Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Europa 2 has been billed as one of the best cruise ships in the world. After sailing the 500-passenger ship not long ago, we agree. To say “the best cruise ship in the world” is unfair, mainly because the terminology sets the expectation higher than mere humans can deliver. Moving along, the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet will continue to grow with two new ships, “5-star expedition vessels” scheduled for launch in April and October of 2019. What is planned looks good. That they are tagged as 5-star when construction has not even begun is a bit presumptuous but we’ll let that go for now. It’s good news for the luxury cruise market no matter what the end product turns out to be. Better yet, even this early in the life of the two new ships, it appears that Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has learned a thing or two about rolling out new ships.
Aiming high is nothing new for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, they did that with Europa 2 and did indeed break some barriers not ever attempted before. Ultra high ceilings, unique features not found on other lines and a showcase of German engineering top the list. Addressing the fallout of trying to infiltrate the North American cruise market with a totally German product, lessons have been learned and smart decisions made. One new-build to serve German-speaking markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). The other new-build to serve German-speaking markets and in addition Belgium, the UK, Netherlands and the US.
The world of expedition cruises is not new to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises either. They already we operate successfully in that world, which offers growth potential for 5-star cruises.
“Our new-builds will help us to develop further the expedition segment and offer a modern interpretation. They will also serve to strengthen our leading position in this market, in particular at the international level. “-Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
The Right Ship For The Job
The two 16,100-ton ships will be built at the Norwegian Vard shipyard of Vard Holdings Limited, a shareholding of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard. The vessels will be equipped with state-of-the-art technological features and environmental technology. With PC6, the highest Polar Class designation for passenger ships, they will be able to cruise not only in polar regions in the Arctic and Antarctica but also in warm water destinations such as the Amazon. On-board Zodiacs will allow landings in otherwise inaccessible expedition areas. The ships will also feature a water sports marina.
Cover rendering- Hapag-Lloyd Cruises