The 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 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 personal belongings.
Cruising along the International 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.