I originally purchased this book as a gift for my 6-year-old son who is fascinated by oceanliners and cruise ships. I had no idea how much our entire family would enjoy the beautiful layout and history contained in this book. Having sailed on many ships prior to having a family, we were familiar with some of the newer ships and a few of the vintage ships as well. But this book provides a detailed look at the design, construction and day-to-day operations of many vessels. It is such a nice book, however, it is off-limits to sticky fingers and is kept firmly on our coffee table. I would highly recommend it to anyone with a passion for ships.
Being a Swiss, I know Mr. Ulrich personally and I know how much effort he put into his book. He really is an expert on the subject and he published hundreds of articles on cruises all over the world. His book, starting with the first cruises in the late 19th century and ending with the huge cruise ships now operating in the Caribbean, is extremely well written and a real joy to read - though I must admit that I read it in Germnan (published as "Luxusliner"), but I assume that the translator did a good job. Unfortuantely, the development of new cruise ships is so fast, that the book should be updated every year. Nevertheless, it has excellent pictures, probably the best ever published in a book on this subject. And though it is not a guide to cruising, the book tells much about what a cruise is all about.
While it does have a number of good photos, it has a number of glaring historical errors. In addition half the book is about modern cruise ships and cruising. The stuff about the liners is basic and can be found in many books for far less $. Again, lots of good photos, but not worth the high price.
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