When Hapag-Lloyd’s new build, the Europa (3), was delivered to the company in 1981, the vessel very quickly was awarded the prestigious and coveted 5 Star status by Berlitz.
In 1998, the vessel was acquired by Star Cruises which initially changed the name of their new acquisition to Megastar Asia and shortly after that to Superstar Europe. Thereafter, in fairly quick succession, she became Superstar Aries, Holiday Dream and Bleu De France. Some stability in relation to the name now appears to have been achieved when Saga Cruises acquired the vessel in 2012 and she became the Saga Sapphire which is still her name. A succession of refits occurred after she was sold by Hapag-Lloyd. While she currently is Saga’s ‘flag ship’, that title will be acquired no doubt by Saga’s new build when that comes in service in 2019.
Two months ago, this still handsome vessel met another notable ship in the Irish Sea, at anchor in Douglas Bay, Isle of Man to be precise. The other vessel of note was the 1929 built Talitha. I called her a ship, however she is an historic 80m (262’ 5”) classic motor yacht built in 1929 by Krupp and reconditioned by Devonport. She can accommodate up to 12 charter guests in 6 cabins in glorious luxury and elegant style.
Talitha remains the epitome of the classic motor yacht as she sails on past her 87th anniversary. Meticulously rebuilt in her entirety in 1994, she offers ‘all the charm, polish and style of a classic London hotel” according to a recent press release.
Designed by the distinguished naval architects Cox & Stevens in 1927, she was launched in 1930 as My Reveler. During 60 years, she changed name and owner on regular basis, until in 1993, after considerable reconstruction at the DML Devonport shipyard in Plymouth, UK, she emerged under the present owners in her present incarnation as My Talitha G, now amended to Talitha.
Today, the Talitha motor yacht is regarded as one of the most successful charter yachts in the world with a packed 12-month schedule every year.