Boarding Next Week: Hapag-Lloyd’s New EUROPA 2

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EUROPA 2, making her way to Southampton — and so am I. Photo courtesy Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

This past Friday, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises took delivery of what the company is calling a “casual” luxury ship, the EUROPA 2. Next Monday, when I step on board the new vessel in Southampton, I’ll relay what I can — via Twitter, Facebook and on Avid Cruiser — about EUROPA 2’s positioning in the luxury sector.

What’s “casual” luxury? A company press release indicates that one aspect of  casual luxury is the doing away with such traditions as the captain’s dinner. For our one-night on board, dress code recommendations suggest casual dress during the day, and in the evening, smart casual, meaning that I can skip packing a tie. I am eager to learn more about Hapag-Lloyd’s philosophy when it comes to catering to today’s luxury cruisers.

EUROPA 2, Beautiful & Spacious

The photographs and renderings of EUROPA 2’s suites and public rooms are appealing. EUROPA 2 features only suites (none smaller than  301 square feet) with verandas. Eight restaurants and six bars are dedicated to serving up culinary diversity, and a large spa and fitness area accommodates the well-being trend on cruises.

Carrying up to 516 guests, the vessel will provide the greatest space per passenger of any cruise ship in the world, according to a company press release. I’ll need to confirm the numbers, but my back-of-the-napkin calculation shows a space ratio of around 83. For more about how space ratio is calculated, see .

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MS EUROPA 2 Veranda Suite (28 square meters + 7 square meter Veranda/ 301 square feet + 75 square-foot Veranda). Photo courtesy Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

EUROPA 2 was constructed by the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire. Dr Wolfgang Flägel, managing director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises signed the takeover protocol, noting: “By adding the EUROPA 2 to our fleet, we are acquiring the latest generation of cruise ship, which embodies an entirely new type of luxury cruising at sea. I am certain that we will raise the bar with the EUROPA 2 in the luxury cruise sector.”

Check out our September 2009 coverage of what was then called the world’s best cruise ship, EUROPA

EUROPA 2 will be christened in Hamburg on May 10, 2013, as part of the port’s anniversary celebrations. The luxury vessel will then embark on a 14-day maiden voyage toward Lisbon.

Unfortunately, I’m on board for only one night, but I will have the chance to experience EUROPA 2’s dining, entertainment and drinks in the Sansibar from 11 p.m. “until the last person goes to bed,” our hosts tell us. The Sansibar was a favorite watering hole on the now-more-than-decade-old EUROPA, when I cruised it in 2009.

Questions or comments about EUROPA 2? Leave them here in the comments section below or at @avidcruiser.

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  • theavidcruiser

    How’d I do in answering your questions in Seven Reasons Why Europa 2 Can Command The Luxury Cruise Segment’s Highest Prices — For Now

  • theavidcruiser

    Hey Daniel, Did I answer most of your questions in Seven Reasons Why Europa 2 Can Command The Luxury Cruise Segment’s Highest Prices — For Now

  • theavidcruiser

    Hi Terence, Many thanks for your note. I am asking the same, Is one night on board too little to assess? I’ll certainly make the most of it, and your observations have given me some additional focus about what to look for. Thanks very much. Stay tuned . . .

  • Terence Maurice

    I look forward to reading your impressions of the Europa 2.

    With only one night on board, will you have an opportunity to sample any of the alternative restaurants?

    One will certainly be spoilt for choice.

    The captain is the former captain of the Europa, Captain Friedrich Jan Akkermann.

    According to my TA, the Europa 2 is aiming for a younger demographic, who are looking for a less formal, but high quality, cruising experience, so it will be interesting to read your observations on that particular aspect.

    It is my understanding that all Europa 2’s cruises are bilingual (german/ english ), so your comments on how the staff cope with english speaking passengers will be of interest.

    The four cruises from mid August to mid September between Malta and Venice are attractive to solo travellers in that certain category suites carry no single supplement.
    Additionally, Hapag-Lloyd has been making an even more attractive offer to solo travellers from the UK on these particular cruises, so I am looking forward to my cruise in the first two weeks in September.

  • Daniel Ginzburg

    I like to eat, so the area I am typically most interested in is the MDR and level of table side service. In this particular case, I would also be interested in where they recruited their debut staff. Did they dilute the quality aboard their other ships, by transferring their best and brightest? For myself, I prefer good descriptive detailed writing and photographs. Thanks. I love your work and enjoy following your voluminous travels.

  • theavidcruiser

    Nice to hear from you Daniel. Yep, we had the nice dinner together on SeaDream 1. If there is anything in particular that you want me to look at on Europa 2, please let me know. I’m curious, do you value video – or photographs and narrative more as a means of conveying impressions?

  • Daniel Ginzburg

    Dear Ralph. I am jealous. I love Europa having been aboard 4 times so far. My wife and I will be aboard Europa again in July and Europa 2 in September. (We met last summer aboard SeaDream 1 in Spain.)