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To set foot on Black Watch again is like coming home. The happy marriage of mainly Philippino crew and Norwegian officers make Black Watch a happy ship where everyone, crew and passengers alike, treats each other with respect. Black Watch is a classic liner and attracts her own loyal following of mature, well-travelled, mostly British guests. So look elsewhere for full-blown Las Vegas revues and ice skating rinks.

Shore Excursion Desk and Kiosk on Main Deck

Amidships elevators on Lounge Deck

Wide cabin corridor on Lido Deck

Nice elevator doors

Shop
Amidships stairwell
 

 When Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines took delivery of Black Watch in 1996, the rather underused Venus Lounge up on Marquee Deck was transformed into a most successful combination of card room, library, reading room and Internet Center. Home to some of the most comfortable overstuffed chairs on the high seas and offering unparalleled sea views through floor-to-ceiling windows, the Explorer Library is very popular, just like the Dalreoch Card Room on the opposite side. In true Fred. Olsen fashion, many areas sport Scottish names as a homage to the country that played such an important role in the Olsen's family history. 

Next door, the nautical ambiance of The Observatory attracts many guests for pre- or after dinner drinks. The views over land and sea are downright sensational here and with a hint of harp or piano music, the mood is just right. I remember sitting in The Observatory after we sailed from the UK Channel Island of Guernsey back in 2000. The sun set over the French mainland, there was camaraderie with fellow passengers, the long drinks were tall and cool - it was an unforgettable evening!

Explorer's Library

Explorer's Library
The Observatory
The Observatory
The Observatory

Dalreoch Card Room

Explorer's Library
Explorer's Library with Internet Centre in the background
The Observatory
The Observatory

 

All photos and text: 2003-2004 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on August 1st, 2004. All rights reserved.