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Balmoral in Ajaccio, September 2008
Name: 1988–1996: Crown Odyssey
1996–2000: Norwegian Crown
2000–2003: Crown Odyssey
2003–2007: Norwegian Crown
2007 onwards: Balmoral[1]
Owner: 1988–1992: Royal Cruise Line[1]
1992–2004: Norwegian Cruise Line
2004–2006: Crown Odyssey Ltd[2]
2007 onwards: Balmoral Cruise Ltd[1]
Operator: 1988–1996: Royal Cruise Line
1996–2000: Norwegian Cruise Line
2000–2003: Orient Lines
2003–2007: Norwegian Cruise Line
2007 onwards: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines[1]
Port of registry: 1988–1990: Pireus,  Greece
1990 onwards: Nassau,  Bahamas[1]
Builder: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, West Germany[1]
Cost: $178 million[3]
Yard number: 616[1]
Launched: 1987-11-01[1]
Christened: 1988-05-14[1]
Acquired: June 1988[1]
In service: 1988-06-07[1]
Identification: IMO number 8506294[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics (as built, 1988)[1]
Type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 34,242 GRT
Displacement: 5,186 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
Length: 187.71 m (615 ft 10 in)
Beam: 28.21 m (92 ft 7 in)
Draught: 6.80 m (22 ft 4 in)
Installed power: MaK 8M601/6M35 diesels
combined 21,300 kW
Propulsion: 2 propellers[3]
Speed: 22.5 knots (41.67 km/h; 25.89 mph)
Capacity: 1,230 passengers (maximum)
General characteristics (as rebuilt, 2007)[3]
Tonnage: 43,537 GT (gross tonnage)[4]
Length: 217.91 m (714 ft 11 in)[1]
Draught: 7.25 m (23 ft 9 in)[1]
Decks: 10 (passenger accessible)
Capacity: 1,778 passengers
Crew: 471
Notes: Otherwise the same as built

Balmoral is a cruise ship owned and operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. She was built in 1988 by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, West Germany as Crown Odyssey for Royal Cruise Line. She has also sailed for the Norwegian Cruise Line as Norwegian Crown and Orient Lines as Crown Odyssey. In 2007–2008 she was lengthened by 30 m (98 ft) at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, prior to entering service with her current operator.[1]



The vessel was built by Meyer Werft of Papenburg, Germany in 1988, for service with Royal Cruise Line as the Crown Odyssey. In 1989, Royal Cruise Line was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line, which continued operation of the company, along with the Crown Odyssey until 1996. A reorganization of all of the fleets owned by Norwegian Cruise Line saw Crown Odyssey enter service with NCL's main fleet, and it was renamed Norwegian Crown

Following the purchase of Orient Lines by NCL in April, 2000, Norwegian Crown was transferred, regaining her original name, Crown Odyssey, in the process.

In September, 2003, Crown Odyssey was refurbished and returned to the NCL fleet, again with the name Norwegian Crown.

Norwegian Crown at Hamilton, Bermuda

On May 25, 2006 – NCL Corporation announced that its parent company, Star Cruises, had agreed to sell Norwegian Crown to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines effective August 2006. Star Cruises concurrently chartered the vessel back from Fred. Olsen and NCL continued her deployment through to November 2007. “Although a beautiful and well-maintained vessel, Norwegian Crown’s smaller size is less suitable for Star Cruises’ ambitions in Asia,” said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. “Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines specializes in operating smaller and mid-sized upscale vessels and this ship should fit perfectly in their fleet.” Her last NCL cruise was on October 28, 2007.

During a January 21, 2009 cruise the ship sailed into rough weather in the Bay of Biscay smashing through 50 ft waves & 60 mph winds. Two of the passengers were sent to a hospital in La Coruna, Spain for serious injuries.[5]

Future plans

The Balmoral has been chartered by Miles Morgan Travel to follow the original route of the Titanic, intending to stop over the point on the sea bed where she rests on 15 April 2012.[6]


Fred. Olsen took delivery of the ship on November 7, 2007, renaming her after the Balmoral estate. The company initiated a major refit at the Blohm + Voss repair shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, before her inaugural cruise on February 13, 2008 to Florida—her base for Caribbean cruising. The work included the insertion of a 30 meter (99 ft) midsection, built in conjunction with Schichau Seebeckwerft in Bremerhaven, and floated into Hamburg at the end of October 2007.[7][8]

The reconstruction added a further 186 passenger and 53 crew cabins, making the ship currently the company's largest. It also introduced 60 new balconies, along with new and modified public areas, all designed to appeal particularly to the British cruise market.[7][9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Asklander, Micke. "M/S Crown Odyssey (1988)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  2. ^ "Vessel Info: Balmoral: Previous Owners". DNV Exchange. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  3. ^ a b c Ward, Douglas (2008). Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Singapore: Berlitz. pp. 216–217. ISBN 978-981-268-240-6.  
  4. ^ "Vessel Info: Balmoral: Dimensions". DNV Exchange. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Cruise to mark Titanic centenary". BBC News. 2009-04-15.  
  7. ^ a b "Fred. Olsen's Balmoral Undergoes Major Refit". Travel Pulse. Modern Agent. 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2008-05-10.  
  8. ^ "Fred. Olsen's Balmoral". News. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2008-05-10.  
  9. ^ "Balmoral". Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-10.  
  10. ^ Molyneaux, David G (2008-03-23). "Old World style reborn aboard the Balmoral". Cruise Ship Review. The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-10. "A British line has come to Miami to ply the Caribbean with traditional charms. Don't forget to pack the tuxedo."  

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