Photo Tour & Five Things I Like About Europa 2

Among the latest health trends, seeds, which were in good supply for breakfast at the Yacht Club on Europa 2, The selection included the latest trendy seed, Chia, which can be expensive but oh so good for you. The breakfast also featured a full selection of traditional and non-traditional items. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

On Europa 2, they thought of everything. Among the latest health trends, edible seeds were in good supply for breakfast at the Yacht Club on Europa 2. The selection included the latest trendy seed, chia, an expensive “superfood” that packs a lot of nutrition in a small package. The breakfast also featured a full selection of traditional and non-traditional items. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

After I posted Seven Reasons Why Europa 2 Can Command The Luxury Cruise Segment’s Highest Prices — For Now, a few people wrote to me to ask if I liked the new ship. In my first post, I tried to be as objective as possible, withholding my opinions. But because you asked, yes, I do like Europa 2 — quite a lot. The photo tour will show you some of the things I liked, but if I were to put them in order, my favorite aspects of Europa 2 would be:

  1. Space. As noted in a previous post, Europa 2 has the highest space ratio of any cruise ship. You don’t need to be 6’5″, as I am, to appreciate the double-height ceilings, the overall airiness and the additional real estate. I like the fact that Europa 2 would feel uncrowded when sailing at full capacity with 516 passengers. I enjoy space to breathe, and my guess is, so will those who cruise Europa 2.
  2. Decor and furnishings. I appreciate the color schemes, which I suppose could be characterized as lots of earth tones and generous use of wood. I don’t quite know how to describe the design. Is it Nordic-inspired? Perhaps. It’s certainly a clean design that appeals to my inner aesthetic. 
  3. Eight restaurants. In my hometown I have a handful of restaurants that I like to frequent. Europa 2 emulates that experience by allowing me to dine in a different restaurant each evening. I might find myself in France one evening (Restaurant Tarragon), Asia, the next evening (Restaurant Elements), and Italy, the next (Restaurant Serenissima). I’d need to cruise for nine days/eight nights to experience all of the dining venues — make that 10 days/nine nights. After all, doesn’t room service count as a dining venue?
  4. Those big bathrooms. I don’t suspect that I’ll be residing in any of the large suites on Europa 2, but I can still appreciate my aspirations to do so and imagine myself sprawled across a sofa in those spacious suites. As I wrote in an earlier post, however, the bathrooms were the Wow! factor. They were, in fact, much more than bathrooms. They were more like mini-spas with windows looking out on the sea.
  5. Healthy options. Europa 2 has one of the best cruise ship gyms I’ve ever encountered. I’d spend 45 minutes each day of my cruise using the fitness facilities and another 45 minutes or so using the spa facilities. And I also know that I could maintain my healthy lifestyle on Europa 2. During my 24 hours on board, I had breakfast in The Yacht Club, where I found the healthy and trendy (and expensive) chia seeds on the buffet. Breakfast in The Yacht Club wasn’t all that much different than breakfast at Whole Foods in my experience.

I’m sure there’s a lot more that I would come to appreciate about Europa 2, but with only 24 hours to experience the ship, these five emerged as top of mind.

Tip: View the photo slideshow full-screen by clicking the icon in the upper right corner.

Europa 2's Bilingual Cruises

Europa 2's Bilingual Cruises

Targeting an international mix of passengers, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' new Europa 2 features bilingual cruises (German and English). Its current English-language brochure will be updated in the fall of 2013. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Wasted Space On Europa 2?

Wasted Space On Europa 2?

