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Peter Deilmann Deutschland Cruise Ship

German Luxury Liner Has Feel of "Grand Hotel"

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Deutschland cruise ship

The German ocean liner the Deutschland

Photo Courtesy of Peter Deilmann Cruises
Like her name, Peter Deilmann Cruises' Deutschland is a true German ship, having been contracted to the H.D.W. shipyard. Prior to the Deutschland commission, this shipyard had not constructed a cruise ship since 1987. The liner was actually built by 130 subcontractors in sections at four shipyards, and was then finally floated at H.D.W. The ship was delivered to Peter Deilmann Shipping Company on May 11, 1998.

The mature German or Northern Europen passenger was targeted with this ship's design. It is decorated like a grand hotel of the 1920's, the crew is mainly German, and she flies a German flag. Although most passengers are European, the cruise ship is multi-lingual, and is an excellent choice for Americans who enjoy cruising with Europeans. The Deilmann maritime business did not start out with this luxury liner, however. Mr. Deilmann began his shipping career in the cargo business and running day trips for passengers along the Baltic coast of Germany about 35 years ago. He grew the company into Germany's largest private cruise fleet, with 10 ships carrying 45,000 passengers a year. Although most of the ships are designed for journeying the rivers of Europe, the Deutschland cruises the seven seas and stops at six continents.

The ship's overall appearance takes you back to a 1920's grand hotel and the "golden age" of cruising. Brass, marble, teak, and crystal are evident throughout. The ship is a true ocean liner, and only accommodates 513 guests. The exterior of the Deutschland is white with red trim, and looks somewhat ordinary. The interior is something else. When you step on board, the 1920's ambience makes you feel like you are visiting an old movie set. This vessel reintroduces the elaborate crystal chandelier, the imperial ballroom, loom chairs in a palm filled winter garden, fine antiques and original works of art. The "Grand Hotel" decor evokes the splendor of the Edwardian period and the Roaring Twenties through the use of brass, marble, tiffany ceilings and resplendent upholstery in the lounges. Beautifully appointed staterooms, an elegant Roman Spa, wide promenades and lots of teak complete the setting.

Partner Ship Design(PSD), a German company started in 1991, can be credited with the interior design and style of the ship. Let's start with the cabins. In fitting with the theme, you'll need a brass key to enter your cabin. Although you won't find many balconied-rooms on the Deutschland (there are only two), the cabins do have large windows with Venetian blinds. The decor includes burled walnut effect wood, double full length mirrors, and reproduction oil paintings. The art deco bathroom is full of brass and tile.

What would a grand hotel be without grand dining rooms? The Deutschland includes three--the Berlin, the Four Seasons, and the Lido. The Berlin is the main restaurant, featuring Continental cuisine. The Four Seasons is only open for dinner, and seats 70 passengers by reservation only (no extra cost). The Lido is a casual buffet with indoor and outdoor seating.

Life at sea on the Deutschland mirrors its classy image. A grand ocean voyager such as this features leisurely days at sea, forcing relaxation on the passengers. No gambling casino on this ship, but several lounges, bars and meeting places, all with their own style. The Old Fritz Pub, for example, might remind you of a Heidelberg beer hall. The Amphitheater (Kaisersaals) looks like a ball room of the roaring twenties, with classical paintings on the roof, crystal chandeliers, and paintings and candelabras on the walls. Movement on the ship can be either inside or outside, like on an old passenger ship. The designers' use of evenly-spaced decorative columns and a carpet pattern that breaks at every other column, gives the corridors an interesting restful effect.

The Deutschland does not have a standard, routine itinerary like most cruise ships. One of its first trips was around the world, starting in the Canary Islands in November 1998, and ending in Lisbon in April 1999. Its voyages vary with the seasons and the years. Since the ship is relatively small (only 513 passengers), it can visit smaller ports and islands many of the mega liners cannot.

If the cruise ship Deutschland name sounds familiar, the ship received a lot of indirect publicity in late July 2000 with the crash of the Concorde supersonic jet liner. All of the passengers on the ill-fated Concorde that crashed just outside Paris were on a Peter Deilmann charter on their way to New York. They had planned to embark on a cruise on the Deutschland down the east coast of the United States and through the Panama Canal before ending in Ecuador. It's sad that an airline tragedy could be so linked to this grand ship.

If you are looking for a cruise in the grand style of the "old days", the Deutschland may be a perfect fit for you!

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