The highly respected German wen site, Schiff und Kreuzfahrten (www. schiff-und-kreuzfahrten.de) is reporting the sale of the former Peter Deilmann flagship, MS Deutschland, to Crystal Cruises for a cost of fifty million euros.
Final payment is said to be due on January 6th. The report states that the ship will continue to stay in the German market, but will not fly the German flag.
Deutschland is an intimate, luxurious paragon of 20,000 tons, with a quartet of superb restaurants and sumptuous, Victorian era interiors designed to evoke memories of the great German liners from the turn of the 20th century. A voyage on her a few years ago revealed her to be a beautifully run, exquisite little jewel box of a sdhip. A kind of nautical equivalent to a Faberge egg, if you will.
Against that, the ship is quite small compared to the current, award winning Crystal duo. Her cabins are quite small, and there is little real scope to expand these without ripping out many of the classically beautiful interiors. There are no balconies, except for the owner’s suite.
But- a revitalisation plan for the ship had already been drawn up by the former owners. This included the addition of a number of Juliet balconies, and the addition of a new funnel. It is perfectly possible that Crystal could follow this programme through, especially if- as is being bruited- the ship is to remain pretty much in the German market.
While it does seem a strange fit, there is certainly a good deal of symmetry between the style and beauty for which Crystal is known, and the timeless elegance that the Deutschland embodies so perfectly.
Now this one truly is intriguing and, like most people, I can hardly wait for the formal announcement, due to come from Los Angeles on Monday.
Stay tuned for more.