H-L Cruises Europa 2 ready to sail in May
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new Europa 2 will take to the high seas in May 2013 and promises to set new luxury standards on the worldwide oceans. Her maiden voyage will take place from May 11-25, 2013 from Hamburg to Lisbon. The ship is currently being built at the shipyard STX Europe in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The newly built addition to the fleet will feature eleven decks, all-suites with their own outdoor verandas, and the largest space per passenger ratio in the cruise industry.
The Europa 2 will be positioned as the modern, lifestyle-oriented sister ship of the world’s only 5-star-plus ship, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS Europa, and will cater to a sophisticated, international, and cosmopolitan target group. In order to meet the requirements of these guests, all of the cruises of the Europa 2 will be international, meaning they will be conducted in both German and English for the duration of all cruises.
“We are breaking new ground with the Europa 2. She will represent a modern and casual interpretation of luxury cruises in terms of her architecture, her restaurants and her entertainment program,” said Sebastian Ahrens, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
“The Europa 2 will offer an international atmosphere for sophisticated, cosmopolitan customers who still have very demanding professional lives and are looking for the greatest possible degree of individuality in their spare time. We have therefore consciously decided to do without cruise traditions such as the Captain’s Dinner.”
“The ship will be positioned internationally, English-speaking guests will feel comfortable on every cruise on the Europa 2. Most of the entertainment on-board, does not rely on language. The on-board announcements will generally be reduced to a minimum and made in German and English at all times,” added Ahrens.
Flexibility and individuality will be found in every detail from entertainment to gourmet cuisine onboard the Europa 2. The routes of the Europa 2 will be geared towards working people and families, with one-week itineraries offered. Personalized service will be heightened, with more than 370 staff members for a maximum of 516 guests, as well as butler and travel concierge services offering unsurpassable quality when it comes to catering to the needs of guests.
New standards will also be set with regards to environmental protection – the Europa 2 is the first cruise ship equipped with catalysts (SCR = process of Selective Catalytic Reduction), which reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides by almost 95 percent.
Shorter Routes, Ideal for Working People and Families
With 7-day combinable cruises to the Mediterranean in the summer months and 13-20 day combination cruises to faraway destinations in the winter, the Europa 2 will meet the requirements of working people and families with limited vacation time. The ship will call at a total of 123 ports, with 26 different itineraries in 2013. The cruises will take guests to the Western and Eastern Mediterranean and to the Arabian Peninsula, as well as Southeast Asia. The size of the ship is a major advantage – with a length of 225 meters/ 739 feet and a draught of 6.3 meters/ 20.7 feet, the Europa 2 is capable of calling at small, rarely visited ports such as Bonifacio and Portofino, which is not an option for most larger ships. Furthermore, a total of twelve Zodiacs will be onboard, to take passengers to lagoons and beaches, for example, in remote parts of Southeast Asia where ships can’t dock.
Accommodations On-board, All-Suites
The Europa 2 will exclusively offer Veranda Suites with balconies each measuring at least seven square meters/ 75 square feet facing the sea, a novelty in the cruise market. In addition, all suites will have a mini bar, which is free of charge, Internet access via Wi-Fi (at an extra charge) and a tablet PC. The 251 suites in seven different categories, measure in size from 28 – 99 square meters/ 301-1,066 square feet, and will offer their own whirlpools with ocean view in the highest categories. In addition, 16 Spa Suites will have whirlpool tubs and rain showers with steam saunas, providing guests with a private oasis of wellbeing on-board. For families traveling together, there will be seven family style suites, where parents and children can live in two separate areas, connected by a door and the shared balcony.
Culinary Diversity with Flexible Times and Open Seating
The restaurant concept onboard the Europa 2 will be synonymous with diversity and flexibility – flexible mealtimes, no assigned seating, and plenty of tables for two.
There will be eight restaurants to choose from among them, three speciality restaurants with Mediterranean, French and Asian cuisine, as well as a Sushi Bar. All restaurants are included in the cruise price (excluding beverages). On special occasions, guests can book the private dining room, allowing them to dine in a very personal atmosphere. There will also be an on-board cooking school, equipped by Miele, where professional chefs will provide guests with unique insights. In addition to the eight restaurants, six bars are to be found on-board.
Entertainment with Exclusive Productions & Performances
The entertainment program will reflect the modern concept of the Europa 2. The theater will have modern stage technology and a large LED wall extending across two stories – a novelty on a relatively small ship. For the first time for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the entertainment program will feature spectacular productions, performances and light shows.
The shows will have no adaptation of shore programs, but instead will be exclusively performed on-board the Europa 2. Two different shows per week will be offered, ensuring plenty of variety. Passengers who spend 14 days on-board will see four different shows. International guest artists will further enhance the entertainment program. Many shows do not start simultaneously, allowing guests to enjoy more than one show nightly.
Wellness and Fitness: 1,000 Square Meters/ 10,000 Square Foot Spa
Guests will also find diversity and plenty of space in the wellness area of the Europa 2, which will boast 1,000 square meters/ 10,000 square feet. Treatments ranging from massages, to facials, to Thalasso therapy, will be offered in the eight treatment rooms at the spa. The extensive sauna landscape grants every guest more space to relax than any other ship of this class. In addition, passengers can book a Personal SPA experience and enjoy the private sauna and whirlpool facilities, as well as massage beds and comfortable relaxation furnishings, by the hour or the day, in an intimate atmosphere.
The onboard facilities also include a large fitness area with fitness and cardio equipment, as well as a room where Pilates and Spinning will take place. Upon request, a Personal Trainer is available to counsel guests on their workout, and sports hosts are available to organise shore excursions, for example, bicycle tours or Nordic Walking.
Child Care Available For Toddlers Two And Older
Young cruise passengers are sure to enjoy themselves in the Kids and Teens Club, compiled by qualified child care specialists. For the first time in the German market, childcare will now be available for toddlers two and older on the Europa 2 (subject to charge).
There will be a special area for the infants called the “Knopf Club,” equipt with cots, changing tables and a lounge furnished with cuddly toys, by the renowned manufacturer Steiff. Steiff is a German-based plush toy company known for its high quality for over 100 years.
Children ages 4-10 years old play in the adjacent Kids Club, and children 11-15 years old get together in the Teens Club, where table football, video game consoles, or the disco will await them. Children eleven and under travel free of charge on board the Europa 2, when accompanied by two full-price cruise guests. Shore excursions for children, teenagers, or the entire family are offered on all family cruises.
Source: Cruise Industry News
Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises