Villa Vie’s Petterson Details Odyssey Refit and Challenges

Odyssey in drydock

The Odyssey is almost ready to enter service for Villa Vie Residences, CEO and Founder Mike Petterson revealed in a video update.

While a rudder stock issue continues to hold up the vessel’s departure from the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Northern Ireland, all critical work onboard has already been completed, he added.

Set to offer a unique new concept that allows guests to live onboard, Villa Vie acquired the 977-guest vessel in March.

“It’s been a long journey. We took possession of this vessel just under four months ago. At that time, we had no knowledge about anything about the vessel,” Petterson said.

Petterson said the ship’s maintenance records had been deleted, giving the company a clean slate on all equipment onboard.

“We decided to certify the vessel as a cargo ship to bring it to Belfast. It was quite challenging because the ship was totally cold. It had been laid up for four years,” he added.

Originally built in the early 1990s, the Odyssey had been out of service since entering a pandemic-related operational pause in early 2020.

Initially set to resume service for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the vessel ended up being withdrawn from the company’s fleet and put up for sale in late 2022.

“It took a lot more work than we expected to warm up the engines and the equipment to get her up to the point,” Petterson said.

The exterior areas of the ship were worn down after being exposed to the elements for so long, he added.

Thanks to the use of humidifiers, the interiors and public areaswere mostly in good condition, Petterson noted.

While preparing the vessel to resume service, however, Villa Vie ran into several unexpected issues, including problems with rudder stocks. First revealed in early June, the issue has pushed back the launch date.

On the other hand, the delay gave the company an opportunity to further enhance common areas, Petterson noted.

While all vital work has been completed at the Harland & Wolff shipyard, the company will continue to perform enhancements both from a technical and hotel perspective.

“We have other items that we are currently working on from a technical standpoint, but it’s not part of the critical path,” he said.

“We are going to keep working, keep making the vessel better, and making improvements to make this the best home that everyone wants,” Petterson continued.

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