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 lenghtened by at the Blohm + Voss
shipyard in Hamburg
, prior to entering service with her current operator.
The vessel was built by Meyer Werft
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.
On May 25 2006 – NCL Corporationannounced 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.
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
, before her inaugural cruise on February 13
—her base for Caribbean
cruising. The work included the insertion of a 30 meter (99 ft) midsection, built in conjunction with Schichau Seebeckwerft
, and floated into Hamburg at the end of October 2007.
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.