SEA VENTURE for Flagship Cruises, which was launched at Emden in 1971, featured the world’s very first atrium on a ship. This was a radical novelty, and the bosses at German Nordseewerke shipyard shouted incredulously: “A big hole in the middle?” recalls, Anders Johansson, who tried to explain their idea along with Robert. “It was nothing they had ever seen before, and it couldn’t be done. End of story. We asked if they had designed the tankers on the other side of the quay? “Yes,” they replied sternly. And didn’t they have a hole in the middle? The angry Germans fell silent. “End of story!”
“Another innovation was the restaurant under the entrance deck,” adds Anders Johansson. Robert told me, “Make it without any pillars, you can fix that!” And so we did! Tillberg wanted to create a feeling of openness along with a sense of the ship’s size, further aggrandized by large floor-to-ceiling windows that also allowed for natural light and generous views.