Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ UK Visit Emphasises Its Commitment To English-Speaking Cruises on board ms Europa 2 and ms Hanseatic

hapag-lloyd-logoHapag-Lloyd Cruises’ senior management visited the UK recently to reaffirm their commitment to an international strategy after celebrating Europa 2′s inaugural year. They are seeking an increase in international guest base

The Europa 2, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ latest addition to its fleet of luxury and expedition ships, was launched in May of 2013 and has just celebrated her first year in operation. In recognition of this, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises CEO Karl J Pojer and Europa 2‘s Director of Product Management, Julian Pfitzner, took the opportunity to host a press event in London.

For Karl Pojer, it was his inaugural visit to the UK as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises CEO. Pojer took on his new role as head of the Hamburg-based luxury cruise operator in May 2013. He comments: “The United Kingdom has proved a very important international market to us and we are very pleased to see a growing number of British guests.”

countdown-to-europa-2 IWith its two ultra-luxury cruise ships and two expedition ships, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is regarded as one of the leading operators in the luxury and expedition segment in the German-speaking countries. All cruises on board the Europa 2 are international, operated in both English and German. In its expedition segment, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will offer a selection of international cruises on board its 5-star-rated expedition ship Hanseatic.

The expansion of marketing in international markets goes hand-in-hand with the focus on the areas of luxury and expedition. “By consistently focusing on these two pillars, we strive to enhance further our strength and our leading position as regards quality in these segments and at the same time we will address new markets“, explained Pojer.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has been able to increase its international guest base by 42 % between 2013 and June 2014. For its latest marketing activities, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has selected the United Kingdom, United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Scandinavia as priority target markets. “With Europa 2, we believe we have a perfect ship to offer an international flair and to address a sophisticated, cosmopolitan target group, planning in future to increase market share in our defined international markets”, says Julian Pfitzner, Director Product Management Europa 2.

Europa 2 at Southampton (Wikipedia)“It has been a good year for Europa 2 since her launch. In September she received the highest distinction of a 5-star-plus ranking from the Berlitz Cruise Guide 2014. This high rating reflects an overall 97% guest’s recommendation rate. Both are very positive distinctions for us,” explains Pfitzner. “Europa 2 is a modern and casual luxury ship, which does away with cruise traditions such as the captain’s dinner. With this new concept, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has attracted 50% new guests – of which many have never cruised before.” With up to 500 guests, Europa 2 provides the greatest space per passenger of any cruise ship in the world. The ship features exclusively suites with verandas and a minimum area of 375 sq ft. Seven restaurants and six bars are dedicated to serving culinary diversity and a large spa and fitness area accommodates the well-being trend on cruises.

Pfitzner concludes: “We are aware of the challenges of the international marketplace and existing industry competition. However, we believe our concept of combining 5-star-plus standards with sophisticated informality and flexible route planning is the key to the way forward and continued success. We understand and are committed to the new way to enjoy relaxed luxury.”

europa-2-tarragon-french-restaurantHapag-Lloyd revealed that its strategy to attract more international passengers was squarely focused on Britons, saying expectations were for the UK to make up 7½% of the line’s total bookings.

In order to attract passengers, Hapag-Lloyd will be offering cruises that call in the UK and cruises that depart from the UK in addition to a complimentary €200 beverage package for all international passengers booking their first cruise on two of the line’s ships – Europa 2 and Hanseatic. The €200 onboard credit offer will come into effect on bookings beginning Autumn 2014. A specific date has yet to be set.

Pfitzner added that the line was committed to bringing the ship to UK ports  and was even considering offering a round-Britain cruise on Europa 2. “We will see many more UK ports on our itineraries,” Pfitzner said. “And more cruises departing from the UK.”

CEO Pojer said the move had been decided based on feedback from UK passengers, who had repeatedly raised the subject of Hapag-Lloyd’s luxury vessels charging extra for drinks onboard, while gratuities and meals at all seven onboard eateries are included in the cruise fare.

Pojer said: “We listen to our international customers, and we know there are needs that are different from the German market … From the feedback we have heard that the subject of all-inclusive is always coming up.” Pojer said Hapag-Lloyd was hoping to source 15% of its passengers from outside Germany.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

First Birthday Savings On Summer Med Cruises On Board ms Europa 2

Europa 2 at seaIn recognition of ms Europa 2 ‘s first full year at sea, Hapag-Loyd Cruises has a birthday gift for Cruise People clients. On seven cruises this summer you can enjoy cruising the Mediterranean at fantastic fares.

In a guaranteed Veranda/Ocean Suite Category 0 you will pay only £2,730 per person,cruise only, double occupancy – and save up to £1,500 per person. The eligible cruises all take place this July and August, with Saturday departures:

EUX 1419    July 12-19                              Rome to Barcelona
EUX 1420    July 19-26                              Barcelona to Rome
EUX 1421    July 22-August 2                 Rome to Barcelona
EUX 1422    August 2-9                             Barcelona to Rome
EUX 1423    August 9-16                           Rome to Valetta
EUX 1424    August 16-23                         Valetta to Venice
EUX 1425    August 23-30                         Venice to Valetta

You can enjoy even more space (560 sq ft) and cruise at a cost of just  £5,460 per person in a guaranteed Spa/Grand Suite category 6, 7 or 8.

In addition, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has a special introductory offer to the UK market, with a 10-night cruise leaving Southampton on June 25 for Barcelona, with fares starting at £3,990 per person in double occupancy. A 2-night sampler cruise also leaves Hamburg for Southampton on June 23, with fares fropm £840. Free business class flights are included either to Hamburg or home from Barcelona.

Unlike her fleetmate Europa, which concentrates on the German market, Europa 2 operates in the international market and full English-language services are offered on every departure year-round.

For further details please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise Poeple Ltd in London or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

 

Europa’s Best Celebrates 10th Anniversary: Festival of Food and Drink With Ten Top-Prize Chefs – Gourmet Festival In Antwerp On June 22

Gourmet Festival on board in Antwerp on June 22 – Special Jubilee Celebration with ten award-winning chefs and Jubilee Guest Eckart Witzigmann – High Point of the 14-day Gourmet Cruise from Lisbon to Hamburg

EuropaThis year the very popular, annual gourmet festival “Europa’s Best” celebrates a truly special anniversary. For ten years, numerous Michelin-starred chefs and other high flyers in the world of haute cuisine, including wine growers, chocolatiers, patissiers and fromagers, have gathered together once a year on board Europa to transform the Lido Deck into a gourmet mile. To mark this anniversary in 2014, appropriately, Europa ’s chef de cuisine Thorsten Gillert will welcome on board ten top-prize chefs from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and, of course, Belgium. This year, as always, Europa will berth in Antwerp for its special evening event devoted entirely to the delights of haute cuisine par excellence.

Also on board as special jubilee guest is Eckart Witzigmann, crowned “Chef of the Century” by Gault Millau. Passengers will also enjoy the pleasure of sampling one of his creations – a “signature dish” from his repertoire will be presented on the menu in the Europa Restaurant on the evening of the event.

Guest Chefs:

Dieter Müller, Restaurant Dieter Müller, MS Europa
Thomas Bühner (DE), La Vie, 3 Michelin stars, 4 Gault-Millau toques
Stefan Steinheuer (DE), Steinheuers Restaurant “Zur Alten Post“, 2 Michelin stars, 4 Gault-Millau toques
Karlheinz Hauser (DE), Restaurant Seven Seas, 2 Michelin stars, 3 Gault-Millau toques
Johannes King (DE), Sölringhof Sylt, 2 Michelin stars, 3 Gault-Millau toques
Nils Henkel (DE), Schloss Lerbach, 2 Michelin stars, 4 Gault-Millau toques
Tanja Grandits (CH), Restaurant Stucki, 2 Michelin stars, 3 Gault-Millau toques
Holger Bodendorf (DE), Landhaus Stricker, 1 Michelin stars, 3 Gault-Millau toques
Silvio Nickol (AU), Palais Coburg, 2 Michelin stars, 3 Gault-Millau toques
Filip Claeys (BE), Restaurant De Jonkman, 2 Michelin stars, 3 Gault-Millau toques

Winegrowers:  Winery Schneider, Diel Estate, Winery Dönnhoff, Winery Schwarzer Adler, Winery Dreissigacker, Maison Louis Latour, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Winery Luciano Sandrone, Winery Franz Hirtzberger, Winery Huerta de Albalá

Other Participants:  Barkeeper Charles Schumann, Otto Gourmet, BOS Food, Giovanni L, L`Olio Secondo Veronelli, Fromagerie Antony, Caviar House & Prunier Piekfeine Brände, Becking Kaffee,  Die Patisserie

Gourmet Cruise Details: Europa departs on June 10, 2014, sailing for 14 days from Lisbon via Bilbao, St Jean de Luz, Bordeaux, Le Palais, St. Helier, St Peter Port, London (Greenwich),and Antwerp to Hamburg, from £4,440 per person. The Europa ’s Best Gourmet Festival will take place in Antwerp on June 22.

hapag-lloyd-logoFor more information on the Europa Gourmet Cruise or any other Hapag-Lloyd cruise please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise people Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

 

 

Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2 Turns Out To Be A Real Game Changer

Europa 2 at Southampton (Wikipedia)As we predicted in April 2012 after seeing the artist’s depictions of the public rooms and restaurants, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2 has indeed turned out to be a real stunner. Compared to her fleetmate Europa, now fourteen years in service, it is difficult to see how cruise rating aficionados will not be able to give her an even higher rating, which would make her the top-rated ship in the world. With a passenger space ratio in the vicinity of 80 tons per passenger (a world record), this is a ship where everywhere you go the sea is with you.

Along with the great and the good of the cruise and travel press, about sixty top UK cruise agents were invited on a one-night cruise from Southampton along the English Channel towards Cornwall last week. Also on board was Douglas Ward, editor of the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships.

130Two of the themes on the new ship are “Relaxed Luxury” and a “Hideaway at Sea.” This is quite different from what is on offer in the rest of today’s cruise market, even from ultra-luxury operators. Europa 2 is aimed squarely at a different audience – the affluent executive and professional classes still in work, younger in age and with growing children. The new ship’s dress code is therefore smart casual, not formal.

To reach this audience, the new ship’s operation is quite different from others. Her summer cruises in the Mediterranean are based on 7-day itineraries that can be extended to 14 or 21 days, with no itinerary repeated before three cruises have elapsed. In addition, nannies will be engaged on a ratio of one for every four children. Because of this and the need to house entertainers, although the ship has been designed to accommodate 516 guests, it is unlikely that her passenger loads will ever exceed 480.

Her shorter routes are ideal for a new audience. With 7-day combinable Mediterranean cruises and 13-to-20 day combination cruises to far-away destinations by winter, Europa 2 meets the requirements of young high-earning professionals and families with limited holiday time. Calling at 123 ports on twenty-six different itineraries this year, her cruises will take guests to the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, Southeast Asia and China, and then in 2014/15 to the Americas.

119All itineraries are based on ports that have plenty of air service and are easy to get in and out of – for example, Barcelona, Monte Carlo (Nice) and Venice, Dubai in the Middle East, and in the Far East, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The ship’s size is a major advantage – with a length of 739 feet and a draught of 20.7 feet, Europa 2 is capable of calling at small, rarely-visited ports such as Bonifacio and Portofino, where larger ships cannot go. Twelve Zodiacs are also carried to take passengers ashore to lagoons and beaches that other ships cannot reach. The Europa 2 also introduces some new concepts. She has a magrodome, but it is not the usual cover over a pool deck but is two decks high.

The new ship’s accommodations are all Veranda Suites, with balconies each measuring at least 75 square feet. All suites come equipped with a free mini bar, Wi-Fi Internet access (at a charge) and a tablet computer. The ships 251 suites come in seven categories measuring from 301 to 1,066 square feet. The highest categories have whirlpools with ocean view.

144Sixteen Spa Suites have whirlpool tubs and rain showers with steam saunas, providing guests with a private oasis of well-being. For families traveling together, there are seven family suites, where parents and children live in two separate areas, connected by a door and a shared balcony. What’s more, children up to the age of eleven are carried free of charge as long as they occupy a suite with their parents.

Important to Europa 2 is that every cruise caters to international passengers who speak English. This is unlike the present practice, which is to nominate international cruises for each ship in the fleet. By this means, it is aimed to increase the number of English-speaking passengers by four- or five-fold, from ten to twenty per internatuonal sailing now to fifty to eighty in three to five years’ time.

There are eight different restaurants to choose from and wines and spirits are sold at prices that are cheaper than onshore, unlike virtually every other cruise line other than the all-inclusive ones. Beer is about €1.40, a cocktail around €4.20 and bottles of wine run from about €14. The usual practice on cruise ships has moved away from such duty free prices to charging full shoreside hotel prices. Hapag-Lloyd’s goal is not to maximise on board revenue but to offer value and a good experience. Also, in the alternative restaurants, it will not be possible to book more than forty-eight hours in advance, giving an opportunity for all to experience them where on some lines old hands have been able to monopolise these spaces.

All in all, some interesting ideas are coming out of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and this ship is a real game changer. The most interesting thing about this ship was that at the end of the voyage many said they did not want to leave her.  She was christened in Hamburg on Friday, May 10, 2013.

For further details on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and how to book the Europa 2 please contact Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or Freephone 0800 526 313 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Releases Its 2014 Brochure For MS Europa, Including Four International English-Speaking Cruises

Europa 2014 BrochureHapag-Lloyd Cruises proudly presents its new brochure for MS Europa cruises between April and September 2014! The first section, detailing the ship, now shows in more detail everything interesting about The World´s Most Beautiful Yacht. Especially for the suites more space has been devoted to outlining their stylish interiors.

In 2014 there will be four cruises which will be offered internationally in English and German, ensuring that English-speaking passengers feel comfortable from the moment they board.

Countdown to Europa 2The four cruises dedicated to English-speaking guests are:

EUR 1408: Limassol to Venice, 12 days   April 29 – May 11, 2014.
One of the highlights is the international classic singing competition Stella Maris!

EUR 1410: Barcelona to Lisbon, 16 days
   May 25-June 10, 2014.
On this cruise the 14th MS Europa Golf Cup will take place.

EUR 1411: Lisbon to Hamburg, 14 days   June 10-24, 2014.
The Event “Europas Best” will transform the Lido Deck into a gourmet paradise with Europe´s most famous chefs, winemakers, affineurs, fromageurs, patissiers and chocolatiers.

EUR 1419: Travemünde to Hamburg, 13 days
   August 31-September 13, 2014.
Leading classical musicians come together on the Europa: the Ocean Sun Festival celebrates classical music every year out on the open sea. The best chamber music performers, famous opera singers, virtuoso musicians and well-known conductors create a unique mix of music and the sea, giving one the unparalleled pleasure of experiencing world-class stars up close and personal in the intimate surroundings of Europa.

For further details of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises or any Europa or Europa 2 cruise please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Introduces Travel Concierge On Board Both ms Europa and ms Europa 2

HL Travel ConciergeFor details of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Travel Concierge or any Europa or Europa 2 cruise please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Countdown to Europa 2: A Special Offer for UK Passengers – Free Flights For 7-Night Ultra-Luxury Cruises Between Venice and Malta

europa-2The new ultra-luxury ms Europa 2 enters service in May 2013

Today we are delighted to announce Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ latest special for UK passengers: free flights with Lufthansa between London and four exclusive 7-night Mediterranean cruises on the brand-new ultra-luxury 516-guest Europa 2. That’s right, there is no cost for you to get to or from the ship in Malta or Venice, on the following summer departures.

Also, for single travellers there is no single supplement on a limited allocation of suites in Categories 1 to 4.

MS Europa 2: From Malta to Venicecountdown-to-europa-2 I
via Corfu, Dubrovnik, Hvar and Rovinj

August 17–24, 2013, 7 nights, EUX1313
August 31–September 7, 2013, 7 nights, EUX1315

MS Europa 2: From Venice to Malta
via Ravenna, Split, Korcula, Kotor and Otranto

August 24–31, 2013, 7 nights, EUX1314
September 7–14, 2013, 7 nights, EUX1316

Sterling fares are calculated at the very advantageous rate of £0.78 to the Euro. This is about €1.28 per Pound Sterling compared to €1.12 today, or an 11% saving.

Europa 2 Summer Special

To book or for further details please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

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