Europa 2 Will Be A Truly International Ship; And Interestingly, She Will Also Follow the Chinoiserie of Empress of Britain of 1931

The Elements Asian Restaurant on board Europa 2

The Cathay Lounge on board Empress of Britain of 1931

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new Europa 2 may well prove to be one of the most interestingly decorated ships since the Empress of Britain of 1931 and Normandie of 1935. But to keep things in a modern tone, Sebastian Ahrens, managing director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said, “We are breaking new ground with Europa 2. She will represent a modern and casual interpretation of luxury cruises in terms of her architecture, her restaurants and her entertainment programme.  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 Europa 2. Most of the entertainment on board does not rely on language. The on-board announcements will 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 on board Europa 2. The routes of 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 unsurpassed quality when it comes to catering to guests’ needs. New standards will also be set with regards to environmental protection – Europa 2 will be the first cruise ship equipped with 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 and 13-20 day combination cruises to far-away destinations in the winter, Europa 2 will meet the requirements of working people and families with limited holiday time. The ship will call at 123 ports on 26 different itineraries in 2013. Cruises will take guests to the western and eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula, as well as Southeast Asia. The size of the ship is a major advantage – with a length of 739 feet and a draught of 20.7 feet, Europa 2 is capable of calling at small, rarely-visited ports such as Bonifacio and Portofino, which is not an option for larger ships. Furthermore, a total of twelve Zodiacs will be carried to take passengers to lagoons and beaches  in remote parts of Southeast Asia where ships can’t dock.

Accommodations On-board, All-Suites

Europa 2 will exclusively offer Veranda Suites with balconies each measuring at least 75 square feet facing the sea, a novelty in the cruise market. In addition, all suites will have a free of charge mini bar, Wi-Fi Internet access (at a charge) and a tablet PC. The 251 suites in seven different categories will measure in size from 301 to 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 well-being onboard. 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 on board Europa 2will 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. The Asian restaurant Elements provides an interesting comparison with Canadian Pacific’s Empress of Britain of 1931, which as the time was advertised in Germany as “das Luxusschiff der Welt” (“The Most Luxurious Ship in the World”). One of the Empress of Britain‘s chief attractions was the Chinoiserie used in her decorations, particularly in her Cathay Lounge, something that stemmed from Canadian Pacific’s Transpacific ocean liner service between Vancouver and the Orient.

The Serenissima Restaurant on board Europa 2

 

All restaurants will be 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 programme will reflect the modern concept Europa 2. The theatre 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 programme will feature spectacular productions, performances and light shows. The shows will have no adaptation of shore programs, but instead will be exclusively performed aboard Europa 2. Two different shows per week will be offered, ensuring plenty of variety. Passengers who spend 14 days onboard 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 Metres/ 10,000 Square Foot Spa

Guests will also find diversity and plenty of space in the wellness area of Europa 2, which will boast 1,000 square metres/ 10,000 square feet. Treatments ranging from massages, to facials, to Thalasso therapy will be offered in the eight treatment rooms at the Ocean 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 on-board 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, child care will now be available for toddlers two and older on board Europa 2 (subject to charge). There will be a special area for the infants called the “Knopf Club,” equipped 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 aged 4-10 years old play in the adjacent Kids Club, and children 11-15 years old meet in the Teens Club, where table football, video game consoles, or the disco will await them. Children eleven and under will travel free of charge on board 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.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ exciting destinations and itineraries visit www.hl-cruises.com. For bookings or brochure requests please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

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Two New Cruise Ports For Italy? – Other Cruise News: Manhattan Pier To Be Adapted for Norwegian Breakaway – Louis Cruises Goes Back to Greek Roots – Fred. Olsen Outlaws Agent Rebates

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 26th March 2012

As Italian ports break beyond 10 million cruise visitors annually, local port authorities have not only been looking at the opening of new cruise piers, but also adding new cruise ports. We have a preliminary look this week at the cases of Fiumicino, near Rome, and Port of Stabia, near Naples. In New York, meanwhile, the Manhattan Cruise Terminal will undergo some modifications in preparation for greeting the Norwegian Breakaway in April 2013, when she arrives from Southampton to become the largest New York-based year-round cruise ship. Elsewhere, Louis Cruises has announced that it is going back to its Greek routes to become a specialist in the eastern Mediterranean. And Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announces that it will punish agents who rebate from their commission rather than those who manage to hold on to most of it and give a good service, as was the case last year with P&O, Princess and Cunard.

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THIS WEEK’S STORY
                                          (See previous columns)

French Line CMA CGM Revives Its North Atlantic Passenger Service With Two Ships Between the US East Coast and the Mediterranean

Photo of CMA CGM Coral, which carries up to six passengers is  courtesy of ChasB

French liner operator CMA CGM has recently revived its Trans-Atlantic passenger trade between Europe and the United States by placing the six-passenger CMA CGM Coral and seven-passenger CMA CGM Jamaica into its Amerigo Express service between the Mediterranean and US East Coast ports.

Depending which ships have been on the run, passengers have been carried on the Amerigo Express service on and off since 2003, thus marking the revival of a service that had come to an end almost two decades before. The French Line’s North Atlantic passenger service had closed in 1985 with the retirement of the Atlantic Champagne and Atlantic Cognac, container ships that carried four passengers each. These two had maintained a limited passenger service since the 1974 withdrawal of the French Line’s famous s.s. France. The 1,035-foot France, the world’s longest passenger ship, was eventually, in 2004, overtaken by Cunard Line’s 1,132-foot Queen Mary 2, a ship that not incidentally was built in the same French shipyard that had delivered the France in 1962.

