Free Upgrade to a Veranda Suite as MS Europa Visits the Mexican Riviera and Hawaiian Islands in January 2012

•     Special upgrade to a veranda suite

•     Over 35% savings

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ flagship, MS Europa, rated by Berlitz as the world’s only 5-star plus cruise ship, is offering guests the perfect winter getaway between beautiful Mexico and the Hawaiian Islands in January 2012, with a special upgrade offer.

Guests booking a category 0 suite on this cruise, at £3,600 per person, will be automatically upgraded to a category 4 Veranda Suite, a savings of £1,930 per person or £3,860 in all.

The cruise features Mexico’s endless beaches and Hawaii’s breathtakingly beautiful volcanic islands rising from the Pacific, capturing the eye with steaming craters, gushing waterfalls and lush green all along the islands. Passengers board the Europa  in Acapulco on January 4, and disembark in San Francisco on January 20, 2012.

The 16-day itinerary includes Acapulco, Zihuatenejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Kailua (Hawaii), Lahaina (Maui), Nawiliwili (Kauai0, and Honolulu (Oahu). Optional shore excursions include a stop at the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, helicopter flights over Waimea Canyon, as well as Maui and Molokai, and an exciting boat trip to the tortoise sanctuary in Mexico.

The Europa  is the world’s first “all-suite” ship, with staterooms that are never less than 290 sq ft, 80% having their own veranda assuring privacy and relaxation. She offers guests the most space per passenger, as well as one of the highest staff passenger ratios, with 280 staff members for a maximum of 408 guests. New to the Europa  since September 2010, Dieter Mueller became the first award-winning chef to open his own gourmet restaurant onboard the Europa. He is personally on board 70 days a year. Also, launched last month, the Europa’s “Baby Welcome Package” offers baby care products and baby food for passengers travelling with infants. The Europa will visit over 20 countries in 2012 on her international (bilingual English and German) itineraries.

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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First Steel Cut at St Nazaire for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS Europa 2

europa-2Yesterday, the first steel was cut for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2, marking the official beginning of her construction. The cruise line’s managing director Sebastian Ahrens  gave the start signal at the STX shipyard in St Nazaire, where ships such as the Normandie, the France and the Queen Mary 2 were built. With the MS Europa 2, to enter service in the spring of 2013, Hapag-Lloyd will further advance its pioneering role in the luxury sector.

A total of 835 shipyard workers will be involved in the project, with an estimated 2.5 million hours of labour dedicated to the new ship’scompletion. “After an intense planning stage, we are very pleased to be taking this decisive step towards the extension of our fleet with the first steel cut,“ said Mr Ahrens.

With individual parts of the ship being manufactured in different shipyard halls over the coming months, the keel laying will take place in the spring of 2012, and commissioning in the spring of 2013.

The Europa 2 will enhance the luxury segment of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, offering a modern and informal interpretation of the existing Europa, the only cruise ship to be awarded with the highest “5-stars” plus ranking in the Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships.

The Europa 2 will have eleven decks and will offer 258 suites. She will have a maximum capacity of 516 passengers and will boast more space per passenger than any other cruise ship in the world. Spa Suites, Penthouse Suites and family suites will complement the range of accommodations on board.

Seven restaurants including a sushi bar, two lounges and four bars will enhance the ship’s culinary diversity. Guests will also enjoy a wide range of on board entertainment, a large wellness and spa area, and numerous sports and health-oriented offerings.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ exciting destinations and itineraries visit www.hl-cruises.com. For bookings, enquiries or brochures please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises