Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Harland & Wolff Sign Refurbishment Contract of Braemar with US Based Villa Vie Residences

2nd May 2024
The former Fred Olsen Cruise Lines 929 passenger ship, Braemar, is at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast shipyard, where refurbishment has begun. The ship’s departure from Belfast Dry Dock for its inaugural three-and-a-half-year world cruise has been rescheduled to accommodate necessary operational enhancements. The vessel, to be renamed Villa Vie Odyssey, will now depart from Belfast Harbour on May 30.
The former Fred Olsen Cruise Lines 929 passenger ship, Braemar, is at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast shipyard, where refurbishment has begun. The ship’s departure from Belfast Dry Dock for its inaugural three-and-a-half-year world cruise has been rescheduled to accommodate necessary operational enhancements. The vessel, to be renamed Villa Vie Odyssey, will now depart from Belfast Harbour on May 30. Credit: harlandwolffplc-linkedin

Harland & Wolff has signed a contract with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US-based cruise brand Villa Vie Residences to carry out at its historic Belfast Dry Dock a refurbishment of the 24,344 gross tonnage cruise ship Braemar, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Commenting on the announcement, John Wood, Group Chief Executive Officer of Harland & Wolff, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this contract with Villa Vie Residences and continue building on what has been a very busy start to the year for our Belfast yard. Our world-class facility is fast becoming recognised as a global cruise ship centre of excellence, delivering high-quality repair, dry docking, refit, and outfitting services. We look forward to welcoming Villa Vie Odyssey and her crew to our yard next month.”

Braemar was previously part of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines until the vessel was acquired in March.

Following the completion of a multi-million-dollar transformation by Harland & Wolff into a residential cruise ship to be renamed, Villa Vie Odyessy, it will feature villa residences available to buy from $99,999 or be used by guests based on rental segments.

Afloat tracked Braemar from Rosyth, Scotland, where it departed the North Sea port on 23 April and arrived at Belfast Harbour five days later. On completion of the works, Villa Vie Odyssey was originally to depart Southampton on its inaugural three-and-a-half-year world cruise on 15 May; however, this has been rescheduled to May 30 with a change of port to Belfast. The change of departure dates is to facilitate necessary operational enhancements of the Villa Vie Odyssey.

Those on board can either own a villa on the ship or travel on a pay-as-you-go basis, with guests taking the entire world voyage, which Villa Vie Residences markets as the ‘first perpetual, all-inclusive world cruise’, covering 425 destinations in 147 countries and 100+ islands. This will involve crossing all seven continents as it circumnavigates the globe every three and a half years which is 1,301 days.

The Braemar is docked in Belfast Dry-Dock which was previously occupied by another US-based company, Margaritaville at Sea Cruises of Palm Beach, Florida, whose second ship, the former Costa Atlantica, renamed Margarita at Sea Islander underwent a major refurbishment as previously reported, which is to launch the 2,380 passenger flagship to the US east coast and Gulf of Mexico. The cruise ship remains berthed adjacent to Belfast Dry-Dock and is to enter service next month.

In 2016 Braemer became the first scheduled cruise ship in 20 years to visit Rosslare Europort, which saw the almost 196 metre vessel, (lengthened in 2008: see video), also as the longest ship to call at the Co. Wexford port

Fred Olsen acquired the 1993 built Cunard Crown Dynasty, originally 19,089 gross tonnage and they had inserted a 31 metre mid-section to boost capacity (729 cabins increased to 988) and the inclusion of a lounge and swimming pools.

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Shipyards

Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating