Fred Olsen’s Back Watch set for return in 10 days

Fred Olsen’s Back Watch set for return in 10 days

Fire-affected ship Black Watch is expected to return to service in ten days time after one cruise was curtailed and another cancelled.

Operator Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has to fly almost 700 passengers home from Madeira this week after the engine room fire on the 44-year-old ship during a 13-night itinerary.

A nine-night Norwegian fjords sailing from Tilbury on July 8 was cancelled to allow repairs to be carried out to the vessel.

The company said: “Fred Olsen is pleased that many guests from both affected cruises have chosen to make new bookings, which we hope is a testament to the captain, officers and crew on board Black Watch and the professional way in which the situation has been handled.”

The line now expects Black Watch to return to service in time for a 26-night Artic cruise from Tilbury which is due to depart on July 17.

Black Watch remains in Funchal, Madeira undergoing repairs.

A team of expert technicians is assessing the full impact of the incident which occurred last Friday.

“It is intended that the ship will sail from Funchal within the next couple of days in order to be able to undertake the full repairs necessary. An exact time frame and the onward destination have yet to be confirmed,” the company said.

Passengers booked on the cancelled fjords itinerary have been offered a full refund, or the opportunity to select any alternative 2016 cruise, up to 32 nights at no additional cost, plus receive a future cruise voucher for 20% of their fare, valid until December 31.

“Fred Olsen appreciates the kindness and co-operation of all its Black Watch guests and their families, and thanks them for their patience and understanding in these very challenging circumstances,” the company said.


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