the Turkish buyers.”

June 10th 2020:

Fred Olsen arrests cruise ship ahead of beaching at Alang.

Operator secures last-minute stay of execution for its former vessel and seeks its return to Turkey.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has arrested a former cruise ship it sold for eventual recycling at an approved facility in Turkey but that instead ended up off the Indian shipbreaking centre of Alang.

The UK-based, Norwegian-controlled cruise operator has secured an arrest warrant from the High Court of Gujarat in Ahmedabad against the 28,600-gt Odin (ex-Black Watch, built 1972) as part of its legal battle to prevent it being scrapped in India.

The company wants the ship returned to Turkey for recycling.”.


June 18th 2022: Arrived at Alang.

🆕June 18th 2022: 

Despite the best efforts of Fred Olsen, on Saturday a judge in India lifted the arrest warrant the vessel was under since the start of June 2022. As soon as the arrest warrant was lifted, the new owners beached the ship at the Alang-based shipbreaking yard, GGSBY Industries.


Black Watch – 🆕 Ship Breaking (Facebook)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Micke Asklander, Jens Boldt, Brian Donovan, Robert Fournier, Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping), Aleksi Lindström, Mike Jackson, Marc Piché, Selim San, Ray Thorsteinson, Erwin Willemse, John Wilson and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks go to Fred Olsen Cruises Lines.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button