Villa Vie Residences, a company that is offering live-at-sea cruises beginning in 2024, has confirmed that it has purchased the former Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship Braemar.
The ship – now rechristened as Villa Vie Odyssey – will be completely renovated to offer villa-style accommodations for the epic 43-month itinerary.
Braemar was originally built in 1993 and has sailed in the past for Norwegian Cruise Line, Cunard, and the defunct Crown Cruise Line. Fred. Olsen bought the ship in 2001 and she sailed for the cruise line until 2022 when she was retired from the fleet.
She’s a smaller ship, at just 24,344 gross tons (around 10% of the size of the biggest cruise ships in the world) with a maximum passenger capacity of 924, although this may change as she is renovated for her new life.
She was already given a big upgrade in 2009 when she was extended by almost 100 feet, and she was last refurbished in 2019.
“The ship’s name symbolizes the company ethos of creating a community to share unforgettable moments of discovery on an extended journey, connecting people, places, and self.
Villa Vie Odyssey will be customized for her immersive, 3.5-year global circumnavigations, ensuring all the comforts and amenities of home.”Mikael Petterson, Villa Vie Residences CEO
Sailing as the Villa Vie Odyssey, she will embark from Southampton in May 2024 on her epic journey, beginning with four months in Northern Europe. Eventually, the itinerary will end in West Palm Beach, USA, in December 2027, although over the course of 3.5 years, it wouldn’t be shocking if there were changes or delays.
The news of the acquisition will be of relief to anyone who has booked to sail with Villa Vie, following the collapse of a similar cruise with Life at Sea Cruises when they were unable to secure a ship.
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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.