Ocean Liner Society
Home Ship Show Sea Lines Group Cruises Monthly Talks About
     


Ship Visit to ALBATROS
Phoenix Reisen
Liverpool - 12th September 2014

Report & Photos ©2014 Nigel Briggs
Additional Photos ©2014 William Mayes




OLS Visit to ALBATROS - Rhoenix Reisen- ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS at Liverpool - Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy


   

2014 Visit Reports
Revisited ships will not be shown unless significantly revised since previous visit

Albatros (Phoenix)

Artania (Phoenix)

Astor (CMV)




2013 Visit Reports

Celebrity Infinity

Deutschland (Deilmann)

Discovery (CMV)

Ryndam (HAL)

Voyager (V-of-D)



 
OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS at Liverpool
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS - Karibik Lounge (Jupiter Deck)
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS - Karibik Lounge (Jupiter Deck)
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS - Möwe restaurant
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS - Möwe restaurant
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2008 William Mayes
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2008 William Mayes



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS at Liverpool
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS at Liverpool
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs
ALBATROS bicycles at Liverpool
Photo: ©2014 Nigel Briggs



OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Phoenix Reisen postcard
ALBATROS
Phoenix Reisen official postcard - Image links to larger copy



On a cool misty morning we gathered on the quayside at Liverpool Pier Head to visit the grand old lady laying peacefully at her moorings showing off her minimalist colours of a clean white hull with narrow jade green waist band finishing at her finely pointed bow.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Phoenix Reisen postcard
ALBATROS
Phoenix Reisen official postcard - Image links to larger copy



Having come in on a very low tide the access to Albatros was only possible via a very steep ramp down to the pontoon, a problem that other cruise ships must encounter. The German senior citizens disembarking for their excursions were as challenged coming up as were we going down. We met our guide, Klaus Gruschka, a very affable Cruise Director who despite having been afloat for some 23 years confessed to never having been ashore in Liverpool. He did acknowledge the problems with access and recalled that Albatros had once gone aground here.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Casablanca bar/disco (Promenade Deck)
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Entering the ship via the gangway, the first impression was of lower ceilings than normal, which seemed to be prevalent throughout apart from the lift lobbies. This was relieved somewhat by very impressive variations in carpet design and colour in all of the public areas complemented by neutral cream coloured walls and ceilings. Interior design is undertaken by a consultancy from Hamburg whose use of colour and design is to be commended. Unfortunately the wall-mounted art was less inspiring.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Casablanca bar/disco (Promenade Deck)
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



We adjourned for welcome refreshment to the Casablanca Bar, a dark, seductive area with black and chrome table and chairs, carpeted in black with an overlay design of coloured matchsticks. The apparent scent of freshly polished surfaces that we could detect was in fact that of cigarette smoke lingering in the public areas. Some thirty percent of German passengers still indulge in the pastime.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Harry's bar (Promenade Deck)
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Built in the Wartsila Yard at Helsinki, Albatros is 41 years old this year. She previously saw service from 1973 as Royal Viking Sea, with her sister ships at the time being Sky (later Black Watch) and Sun (now Boudicca). At a tonnage of 28,000 and the oldest ship in the Phoenix Reisen fleet her life expectancy is reckoned to be 15 to 20 years if there is continued investment in ongoing maintenance. The original engines have been replaced with Wartsila giving her a maximum speed of 20 knots and a normal speed of 17.5 knots. She apparently handles very well in heavy weather.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2008 William Mayes
ALBATROS
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Phoenix Reisen, whose headquarters are located at Bonn where the majority of their 180 employees are based, bought Albatros in 2003 and to date have invested some 100 million Euros in her. The company has a fleet of three ships, the others being Artania and Amadea. With a homeport at Bremerhaven the ship operates solely for the German-speaking market and has an astonishing 70% of repeat business. Her popularity was enhanced by a starring role in a German TV series. The Germans apparently have an aversion to fly cruises. On the six accommodation decks she can accommodate 830 passengers although there were 753 on board at the time and she is manned by a crew of 342 from 23 nationalities. The crew are engaged on 6 and 7 month contracts.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Kopernikus Bar (Jupiter Deck)
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Adjacent to Casablanca Bar on Deck 7 is Harry’s Bar managed by Angelo, a Bulgarian national with some 10 years of service. Deck 7 is also the Promenade Deck with more than ample room for walkers. Although it was not possible to visit cabins the corridors serving them on Deck 7 were of a warm décor with orange and maroon carpeting and yellow/pearl lighting set against light panelling. Below aft of Deck 6 the Salon-Deck, was the Lido-Terrace with its’ sea water pool, Lido Buffet and Bar.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Pacific Lounge (Pazifik - Jupiter Deck)
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Apollo Deck, Deck 8 is where fitness and body beautification can be pursued in the various facilities on offer including a hairdressing salon which has eight ‘chairs’. The table tennis is well used being a sport popular with the Germans.

