Day 5 – Europa 2, Visiting Syracuse In Sicily, Italy

Europa 2's Bilingual Cruises
Wasted Space On Europa 2?
Reception Area On Europa 2
Premium Space Europa 2
Double Height Ceilings On Europa 2
Europa 2 Pool With Retractable Roof
Wrap-Around Promenade Europa 2
Launching Europa 2
Aft Deck Chairs And Sun Beds
European Crew
Words of Wisdom
Jazz Club
Jazz Club Bar
Restaurant Serenissima
Restaurant Elements
Restaurant Tarragon
Chateaubriand From Restaurant Tarragon
Seeds For A Healthy Start
Latte Macchiato
Inspired By Germany, Made In France
From Sylt To The Sea, Sansibar
Toast For Two
German Products, At A Price
Golf Simulators
Catering To Families
Sauna On Europa 2
Fitness Studio
Spacious Spa
Eight Treatment Rooms
Couples Treatment Room
Pleasant Color Scheme
Spa Suites
Grand Penthouse Suite
Grand Penthouse Suite Bedroom
Complimentary Mini-Bar
Desk In My Veranda Suite
Owner's Suite Europe 2
Smoking Allowed, Owner's Suite Veranda
Bath With A View
Entertainment, A Little Risqué
Six Good Nights On Europa 2

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“I’ve only seen this once before,” said Frank Neumann, hotel director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2. He was referring to the magic happening over our heads as we zipped around the harbor in Syracuse, Sicily, on Zodiacs photographing Europa 2 at anchor.

Set against a backdrop that could have come straight out of a Disney animation, Europa 2 reflected the hues of a Sicilian sky that was displaying ever-changing shades of red, from pink rose petals to blood red veins. Adding to the drama: In the distance, plumes of smoke streamed skyward from the active volcano Mount Etna, her opaque conical shape barely visible 110 kilometers (about 60 miles) away.

Frank told us he had last seen a similar sky in the Northwest Passage, where the German cruise company operates expedition vessels.

Our cameras were hard at work this evening. There were four of us on board with Frank, and another group of journalists in a second Zodiac. It wasn’t hard to get a dramatic photo. Just compose and shoot.

From left: Belgian travel writer Patrick Parez; Europa 2 Hotel Director Frank Nuemann; videographer Chris Stanley, Amber Pacific Studios; Ralph Grizzle, the Avid Cruiser; and Moritz Krause, Corporate Communications Manager, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
An evening to remember. From left: Belgian travel writer Patrick Parez; Europa 2 Hotel Director Frank Neumann; cinematographer Chris Stanley, Amber Pacific Studios; Ralph Grizzle, the Avid Cruiser; and Moritz Krause, Corporate Communications Manager, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

After an hour of shooting, a surprise. We made a beeline to two other Zodiacs in the distance. As we approached, I heard “The Sunny Side of the Street” being played on saxophone. The person playing: one of the crew members. Two other crew members waved to us. One was holding a tray of glasses filled with champagne.

As we approached, they steadied our Zodiacs and handed over glasses of champagne. A toast to one of the most memorable evenings that any of us will ever experience.

The sun was beginning to set on the horizon, and the beauty was simply breathtaking. “This only happens once in a decade,” Frank said. And we had the privilege of being there to witness it.

Europa 2, Greece to Malta

DAYPORTARRIVEDEPART
May 13, 2014Athens (Piraeus), GreeceEmbark EUROPA 222:00
May 14Nauplia, Peloponnese, Greece07:0021:00
May 15Relaxation at Sea
May 16Kerkyra, Corfu, Greece08:0017:00
May 17Syracuse, Sicily, Italy13:0022:00

Join the Conversation

Michael says:

Beutyfull report, It´s alway a pleasure to join you on a virtual cruise.

As a German with quite a bit of travel experience – on the Europa 2 as well as on internationally more recognized vessels I´d like to add some additional thoughts about the pricing on Europa 2. You´re absolutely right – they call for the highest “per night per person” rates in the market. If Europa 2 is really the best ship of the world must be decided by personal views of every traveler. You have to like the German way of precision and the European style and you must be willing to spend the extra dime for the (more expensive) European service-staff, as well as for the space-ratio.

But on the other hand, there is a growing niche of travellers who might even be able to get a real bargain by sailing on Europa 2: the solo traveller!

Most cruise ships do offer single occupation of a double suite with an absurd additional supplement, often 100%. On Europa 2 there is usually a supplement of max only 25% and many cruises over the year are even offered without any additional supplement for single occupation.

I just booked a solo 2-week-cruise in the Mediterranean on Europa 2 and that will cost me a lot less than a comparable cruise on Regent (around 30%) and even a (very) little bit less (around 0-5%, depending on drinking habits) than on Silversea or Seabourne, all costs considered. .The popularity of Europa 2 with individual travelers definitely has also pricing reasons, even with calling for the highest per night rates in the industry.

Ralph Grizzle says:

Thank you Michael. I’ve had other solo travelers asking about pricing, the experience, etc. Your perspective adds some valuable points to the discussion. I appreciate your good words and your engagement. It is a pleasure to have you traveling along.

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