With Coral Island, newly rechristened Coral Ocean, making a rare appearance at MYS 2016, it seemed a good idea to remember just how unique she was. And remains.
Bannenberg Snr drew a profile which could only have come from his board. The hull was painted cream, the pool had mosaics laid in homage to Matisse and Vikal made a custom tender when custom tenders were still a rarity. But it was the interior which really broke the mould. No precious finishes in the accepted sense; no marble; absolutely no gold. Instead there was parchment and Kuba cloth; beads and head dresses. Bronze was used in abundance, and much of the fitted furniture was made by a bloke from England who would beachcomb for old timber and then painstakingly assemble screens, bar fronts and bedside tables with immaculate precision, overlaid with rusty screws and flaking paintwork. Carpets were made in Belgium from undyed linen, breaking out in areas into furrows like a freshly ploughed field. Frames and pedestals were silver-leafed and then covered in large black spots like decorative members of the leopard family.
To complete the effect, Jon roamed the atelier workshops of Paris to find hunks of coloured glass which shone like jewels in an otherwise colour-free space. It was thrilling and remains largely unseen ( unless you buy the Bannenberg book – £ 100, a snip ). The far less palatable alternative is to have to talk your way past Michael Bremen on the Lurssen stand. Your choice.
Incidentally, and continuing the tribal and ethnic conversation, Natori ( our 42m Baglietto delivered in 2009 ) is also at the show. She has unmistakably South African vibes in her Skylounge and one Guest Cabin. Go take a look at here too.