Hapag-Lloyd Cruises last week announced that its flagship ms Europa‘s 2012 program will include her first-ever ex-UK departure. In addition, the line will be introducing a service for new custom-made shore arrangements. Key features of her 2012 program will include:
• Eight international cruises in 2012 (all services, programs, menus, etc, available in both English and German)
• Her first ex-UK cruise on a 10-day itinerary from Leith to Dover in July
• Tailor-made shore arrangements to offer an individual cruise experience
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced the first-ever ms Europa cruise to depart from and return to the UK, offering British guests a cruise around the British Isles from Leith to Dover. This cruise is among eight itineraries offering international guests travel to Oceania, the Far East, Italy, Norway, the Baltic, the Adriatic and the Seychelles featured in Hapag-Lloyd’s new 2012 Europa international brochure, just published.
The 2012 program will also feature advanced excursion bookings, making voyages more personalised, and an array of theme cruises featuring golf and two very popular classical music events.
The Europa , the only cruise ship awarded 5-stars-plus by the Berlitz Cruise Guide 2011 and known for her unique itineraries worldwide, will visit over twenty countries in 2012 on her international itineraries. For the first time, she will start and end a cruise in the UK, giving British passengers the chance to embark and disembark close to home to see the enchanting ports of Invergordon, Portree, Dublin, Cobh, Milford Haven, Tresco, Penzance and Cowes. Other highlights in 2012 include an exotic South Sea cruise with calls in the islands of Samoa and Fiji, a Far East adventure calling on Thailand, Malaysia and Burma, 6- to 14-day high season itineraries through Italy, Germany, Norway and Denmark, voyages in the Baltic Sea and picturesque cruising of the Indian Ocean including the Seychelles.
Launch of the Travel Concierge
Making the 2012 Europa itineraries even more appealing, Hapag-Lloyd will enhance their shore excursion program with the launch of a travel concierge service, offering advanced excursion bookings on cruises booked for the 2012 season and beyond. The concierge desk on board will still fulfill requests for individual outings during a cruise, but Europa guests will now have the option of having their shore activities pre-arranged in a tailor-made excursion package – as shore arrangements during the cruise as well as pre- or post-cruise.
Whether it’s swimming with dolphins, a New Zealand trip including five-star accommodation or other adventures – giving guests the freedom to prearrange custom-made shore activities will further enhance the personalised experience of the five-star-plus Europa .
Themed cruises: music and golf
Following the success of the last few years, the classical music events, Stella Maris and the Ocean Sun Festival, will once more feature international artists with broad repertoires and a high reputation on board Europa . Where the Stella Maris concept brings the world’s most talented up-and-coming young singers together from the best opera houses in the world, competing on board, the Ocean Sun Festival showcases the world’s most renowned classical music performers in the most prestigious classical music festival at sea.
The designated Golf & Cruise program aboard the Europa combines an exclusive golf experience aboard and ashore. With a modern golf simulator and video coach, passionate golfers can test their skills on over thirty international golf courses. Ashore, the golf group, escorted by a PGA golf professional, tees off at distinguished and challenging golf courses set in beautiful landscapes. The Golf & Cruise package includes all tee-times, one-on-one training, luggage service, lectures by the PGA pro, a golf gift set and more. Besides the designated Golf & Cruise itineraries, a year-round golf pro is available on every Europa cruise, offering personal coaching and arranging for private tee-times on land throughout the year.
2012 Cruise Itinerary Highlights
Cruise around the British Isles featuring Golf: From Leith, Scotland, to Dover: July 7 – 17, 2012 (also available from Kiel to Hamburg: July 5 – 19, 2012). Itinerary Highlights: Loch Ness, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Edinburgh * Fares start at £3,750 per person
South Pacific Cruise: From Honolulu to Noumea, New Caledonia: January 18-February 4, 2012. Itinerary Highlights: Kayak tour around the island of Nawi, hiking in the Waisali rainforest * Fares start at £4,430 per person
Southeast Asia Cruise: From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Rangoon, Burma: March 9-23, 2012. Itinerary Highlights: Angkor Wat in Cambodia, high tea at the legendary Raffles Hotel, a private flight to the city of pagodas Bagan * Fares start at £3,220 per person
the Ocean Sun Festival Music Cruise to Norway: From Kiel, Germany, return to Kiel: August 12-24, 2012. Itinerary Highlights: visit to Bryggen, hiking to Storsaeter waterfall * Fares start at £3,840 per person
The Stella Maris Festival Music Cruise to the Indian Ocean : From Dubai, U.A.E., to Port Louis,Mauritius: November 7-25, 2012. Itinerary Highlights: Teatime at Emirates Palace and Grand Mosque in Muscat, UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai National Park (Seychelles) * Fares start at £5,260 per person
* excursions not included in the rate
For further details and a copy of Hapag-Lloyd’s 2012 international brochure please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Hamburg