Europa 2 Suites Now Being Installed, Ship To Be Ready For Early May

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ ultra-luxury Europa 2 takes shape at the STX shipyard in St Nazaire as her suites are installed. Between twenty-five and thirty a week are being installed in the various guest decks.

The standard suites are produced in two blocks – the living and the bathroom area. At the factory, more than 150 workers are busy putting suites together on eleven production lines and assembling different elements such as bed frames, slatted frames, desks and wardrobes which have been produced to custom designs.

Once secured, the stateroom blocks are loaded, hauled onto the ship with a lift, placed side by side on board and fitted. After this, all that needs to be done is for the carpet to be laid and the sofa to be positioned.

While the Standard Suites are assebled in two blocks, the Penthouse Suites are fitted directly on board as they are far too large to transport to the ship. The installation of all the suites will be complete by Christmas.

Countdown to Europa 2The new Europa 2,  which is set to undertake her maiden voyage in May, offers maximum space for all guests – and all suites have their own veranda of at least 75 sq ft looking onto the ocean. Passengers booking now can choose from a total of 251 suites in eight categories – from the Veranda Suite measuring more than 300 sq ft to the Owner’s Suite with its generous 1,065 sq ft. Seven family apartments consist of two separate suites that have both connecting doors and shared verandas.

The Europa 2  is a modern and lifestyle-oriented sister ship of the Europa 2, the world’s only 5-star-plus ship (Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2013).

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises visit www.hl-cruises.com. For bookings, inquiries, or to request a brochure, 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’ Antarctic Season 2012/2013 Opens Tomorrow

On Sunday, November 11, the Bremen opens the 2012-13 Antarctic season with its first expedition cruise. From Montevideo, she will carry the maximum 164 guests to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Orkney Islands, then the Antarctic Peninsula. The Hanseatic will follow in mid December. For many guests, an Antarctic expedition means fulfilling a dream they may have had for a long time. To ensure that the expedition becomes an unforgettable experience, planning is recommended.

Antarctica is among the most sensitive ecosystems in the world and is under special ecological protection. The expedition ships Hanseatic and Bremen have been using more environmentally sound marine diesel oil in the polar regions for years, long before the new law entered force in 2011. Beyond this, a code of conduct for Antarctica stipulates that visitors are required to protect sensitive mosses, lichens and grasses and stay a safe distance from animals, for example five metres in the case of penguins. These rules are communicated by experienced lecturers in the time spent ashore.

“You need to take time when visiting Antarctica, as you cannot explore this unique destination on a cruise with a duration of merely one week. Anyone wishing to see more than plenty of water and a bit of ice should schedule around two weeks,” recommends Mark Behrend, captain of the Bremen, who has been to Antarctica more than 30 times.

“The choice of route and ship is decisive for intense expedition experiences. Solely small ships with few passengers fulfil the conditions for landings. With the Bremen’s twelve zodiacs, we offer first-hand nature experiences and ideal opportunities in terms of animal observations.

“Only passenger ships with the highest ice class are capable of advancing really far into Antarctica and even moving safely to the south of the Antarctic Circle. Besides the ice class, it is primarily of crucial importance to have on board an ice-experienced ship management and crew, who are able to read the ice and navigate accordingly,” adds Captain Behrend.

It is advisable to book Antarctic expeditions as early as possible – especially on ships with a capacity of fewer than 200 passengers. Special routes, for example those beyond the Antarctic Circle, are also booked out more than a year in advance.

Here Are Some of the Top Expedition Experiences in Antarctica:

– Zodiac tour in Paradise Bay and setting foot on the Antarctic mainland
– Landings in colonies with hundreds of thousands of penguins on South Georgia
– Bathing in the hot springs of Deception IslandCountdown to Europa 2
– Whale watching
– Cruising through the pack ice and huge table icebergs
– Sailing though the Lemaire and the Neumayer Channels
– Visit to a scientific station
– Landing at Cape Horn

Cruise Example: Expedition Semi Circumnavigation Antarctica with the Hanseatic from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Bluff, New Zealand, January 25 – February 21, 2014, 26 days, from €17.120 EUR, £13,360 or US $20,550 per person, cruise only, including charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia

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