Executives for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises told press on board Europa 2 this week that they had purposely "wasted space" on the new vessel. What they were referring to was the fact that Europa 2 reportedly has the greatest space ratio of any cruise ship afloat. The actual number in the chart (76.5) is inaccurate, however, as Europa 2 has a space ratio of about 83. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Reception Area On Europa 2

Reception Area On Europa 2

The reception area and lobby on Europa 2. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Premium Space Europa 2

Premium Space Europa 2

Cruise fares on Europa 2 run above the fares of its competitors. Abundant space on board, say Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' executives, is one of the reasons for the higher fares. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Double Height Ceilings On Europa 2

Double Height Ceilings On Europa 2

Europa 2 features double-height ceilings on deck four, adding to the spacious feel of the new ship. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Europa 2 Pool With Retractable Roof

Europa 2 Pool With Retractable Roof

Europa 2's retractable roof helps control the climate, and sunlight, in the pool area. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Wrap-Around Promenade Europa 2

Wrap-Around Promenade Europa 2

Europa 2 features a wrap-around promenade on deck 9. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Launching Europa 2

Launching Europa 2

Our shake-down cruise sailed from sunny Southampton this past Monday. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Aft Deck Chairs And Sun Beds

Aft Deck Chairs And Sun Beds

Sun or shade? Lounge chairs and sun beds on deck 9 aft. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

European Crew

European Crew

Europa 2's food & beverage service staff are mostly bilingual Germans. Hapag-Lloyd's Managing Director Wolfgang Flagel says that the European f&b staff is essential to the brand. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

Exiting the theater on deck 4. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Jazz Club

Jazz Club

The Jazz Club on deck 4 features jazz and other styles of live music each evening as well as dance workshops. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Jazz Club Bar

Jazz Club Bar

Alcohol is not included on Europa 2, but it does appear to be reasonably priced. Examples: €1.40 for a beer, €4.20 for a gin and tonic, and €48 for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Restaurant Serenissima

Restaurant Serenissima

One of eight dining venues on Europa 2, Restaurant Serenissima features Italian cuisine. Guests are encouraged to make reservations at the smaller restaurants, such as Serenissima. Reservations can be made only for the next 48 hours. Dining throughout Europa 2 comes at no extra charge, except in Speisezimmer, a private dining venue that can be booked for up to 16 people for €1,500. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Restaurant Elements

Restaurant Elements

Featuring Asian cuisine, Restaurant Elements offers traditional Chinese, Indian and other Asian dishes. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Restaurant Tarragon

Restaurant Tarragon

Francophiles may appreciate the French cuisine in Restaurant Tarragon. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Chateaubriand From Restaurant Tarragon

Chateaubriand From Restaurant Tarragon

During our one night on Europa 2, we sat down for dinner in the largest dining venue, Restaurant Weitmeere, where Executive Chef Stefan Wilke had prepared a menu with samplings from Europa 2's speciality dining venues. Pictured here, Chateaubriand from the French-inspired Restaurant Tarragon. Wilke told us that Europa 2 typically carries 25 different types of beef. He also said that the ship strives to as much freshly caught fish as possible, often sourcing from local vendors wherever the ship is in port. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Seeds For A Healthy Start

Seeds For A Healthy Start

Among the latest health trends, seeds, which were in good supply for breakfast at the Yacht Club on Europa 2, The selection included the latest trendy seed, Chia, which can be expensive but oh so good for you. The breakfast also featured a full selection of traditional and non-traditional items. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Latte Macchiato

Latte Macchiato

Warm, invigorating and at no extra charge, Europa 2's Latte Macchiato. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Inspired By Germany, Made In France

Inspired By Germany, Made In France

Europa 2 was constructed at the STX Europe in St. Nazaire, France. French shipyard workers endured 29,120 architectural drawings. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' executives confessed that the Germans can be somewhat meticulous when it comes to details. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

From Sylt To The Sea, Sansibar

From Sylt To The Sea, Sansibar

Sansibar, a subsidiary of a bar that enjoys cult status on the German island of Sylt, promises to be a popular venue on Europa 2. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Toast For Two

Toast For Two

Renowned ship critic Douglas Ward, author of the Berlitz Complete Guide To Cruising And Cruise Ships, toasts his wife on Europa 2. Speaking of Europa, which he ranked as the world's best cruise ship, Ward says, "I've always been interested in how achieve service levels that they (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises) do." He cited such attention to detail as the use of linen coasters underneath cocktails, and silver covers for room service drinks, as well as what he calls the "incredible choice" on Europa 2. Ward cited the eight dining venues and more than 30 brands of gin, including his favorite Monkey 47, mixed with tonic, a sliver of cucumber, and a toast with his wife. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

German Products, At A Price

German Products, At A Price

Not included in the cruise fares on Europa 2 are soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Golf Simulators

Golf Simulators

Europa 2 features two golf simulators with video-based training. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Catering To Families

Catering To Families

Europa 2 caters to families. In fact, children 11 and under travel free of charge when accompanied by two full-price cruise guests. Dedicated kids' facilities include the “Knopf Club," equipped with cots, changing tables and a lounge furnished with toys by the renowned manufacturer Steiff; the "Kids Club," for ages 4 to 10; and the "Teens Club," for children 11-15 years. Shore excursions for children, teenagers, or the entire family are offered on all family cruises. Europa 2 has seven family style suites with two separate areas, connected by a door and shared balcony. For a fee, childcare is available for children two and older. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Sauna On Europa 2

Sauna On Europa 2

Europa 2's wellness and fitness facilities feature four saunas, this one aft-facing with floor-to-ceiling windows. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Fitness Studio

Fitness Studio

The fitness studio features fitness and cardio equipment, as well as kinesis walls by Technogym. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Spacious Spa

Spacious Spa

Europa 2 features more than 10,000 square feet of space dedicated to wellness. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Eight Treatment Rooms

Eight Treatment Rooms

Treatments ranging from massages, to facials, to Thalassotherapy are offered in the eight treatment rooms at the Ocean Spa. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Couples Treatment Room

Couples Treatment Room

Of the eight treatment rooms, one is for couples. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Pleasant Color Scheme

Pleasant Color Scheme

Europa 2 features a pleasing palette of colors throughout the vessel. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Spa Suites

Spa Suites

The 16 Spa Suites have whirlpool tubs, with a glass partition between the bedroom and bathroom, as well as rain forest showers with steam saunas. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Grand Penthouse Suite

Grand Penthouse Suite

There are two Grand Penthouse Suites that measure 78 square meters (840 square feet), plus verandas that measure 10 square meters (108 square feet). © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Grand Penthouse Suite Bedroom

Grand Penthouse Suite Bedroom

The Grand Penthouse Suites also feature separate living and sleeping areas, showers with steam saunas, whirlpools, day beds in the bath areas, guest toilets and Butler service.

Complimentary Mini-Bar

Complimentary Mini-Bar

Soft drinks are available free of charge in the mini bar in all suites as well as some additional drinks such as high quality spirits in certain category suites. Pictured here, the selection from my Veranda Suite. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Desk In My Veranda Suite

Desk In My Veranda Suite

The 141 Veranda suites measure 28 square meters (301 square feet), plus they feature verandas measuring seven square meters (75 square feet). The Samsung television measure 32 inches and has internet access for a fee (note the keyboard beneath the desk). © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Owner's Suite Europe 2

Owner's Suite Europe 2

One of the two Owner's Suites that measure 99 square meters (1,066 square feet), plus they have verandas that measure 15 square meters (161 square feet). Raised with the click of a button, a flat-panel television resides in the furniture at the foot of the bed. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Smoking Allowed, Owner's Suite Veranda

Smoking Allowed, Owner's Suite Veranda

As indicated by the presence of the ashtray on the teak table, smoking is allowed on verandas and in select areas throughout Europa 2. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Bath With A View

Bath With A View

The Owner's Suites feature whirlpools with ocean views, showers with steam saunas and day beds against floor-to-ceiling windows in the baths. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Entertainment, A Little Risqué

Entertainment, A Little Risqué

Europa 2's exclusively produced stage shows are language independent, such as the one previewed on our cruise. Called "Water," the show used tubs as props to present a mix of acrobatics, music and dance. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Six Good Nights On Europa 2

Six Good Nights On Europa 2

From the start of the morning to the end of the evening, Europa 2 strives to provide a custom-made, high-quality experience, even down to the pillow snacks on its seven-day (six-night) cruises. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

  • theavidcruiser

    You’re welcome Stefan. She’s a beauty!

  • http://twitter.com/stefan_scholle Stefan Scholle

    thx for this post of Europa 2