Up to Deck 9, Jupiter Deck, with whirlpool, Kopernikus Bar, Pacifik Lounge and the wrap around Karibik Lounge. Overlooking the bows the Karibik with stylish chairs and one of six grand pianos aboard is ‘the’ place to be. Classical concerts take place in the Pacifik Lounge where there is also a large TV screen for public viewing of events.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Karibik Lounge (Jupiter Deck)
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



On Deck 10, previously know as the Sports Deck, can be found mini-golf, boules and shuffle board. The Sun Deck can be found aft. The open deck areas tend to be covered with turquoise carpeting. The stairways feature chrome rails with darker brown or purple coloured carpeting. The handrail heights have had to be increased due to a previous accident with a passenger falling over the top rail. On Deck 6 were to be found the restaurants Mowe and Pelikan along with the Atlantik Show Lounge.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Atlantik lounge (Salon Deck)
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Cabins on all passenger accommodation decks, Decks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 are outside cabins there being no inside cabins. There are balcony cabins on all but Decks 2 and 4. Regrettably due to the ship being fully booked we were unable to officially view any cabins but a quick glance through an open door revealed spacious accommodation in neutral whites and cream colours with curtains and carpet of chocolate brown.

The luxury cabins on Decks 7 and 8 are the Union Suites varying from 20 to 40 sq. metres with sofas and TV corners to the Royal Suites, the largest, at 50 sq. metres.
Deck 6 has a small fore deck being a Sun Deck with sports and shuffleboard to be found aft. 


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Salon Deck pool
Photo: ©2014 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Restaurant Mowe was furnished with chairs upholstered in deep violet coloured fabrics, beige table covers and a carpet design of a leafy, white outline on grey. Sumptuous curtaining featured large leaves in violet overlaying a grey and light brown pattern. Bottles of water decorated with comic faces hand drawn by the staff and rather oddly, individual cabin numbers had been placed on the tables. Complimentary table wines were also available. We were told that Germans like order and structure they prefer fixed itineraries and fixed seating in the restaurants. Dining times are later than we would normally expect. There are three formal nights on a two week cruise with the dress code being enforced at the restaurant entrance. A ‘Buffet Magnifque’ or what we would call a ‘Gala Evening’ was being promoted.

The Atlantik Show-Lounge stages two shows per evening. With deep maroon upholstered fixed seats, the rows of small round black tables with white lamp shades gave an impression of organisation. The carpet unusually did not complement the furniture, being an orange and scarlet starburst design.

Located centrally on Deck 5 both the Boutique and shop seemed well stocked. The low grey ceiling and stone carpet with a hint of pink lent the small area an air of sophistication. The adjacent Reception Lobby with tan leather sofas and maroon carpet incorporating white swirls was broken up with large leafy plant displays.

Several bikes, in Albatros’ jade colours, parked by the ship’s gangway appeared to be for use of the more energetic adventurous passengers.


OLS Visit to ALBATROS -  Photo: ©2014 William Mayes
ALBATROS - Salon Deck pool
Photo: ©2008 William Mayes - Image links to larger copy



Summary: ALBATROS is an old ship nicely maintained with slightly old-fashioned or perhaps ‘retro’ yet classy décor, plenty of communal deck space and friendly staff, left one with a very good impression of the ship and the company.





OLS Visit to ALBATROS - Rhoenix Reisen- ©2009 Ian Boyle
ALBATROS at Dover - Photo: ©2009 Ian Boyle - Image links to larger copy



OLS Visit to ALBATROS - Rhoenix Reisen- ©2009 Ian Boyle






Home
Ship Show Sea Lines Group Cruises Monthly Talks About