Go back to the enewsletter HapagLloyd Cruises 4

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterHapag-Lloyd Cruises [4 April 2019] released its 2020/21 program for EUROPA 2 overnight. The season will see the return of the ultra-luxury vessel to Australian waters in January 2021 – part of the vessel’s two-year rotation between Oceania and South America – with a cruise between Melbourne and Bali scheduled for departure on 6 January.According to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ local representative, Gerd Wilmer from Landmark Travel in Sydney, Australian travellers keen to secure a berth on the Berlitz-rated “highest rated cruise ship in the world” will need to act early.“We get booked out very, very early,” he warned recently.Last week, Wilmer escorted a small group of luxury travel advisors and media – including LATTE – aboard EUROPA 2 while it was docked at White Bay in Sydney.EUROPA 2 at White Bay, Sydney on Monday 25 March 2019EUROPA 2 is a six-year-old vessel. A sister-ship to EUROPA, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ designated German-speaking vessel. While EUROPA 2 caters for an international audience, the percentage of non-German speaking travellers tends to be relatively low, at around 8-10% of the 516-passenger ship.Wilmer, who has been working with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises for 13 years, says the EUROPA ship class bucks the trend in a sea of sameness in cruise ship design.“Where everything looks more and more the same, and everything is run according to templates, some cruise lines don’t fit that model. And Hapag-Lloyd doesn’t fit that.”Gerd Wilmer, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises“There are a lot of things that we don’t have. We don’t have any non-commissionable fare components, so agents get a cut of the whole lot.“We don’t have any discounts. We don’t have dynamic fares. The price in the brochure is the price you pay.”He continued: “Our fares are not inclusive. We don’t have big ships. We don’t have inside cabins, and a few other things which you may miss, compared to others. But we do have lots of space.”“There is peace, and quiet. There’s never any announcements apart from those that are operationally necessary. There’s no music.“It’s an all-European hotel crew, there’s fine dining, and drinks are priced at Australian bottle shop prices: cheap.”For international guests on cruises of 10 days or more, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises does offer a credit of €200 as onboard spending money for drink purchases only.Wilmer said EUROPA 2 wasn’t designed to compete with other cruise ships. It was built to compete with luxury resorts on the land.“What you have here on board is a luxury, floating hotel. All these lovely things that you may be familiar with on cruise ships just does not exist here on EUROPA 2.“No Captain’s Dinner, no formal nights, no daily announcements about what the weather is doing,” he said.As a result, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises entices a “much, much younger audience than other five-star ships.”On board EUROPA 2, the ship’s reception resembles a luxury hotel or resort.EUROPA 2 ReceptionThere are six restaurants to choose from (buffet, Italian, French, Asian, Sushi and Main), with no surcharges applied at any of them. All guests are guaranteed at least one dinner in the specialty restaurants during a cruise.The restaurants are open for lunch, taking it in turns between which is open one day to the next.EUROPA 2 – Weltmeere (Main)EUROPA 2 – Serenissima (Italian)EUROPA 2 – Tarragon (French)EUROPA 2 – Elements (Asian)Meals are open seating. “Everybody goes wherever they like to go,” Wilmer said.There are also five bars spread throughout the ship.Bar SansibarBar Club 2Bar CollinsBar BelvederePool BarThe Ocean and Veranda Suites are 35 square metres in size (including verandah), the primary difference being the configuration with the Ocean having a toilet separate from the bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe.Penthouse SuiteThe Grand Ocean Suites and Penthouse Suites are 52 square metres in size (including verandah) and feature jacuzzis.EUROPA 2 also caters for the family market with young kids, something Wilmer says is a rarity for luxury cruise lines once guests move beyond the Celebrity Cruises and Princess brands.The Family Apartments are interconnecting suites with toilets and basins that are set lower for youngsters. EUROPA 2 also has kids’ clubs on board, with a nanny to child ratio of 1:3. When there are four children, a second nanny is brought on board. Children up to 11 years of age travel free of charge.Learn more about EUROPA 2 at https://www.hl-cruises.com/ships/ms-europa-2Go back to the enewsletterlast_img