Villa Vie Residences Prepares to Launch Service in May

Villa Vie Odyssey

After taking possession of the former Braemar from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines earlier this month, Villa Vie Residences is getting ready to launch service in May.

During a webinar on Tuesday, the company’s CEO Mike Petterson shared the latest updates on the project, as well as insights into the next steps for the brand.

Over 250 participants were online during the presentation, which was broadcast live from the vessel docked in Scotland.

“This last weekend was a big one for us. We signed the final delivery documents of the Villa Vie Odyssey,” Petterson said.

He added that all Fred. Olsen crew members have disembarked the ship, which is now owned by Villa Vie Residences.

Now the company is currently working on staffing it as several crew members are set to join the ship over the next few days.

Petterson also mentioned that Villa Vie has already hired the entire top management team for the Odyssey, with positions such as captain, chief engineer and staff captain filled.

“We tried to hire a significant amount of people from Fred. Olsen and a lot of them have said yes,” Petterson said.

The 1993-built ship is expected to remain docked in Rosyth for over a week, he added, while engines and technical equipment are “warmed up.”

“We have several surveys that we need to perform on the ship, and we need to get proper insurance and class documentation,” he added.

Once all the details are sorted out, the Odyssey is expected to sail to Northern Ireland for a drydock in Belfast.

The 924-guest ship is set to arrive at the facility in late March ahead of welcoming its first guests on May 15, 2024.

Sailing from Southampton, the residence ship is set to offer a three-year-long world cruise that is available in segments as well.

“I want to make sure we don’t do things too quickly, turning this lady on graciously and carefully, making sure we don’t have any major breakdowns as we launch,” Petterson said.

“We are making a lot of progress already,” he added, noting that Starlink internet is already being installed onboard the ship.

After launching the Odyssey, Villa Vie Residences expects to announce plans for a second ship in the summer, Petterson added.

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