Worth The Cost? Our Opinion In A New Europa 2 Review

Europa 2
Coming Your Way: Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain. With average per diems of 600 euros per person, Europa 2 is attempting to command some of the industry’s highest cruise fares. Its cruises will cost an American couple — the U.S. is one of Europa 2’s target audiences — around US$12,000 for the privilege of spending six nights/seven days in a 301-square-foot Veranda Suite on the industry’s newest luxury cruise ship. Worth it? Read on and decide for yourself.  © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

If you’re accustomed to cruising only on luxury cruise ships operated by U.S. cruise companies, you’ll find Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2 full of surprises. Expect a European-ambience on board, with emphasis on the company’s Germanic roots; a drop-dead gorgeous vessel, with lots of space; eight dining venues — all at no extra charge; Europeans (mainly Germans) serving you in the lounges and dining rooms; and a few things that luxury cruisers may not be accustomed to, notably, no free booze, except beer from your mini-bar, and a welcome glass (as well as a bottle in your stateroom) of champagne.

Before reading on, flip through the slideshow below to get acquainted with this gorgeous vessel.

Europa 2

Europa 2

Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Zodiacs

Zodiacs

Europa 2 has something that other luxury ships (except for luxury expedition vessels) don't have: zodiacs. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Exploring Via Zodiacs

Exploring Via Zodiacs

With Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain, we head out to explore in zodiacs. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Exploring Via Zodiacs

Exploring Via Zodiacs

With Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain, we head out to explore in zodiacs. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Europa 2

Europa 2

Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Europa 2 in Cagliari

Europa 2 in Cagliari

Europa 2 in Cagliari, Sardinia. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Heading Home

Heading Home

Back to Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Europa 2

Europa 2

Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Coming Your Way, Europa 2

Coming Your Way, Europa 2

Europa 2 anchored off La Savina (Formentera), Spain. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Trouble viewing our slideshow? View on Flickr instead.

Cruise Fares, Europa 2

Europa 2 claims the highest space ratio (and the highest cruise fares) in the industry.

Europa 2 epitomizes elegance, and the experiences that she offers are as good as they get, from the staterooms and suites to the lounges and dining, and all that comes in between.

On my five-day cruise this past July, Europa 2 was carrying only a tad more than half (273) of its 516-guest capacity. I don’t know whether the low capacity had to do with the time of year (Europeans typically vacation in August); the fact that Europa 2 is such a new ship; or the price point.

With average per diems beginning at €600 per person, Europa 2 is attempting to command some of the industry’s highest cruise fares. As of this writing at the end of August 2013, whether or not she can do that remains to be seen. I believe she can, at least for the moment. See Seven Reasons Why Europa 2 Can Command The Luxury Cruise Segment’s Highest Prices — For Now.

Europa 2 is in the same competitive set as Crystal CruisesRegent Seven Seas CruisesSilversea CruisesSeaDream Yacht Club and Seabourn, and you’ll find that for similar sailings, those luxury lines price out at much less than Europa 2.

For example, if you were to book an Ocean Suite on Europa 2 for the October 5 – 12, 2013, seven-day Istanbul-to-Piraeus sailing, you would pay €4,858 per person, double occupancy. That’s €694 per person, per day. Note that I am using euros for comparisons, as Europa 2 prices its cruises in euros. For conversions to U.S. dollars, multiply by 1.33 or the current rate of exchange.

Comparing to Seabourn, booking a Veranda Suite on Seabourn Odyssey, October 5 – 12, 2013, Istanbul to Piraeus, would set you back €2,776, or €396 per person, per day, based on double occupancy. However, Seabourn lists the same seven-day itineraries going for €3,900 in 2014, a notable increase, due to the fact, perhaps, that Seabourn is reducing its fleet from six ships to three ships in 2014.

Using the same routing for 2014, Silversea Cruises‘ Silver Spirit is priced at €3,150 for a Veranda Suite, and Crystal Cruises offers a seven-day sailing from Venice to Istanbul in a Deluxe Stateroom with Veranda for $8,570 (€6,402). With all kinds of special offers thrown in, you could end up paying €2,675 per person — or about €382 per person, per day on Crystal.

All of the luxury lines have special offers, so keep in mind that my numbers provide only general guidelines suggesting that Europa 2 is priced higher than its competitors for similar sailings.

So the question for luxury cruisers: Is cruising on Europa 2 worth the price differential?

My Take On Europa 2

As an experience for those who can afford it, cruising on Europa 2 is worth the extra outlay. Those who are not as well-heeled, but still want to go luxury, could do nearly two cruises on one of the other luxury players for the same price that they would pay to cruise Europa 2.

Read the full Europa 2 review.

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