Historic shipyard behind Titanic will refurbish the next world cruise ship

Residential world cruise startup Villa Vie Residences has progressed to another key milestone in the planned launch of its three-year round-the-world voyage.

The startup recently acquired the 924-passenger MS Braemar from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. Renamed Villa Vie Odyssey, Villa Vie has secured a dry dock slot for a multimillion-dollar refurbishment.

The ship will be refurbished at the historic Belfast shipyard

Historic shipyard refurbishing a black and white photo of a large ship.

The Harland & Wolff shipyard has over a century of history and famously built the Titanic eighty years earlier.

It undergoes a 10-week refurbishment program. The company announced deals with various contractors for transforming and managing shipboard functions. The ship was last refurbished in 2019.

StatsVilla OdysseyTitanic
Entered Service 19921912
Length 642 feet882 feet
Gross tonnage 24,344 GRT46,328 GRT
Passengers9242,453
Cabins485883
SOURCE: Wikipedia

“We are beyond excited to take possession of Odyssey and head to the Belfast Yard with such amazing history,” said Villa Vie CEO, Mikael Petterson.”We are hiring only the best operational partners in the industry to execute on our aggressive timeline.”

What cruisers can expect?

A WORLD CRUISE ship in the middle of the ocean with mountains in the background.

Once it is completed, Villa Vie Odyssey will offer an “intimate, new cruise lifestyle, able to reach parts of the world that larger ships cannot access,” it said.

It will have eight decks, a wrap-around promenade, three restaurants, a pool, fitness center, a spa, and a library. The ship will also house a large business center to cater to digital nomads. Residents can choose stateroom options: Inside Villa, an Oceanview Villa, or a Balcony Villa.

Scheduled to depart in May 2024, the dry dock transformation is critical for the company. It is also a major milestone for the modern residential cruise industry as a whole, which has taken a hit due to rival startups’ struggles. The high-profile collapse of Life at Sea Cruises, which was unable to procure a ship, had somewhat dented confidence in the feasibility of the residential cruise industry.

Villa Vie Residences will spend 1,300 days at sea, visiting over 400 destinations. It offers both a villa ownership model or a ‘pay as you go’ option to sail one or more segments, with each varying in length from 35 to 120 days.

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