Clive Palmer is a man with a mission. The ebullient antipodean has made headlines with his decision to gift the world his Titanic II project. He intends her to be a faithful as possible recreation, encapsulating all the glamour, opulence and style of turn of the 20th century ocean liner travel. There’s just one small fly circling above the brilliantine.
It’s already been done…
And here is the proof. Her name is Deutschland. Internally, she’s an almost perfect tribute to such famous, pre-WW1 flyers as the Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse and the legendary Kronprinz Wilhelm. Small, highly styled and wonderfully anachronistic, Deutschland is possibly the most under rated passenger ship afloat today anywhere.
She was conceived by the late Peter Deilmann to be a tribute to that hallowed age of German ocean liners. But the ship herself is strictly first class, with just over 500 passengers carried in small but supremely comfortable cabins that echo the sumptuous, magnificent spread of public rooms on board.
Deutschland is wonderfully dramatic. Vast chandeliers hold sway above a sea of rich, thick red carpeting in the gold accented Kaisersaal ballroom. There are exquisite stained glass ceilings and deep leather sofas that look as if they were lifted intact from the Adlon or the Ritz. Potted palms are dotted around the public areas like random exclamation marks.
Gold cherubs and gilded balustrades predominate, while huge, cake rich paintings of ancient sailing ships and ocean liners loom above formal seating groups. Banks of floor to ceiling windows flood this wonderful little ship with light; this helps her to feel elegant, even coquettish. More Louis Quinze than stolid Prussian matriach.
The food and service is simply amazing. A 20.000 ton ship that boasts four separate dining venues- all included in the fare- is quite something. And where else would you expect to find boar and ostrich on the menu, if not here? The pleasures of the table are one of the main forms of entertainment aboard Deutschland.
The ship is a perfect, compact little jewel. Her outer decks are immaculate; lined with rows of teak steamer chairs, each one with its own, embroidered dark blue mattress. Lines of them are as perfectly presented as a parade of the Prussian Guard. She is without doubt one of the most immaculate ships that I have ever sailed on. or, for that matter, ever will.
It should go without saying that this is a ship with a genteel kind of patina; a wondrous, subtle vibe that puts the emphasis on enjoying the ship herself for what she is. If you can’t live without bingo, rock climbing walls or fur and feather floor shows, then Deutschland is definitely not for you.
But if you appreciate cool, classy jazz, wonderful food and service, and a level of charm, style and panache that simply cannot be fabricated (C.Palmer, I’m talking to you), then it may very well be that your ship has, indeed, come in. I wish this stunning, spirited little gem of a ship many more years of happy sailing.