What is luxury ship?
Imagine you are a 25-year-old woman traveling with your brother-in-law on the fastest, most luxurious ocean liner of its day—and you are bored. It’s 1915. Having boarded the giant “greyhound” of a ship in New York, your destination is Liverpool, England. In an offhand way at lunch one day you remark: “I can’t help hoping that we get some sort of thrill going up the Channel.”
Now imagine you are Walther Schwieger, the ruthless 25-year-old captain of a German submarine, U-20, off the coast of England out of communication range with your superiors, and you have orders to attack any likely enemy ship in the waters off Liverpool. Your high command believes that the British are planning an invasion of Germany across the North Sea. You have to be careful with your resources since you carried a total of only six torpedoes.
Collision course? Of course. The result was the sinking of the mammoth British passenger cruiser Lusitania, a signal moment in World War I. Erik Larson describes this catastrophe involving the luxury liner and the U-boat in alternating chapters with assurance and verve. A reader can’t help but think of the Titanic, which had been sunk by an iceberg only three years earlier.
The Cunard Lines’ Lusitania, the only passenger ship in the world to have four smokestacks, traveled at a top speed of 26 knots (30 miles an hour). Despite the war in Europe, folks clamored to get on board – on this crossing from New York it carried nearly 2, 000 people, including 1, 265 passengers. A large number of those passengers were children and infants.
They were sailing “at their own risk”. On the very morning the Lusitania was to leave New York, Germany sent an unmistakable warning in an ad in shipping news section of New York newspapers. Vessels flying the flag “of Great Britain or her allies” were “liable to destruction.” The nearly 200 Americans on board nevertheless felt they were safe. The United States had not yet entered the war and the captain told them they would get a destroyer escort once they reached the danger zone near Liverpool. Besides, passenger ships typically were not subjected to bombardment.
Larson showed he was a master of the non-fiction thriller with The Devil in the White City, his 2003 best-seller about a serial killer and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. I, for one, knew little about that period or its people. That book was as riveting as any fiction thriller I ever read.
With Dead Wake, we know the outcome, yet Larson has no difficulty building suspense by fleshing out the leading characters such as the Lusitania’s captain, William Thomas Turner, and featured players like bored Dorothy Connors. He frames them in the larger picture of the war, of Britain’s ambitious First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, and the American president Woodrow Wilson, whose despondent mood after the death of his first wife was brightening as he wooed Edith Galt. (She eventually became the new first lady.)
You might also like
What is the most luxurious cruise ship? | Yahoo Answers
Cunard cruise lines does regular Atlantic crossings and two of its ships, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria will provide the type of luxury you are looking for:
Just stay away from Carnival and NCL and if you consider other lines like Celebrity or Princess, make sure that the cruise is oon one of their newer ships.