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Monaco Yacht Show 2005 Live Coverage - SS Delphine She's a Lady

Originally launched by the Dodge family in 1921, SS Delphine is now grander and more sophisticated than ever

SS Delphine Today
SS Delphine may be a tribute to a bygone era, but her modern-day comforts and amenities make her an enviable choice for an ultimate vacation or corporate charter. According to her owners, SS Delphine is the only surviving steam-powered yacht from the 1920s, and the only steam yacht of her size available for charter. Bruynooghe says her unique, fully functioning original steam engines offer guests something they don’t get on newly built yachts with diesel engines: silence and no vibration. Her quadruple-expansion steam engines are still oiled by hand, and the crew includes three engineers whose sole duty is to keep the engines primed and running smoothly. Captain Morten once again sings “his lady’s” praises when he extends an invitation to guests to visit the engine room. “One of the highlights [of cruising on SS Delphine] is to see the workings,” he says proudly.
Wander through the expansive rooms or around the vast and elegant decks of SS Delphine , and you’ll marvel at the seamless blend of old-world style and modern-day comfort and convenience. To the greatest extent possible, every original detail of the 1921 ship has been painstakingly reproduced. “She is unique in her style, one of a kind,” says Bruynooghe. “If you see a lot of yachts in the bay, you can easily pick her out – unlike modern yachts that all look the same. If you love antiques and lots of varnish and brass, Delphine is for you. She is like an elegant floating castle.” However, although she looks like a beautifully preserved museum exhibit, Delphine is a fully operational yacht, equipped with all of the latest technology to comply with modern SOLAS regulations and to ensure the comfort and safety of her passengers.
SS Delphine accommodates up to 28 guests, though 26 is ideal. A crew of 24 is standard , but 30 can be accommodated – in separate quarters in the bow – to suit special requests such as musicians, hairdressers or masseuses. Luxuriously furnished guest suites all have en-suite baths, satellite TV, safes, minibars, music systems, and telephones for satellite/intercom use. Wi-Fi is available on the promenade deck, in the yacht’s smoking room, which is replete with oversized tufted leather furniture. On this deck, you can also relax on one of the silk-upholstered, elegantly carved, period sofas in Delphine’s lounge. The yacht’s two classic wooden tenders from the 1920s, still raised and lowered manually, can be found here as well. On the main deck, you’ll find the music room, complete with a baby grand piano. Once again, the gracious past meets the decadent present on the beautiful, spacious boat deck where white wicker chaises surround a large raised Jacuzzi/swimming pool that can be filled with either sea water or fresh water.
In the lavishly decorated dining room, located on the main deck, furniture and fabrics from SS Delphine’s 1921 launch have been authentically duplicated down to the original lighting that bespoke Dodge’s wealth. Tables can be arranged in a variety of ways to accommodate a buffet for 100 or a sit-down dinner for all 28 onboard guests. Beveled glass cabinets hold porcelain collections including one of Napoleonic figurines. There is another huge dining table on the promenade deck, where you’ll also find the yacht’s many water toys, including a small fleet of WaveRunners – a type of transportation Dodge certainly never envisioned. He would also likely be surprised at what has become of the area down below, which he originally designed as a storage room to hold spare engine parts. In perhaps the greatest effort by SS Delphine’s designers to accommodate today’s charter guests, the space has been transformed into a multi-room relaxation area complete with a large, fully equipped gym, Jacuzzi, sauna, massage area, hairdressing salon, and even a Turkish bath. Beautiful mosaic work wends its way throughout.

More Stories By Jamie Matusow

Jamie Matusow is a freelance writer based in New York. She was the long time managing editor of legendary Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine. Jamie traveled extensively throughout Mediterranean, Caribean, and the Bahamas where she filed many of her charter stories.

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Most Recent Comments
Pablo 09/21/05 07:10:53 PM EDT

Steve Bridgeford of Edmiston and Company has a battle underway with ARDELL YACHT AND SHIP BROKERS, Fraser and Ocean Independence Group on who will sell the Sahara first. This came from a waiter who pasted it on to Chef Joel Garault of Le Vistamar. And I heard Joel yell who cares bring me more mushrooms! I had the finest Nice Lady on my arm and she translated it all while laughing and sipping Dom. Is the Sahara a SuperYacht in the Harbour or in Germany?, I asked and she said who cares let's eat! with a wink and then stared off at the water.

International Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine 09/17/05 10:37:20 AM EDT

Monaco Yacht Show 2005 Live Coverage - SS Delphine She's a Lady. Most captains display a certain affection for their vessels, but Norwegian Captain Morton Hansen speaks of the 258ft SS Delphine as if she were a paragon, describing her as though she were an elegant, refined woman of whom he's enamoured, and one for whom he shows the utmost respect. 'She's a lady,' Hansen says emphatically. 'Treat her right, and she will give back.' And indeed she has. The opulently appointed steam yacht has responded well to a lengthy restoration process that has both brought her up to today's standards and revived the beauty and glamour of her past.