Ports served by the CMA CGM Coral and CMA CGM Jamaica include Livorno, Genoa, Fos-sur-Mer, Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga in Europe and New York, Norfolk and Savannah in the United States, with a return to Livorno and Genoa by way of Algeciras and Malta, for a full round voyage of 42 days.

The CMA CGM Coral carries six passengers in two double and two single cabins and CMA CGM Jamaica seven in three doubles and one single cabin. Fares for both ships are €110 per person per day for double occupancy or for the single cabins and €120 per day for sole use of a double cabin. The fare for the full round voyage is therefore €4,620 (about £3,975 or $6,290). The ship features an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium and library and passengers take breakfast in their own lounge and lunch and dinner together with the officers. Complimentary French table wine (“Chateau Paquebot”) is served with lunch and dinner.

As CMA CGM is not signatory to the European/US visa waiver schemes, non-US and Canadian citizens need a full US visa to enter the USA on this service.

Passenger bookings on the CMA CGM Coral and CMA CGM Jamaica can be made through The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, at +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Norwegian To Let Passengers Enjoy the Sea – Other Cruise News: Ex-UK Cruises Grew by More Than 15% in 2011 – Italian and Spanish Cruise Numbers

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 19th March 2012

Whilst Royal Caribbean International has been talking about the sea since it hired JWT New York as its new lead advertising agency last year, Norwegian Cruise Line will actually be doing something about it with the first of two new ships it is building at Meyer Werft in Germany. The Norwegian Breakaway will introduce a new design that will not only bring back outside promenade decks but also allow passengers to drink and dine in plain view of the sea, as opposed to being closeted away inside the ship. Elswehere, UK cruise statistics for 2011 showed a 15% rise in the number of cruisers sailing from British ports, while on the tail of this several cruise lines have announced new ships to sail from the UK in 2013. But UK fly/cruise numbers fell by about 2.2%. To the Caribbean, a destination that has been hit hard by higher UK airport departure taxes, numbers actually fell 13%. We also look at incoming cruise numbers in two of Europe’s most important markets, Italy and Spain.
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THIS WEEK’S STORY                                          (See previous columns)

Latest Great Lakes Small Ship Advertisement for “World of Cruising”: Blount Small Ship Adventures and Travel Dynamics International

Facebook Is No Place To Sell A Quality Cruise – Other Cruise News: A Spate of Mid-Life Refits – From the Latest Carnival Quarterly Report

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 12th March 2012

Rhapsody of the Seas at Sydney, now at Sembawang Shipyard for her mid-life refit (Wikipedia photo by Saberwyn)

With Facebook to go to market this spring and having just arranged $8 billion in financing, we have a look at how it applies to cruising. Many cruise lines have opened Facebook pages, so we examine the results of a recent Amadeus/CLIA study of social media in the world of cruising. We also have a look at something that is keeping a lot of shipyards busy these days, the latest trend in mid-life refits for cruise ships that were built in the 1990s and early 2000s. And on Friday, Carnival Corp & PLC released its latest quarterly results. While this was the period that included the loss of the Costa Concordia, its biggest expense was a $173 million write-down against goodwill for its Spanish brand Iberocruceros (which is run by Costa).

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                          (See previous columns)

French Line CMA CGM Revives Its North Atlantic Passenger Service With Two Ships Between the US East Coast and the Mediterranean

Photo of CMA CGM Coral courtesy of ChasB

French liner operator CMA CGM has recently revived its Trans-Atlantic passenger trade between Europe and the United States by placing the six-passenger CMA CGM Coral and seven-passenger CMA CGM Jamaica into its Amerigo Express service between the Mediterranean and US East Coast ports.

Depending which ships have been on the run, passengers have been carried on the Amerigo Express service on and off since 2003, thus marking the revival of a service that had come to an end almost two decades before. The French Line’s North Atlantic passenger service had closed in 1985 with the retirement of the Atlantic Champagne and Atlantic Cognac, container ships that carried four passengers each. These two had maintained a limited passenger service since the 1974 withdrawal of the French Line’s famous s.s. France. The 1,035-foot France, the world’s longest passenger ship, was eventually, in 2004, overtaken by Cunard Line’s 1,132-foot Queen Mary 2, a ship that not incidentally was built in the same French shipyard that had delivered the France in 1962.

Ports served by the CMA CGM Coral and CMA CGM Jamaica include Livorno, Genoa, Fos-sur-Mer, Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga in Europe and New York, Norfolk and Savannah in the United States, with a return to Livorno and Genoa by way of Algeciras and Malta, for a full round voyage of 42 days.

The CMA CGM Coral carries six passengers in two double and two single cabins and CMA CGM Jamaica seven in three doubles and one single cabin. Fares for both ships are €110 per person per day for double occupancy or for the single cabins and €120 per day for sole use of a double cabin. The fare for the full round voyage is therefore €4,620 (about £3,975 or $6,290). The ship features an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium and library and passengers take breakfast in their own lounge and lunch and dinner together with the officers. Complimentary French table wine (“Chateau Paquebot”) is served with lunch and dinner.

As CMA CGM is not signatory to the European/US visa waiver schemes, non-US and Canadian citizens need a full US visa to enter the USA on this service.

Passenger bookings on the CMA CGM Coral and CMA CGM Jamaica can be made through The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, at +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.