The Story Of a Chip
luxury ocean-going yacht, Savarona, was designed by
William Francis Gibbs, the leading American naval
architect of his day, and built in 1931 for Mrs. Emily
Roebling Cadwalader at a cost of $4 million.
Mrs. Cadwallader was the granddaughter of John Augustus
Roebling, who was the architect of the Brooklyn Bridge,
one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century.
Given this heritage, it is not surprising that Emily
Cadwallader should have commissioned the largest and
fastest yacht of her day, which she named after a species
of African swan.
For seven years, the
Savarona plied the waters of the Atlantic and the
Mediterranean. Then in 1938 she was purchased by the
Turkish government and presented to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,
the founder of the Turkish Republic. Atatürk took great
pleasure in his new acquisition. By his own account, he
waited for its arrival in Istanbul with the expectancy of
a "restless child". Atatürk held cabinet meetings and
entertained world leaders aboard his yacht. Thus, the
Savarona has played its part in history.
After Atatürk's death, the
Savarona passed to the Turkish Naval Authorities. Then, in
1989, the yacht was purchased by Mr. Kahraman Sadikoglu.
By this stage, the Savarona was in very poor condition and
Mr. Sadikoglu embarked on an ambitious campaign of
restoration, employing no less than 425 skilled workers.
The interior was designed
by Donald Starkey, and no expense was spared. To take one
example, the ship contains 260 tons of polished marble, 65
in the hamam alone. In memory of Atatürk, his private
suite has been restored as a museum containing many of his
Cruising along Türkiye's
justly famed Aegean and Mediterranean Coasts, the Savarona
brings an experience of elegance and luxury to those who
are lucky enough to be her guests. Thus far, the Savarona
has hosted such VIP guests as Prince Rainier, Prince
Charles, the Sultan of Brunei, King Juan Carlos of Spain,
Princess Diana, Fashion-designer Valentino, Claudia
Schiffer, Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth Hurley, Sharon Stone,
Hugh Grant, Tom Cruise and Gerard Depardieu.