July 11, 2016
(12:30 p.m. BST) -- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fire-damaged ship Black Watch is currently in El Ferrol, Spain, "collecting supplies and undergoing further assessment" before heading to Tilbury later this week for further repairs.
The line was forced to cut short a 13-night cruise and fly almost 700 passengers home from Madeira on Monday after fire broke out in the engine room of the 44-year-old ship.
Fred. also cancelled a nine-night Norwegian fjords sailing from Tilbury last Friday due to the ongoing repairs.
Fred. issued the following statement: "Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ can confirm that Black Watch is currently alongside in El Ferrol, Spain, having arrived at ca. 2.30pm on Saturday 9th July 2016. The ship is collecting supplies and undergoing further assessment. It is intended that Black Watch will then sail north to London Tilbury later this week for further repairs. An exact time frame for this has yet to be confirmed.
"Fred. Olsen fully expects Black Watch to set sail on her scheduled 26-night W1610 Arctic cruise from London Tilbury as planned, on Sunday 17th July 2016"
The statement added: "Fred. Olsen is pleased that many Black Watch guests continue 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. 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."
Passengers booked on Friday's cruise have been offered a full refund, or can select any alternative 2016 cruise, up to 32 nights at no extra cost, plus receive a future cruise voucher for 20% of their fare, valid until December 31.
--By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor