MS Europa’s Classical Music Star 2011: San Francisco Opera Soprano Nadine Sierra

San Francisco Opera Soprano Nadine Sierra (in blue) Wins Audience Prize at the “Stella Maris“ International Vocal Competition

The participants in Stella Maris 2011 (left to right): Pianist Alexander Soddy, Grazia Doronzio, Sebastian Ahrens (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), jury member Simone Young (Hamburg State Opera), jury member Marita Prohmann (Deutsche Grammophon), Gala El Hadidi, Nadine Sierra (this year’s winner), Emily Albrink, jury member Dominique Meyer (Vienna State Opera), Pumeza Matshikiza, Jaeheui Kwon, Ileana Montalbetti, jury member Michael Schade (Celebrity Tenor and Artistic Director).

•          Audience prize worth €15,000 – donated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

•          Representatives of seven international opera houses

•          Three female laureates impressed the jury and audience

On the occasion of this year’s Stella Maris International Vocal Competition on board MS Europa, which took place between July 5 and 20 on an Around Britain cruise from Hamburg, seven up-and-coming talents from the field of classical music took to the stage. With their performances, they demonstrated their skills in the categories of opera, lied and oratorio. The audience prize, worth €15,000 and donated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, was awarded to Nadine Sierra from the San Francisco Opera. Mezzo-soprano Gala El-Hadidi from Semperoper Dresden, won no fewer than two of the coveted jury prizes – the test recording with Deutsche Grammophon, and a guest engagement at the Vienna State Opera.

Another jury prize was conferred on Grazia Doronzio from The Metropolitan Opera of New York. She received a guest engagement at the Hamburg State Opera, handed over to her by jury member Simone Young, Director of the Hamburg State Opera. Besides the laureates, this year’s participants included representatives of the Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Washington National Opera and the Accademia della Scala. Under the direction of celebrity tenor Michael Schade, a jury featuring well-known personalities such as Simone Young, Dominique Meyer, Director of the Vienna State Opera, and Marita Prohmann with Deutsche Grammophon, decided on the award of jury prizes.

“We have once again successfully gathered outstanding male and female singers on board and offered the jury and the audience first-class concerts“, said Sebastian Ahrens, managing Ddrector of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The next Stella Maris International Vocal Competition will take place between November 6-25, 2012 on a Europa cruise from Dubai to Port Louis (Mauritius). For further details please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

MS Europa: Nice, Porto Cervo, Capri, Positano, Lipari, Trapani & Malta

MS Europa – Top Ship in the World for Eleven Years in a Row (Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising)

Italy – La Dolce Vita (EUR1211).

From Nice to Malta via Porto Cervo, Capri, Positano, Lipari and Trapani

May 20–26, 2012, 6 days from £ 2,470 pp in an outside suite Category 1, double occupancy, cruise only.

§ UNESCO World Cultural Heritage
Sites: ancient Pompeii* and the Amalfi coast*
§ Capri and the Blue Grotto
§ La Notte Italiana – party night on board
§ Bel canto – Italian opera on board

Subject to change. *These arrangements are not included in the cruise price.

Early Booking Reward: Book by October 23, 2011 and receive 5 % off.

For further details of ultra-luxury voyages on board MS Europa and other Hapag-Lloyd cruise ships  please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

MS Europa’s New “Baby Welcome Package” Offers Families Additional Value

  • More convenient travel planning for parents with babies and toddlers
  • New service includes items such as care products and baby food

In future, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will offer parents a new service to facilitate carefree travelling with babies and toddlers – the Baby Welcome Package, which is free of charge. With the latter and select family cruises, the Hamburg-based cruise operator is taking into account the constantly rising proportion of families on its voyages.

As of the four-day family introductory cruise “Sailing across the North Sea“ beginning on 20 July, a free Baby Welcome Package will be available for parents and young seafarers aboard the Europa. With this new service, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is enhancing its offers for families, facilitating travel planning for parents and enabling them to travel to the cruise departure point without excess luggage due to baby items. The package includes care products such as nappies and washing lotion, changing mats for the cruise and bibs. Every family can compile their personal Baby Welcome Package prior to the beginning of the cruise. By filling in a form, they can simply order items like nappies in the required size and quantity as well as the desired type of baby food, if preferred organically grown. The suite will also be furnished as requested, for instance with a babyphone, Maxi-Cosi, baby travel cot, high chair or bathtub for babies.On the Europa, children up to three years of age sharing a cabin with their (grand)parents travel at no cost; for children aged four to 15 is charged 65 Euros per night. Family cruises and cruises with at least four children on board include a special programme with meals, drinks and customised children’s excursions for the little cruise passengers.

For bookings, enquiries or to request a brochure, please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail