I had the opportunity to travel in a group that included an avid cruise ship historian and author of Maritime Matters, Peter Knego. Peter’s passion for cruise ships goes far beyond an interest in the design, mechanics, and logistics of a boat. Indeed, his interests have opened up an entire career for him.
Peter spends time each year trekking to the far reaches of India to what would most easily be described as a cruise ship graveyard. Once ships have officially gone into retirement, they are docked along the beaches of India, where workers strip each ship down to the bone. Everything from tables and chairs to doorknobs and faucets are ripped out and sold as scrap.
Peter takes this opportunity to “rescue,” as he calls it, what he deems to be some of the most fascinating and culturally valuable aspects of these ships, many of which he has sailed on numerous times. As such, this can be heartbreaking work for him.
Peter returns to his home in southern California with treasure loads of furniture, paintings, tile, and more, which he sells to interior designers and furniture enthusiasts. As you might imagine, Peter’s own home has become a near replica of the fine interiors of a ship itself, overflowing with some of the pieces Peter deemed simply too beautiful or sentimental to part with.
This is my interview with Peter, whose admiration for the beauty of these majestic ships comes shining through in almost everything he says and does.