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.

Hapag-Lloyd’s Brand New ms Europa 2 – Your Exclusive Hideaway At Sea – Three Special Offers For November Through February 2014

europa-2-sternAsian Impressions – or – the Arabian Peninsula

Dubai – Dubai, November 25 – December 3, 2013, 8 days, EUX1325
via Abu Dhabi, Doha, Mina Sulman, Bahrain; Khasab, Oman, and Muscat  from £3,644 per person in a Category 1 suite, double occupancy, cruise-only.

Singapore – Singapore, January 4–18, 2014, 14 days, EUX1402
via Phuket, Port Kelang, Malaysia, Ko Samui, Kampong Saom, Cambodia and Koh Kood, Thailand from £6,752 per person in a Category 1 suite, double occupancy, cruise-only.

Singapore – Hong Kong, February 1–13, 2014, 12 days, EUX1403
via Bintulu, Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Sandakan, Malaysia, Boracay, Philippines and Hundred Islands, Malaysia from £5,496 per person in a Category 1 suite, double occupancy, cruise-only.

Special offer for all three cruises:-

o  Upgrade from Category 1 to Category 3
o  Connoisseur Package of £115 per person for beverages and Ocean Spa

Countdown to Europa 2Early Booking Reductions:-

Book by April 28, 2013 and receive 5% off! (EUX1325)
Book by June 21, 2013 and receive 5 % off! (EUX1402)
Book by July 5, 2013 and receive 5% off! (EUX1403)

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.

North Sea Cities: In Luxury From London to Antwerp, Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen & Travemünde – September 5-14, 9 days from £2,878 pp

EUROPA.
Two days in the regal British capital, copious time in Amsterdam – draw inspiration f rom some of Europe‘s most exciting cities. The Norwegian capital of Oslo shows its green and modern side and even lets you get a glimpse of it from the air. Denmark‘s seat of royal power of fers the perfect ambience for a leisurely stroll. In Antwerp, you can follow in Rubens‘ footsteps, Ghent is the place to sample premium-quality chocolate, and on board, you will be treated to the finest wines and cheeses. The height of indulgence.

Highlights of Cruise EUR1321_2UK:

• London* – the trendy city on the banks of the Thames
• Gourmet special – cheese specialist and wine expert on board
• Golf & Cruise voyage with comprehensive golf package*

Thu 05.9. Greenwich (London) arrival 14.00 hrs tCountdown to Europa 2
Fri 06.9. Greenwich (London)
Sat 07.9. Greenwich departure 15.00 hrs t
Sun 08.9. Antwerp 8.00 – 18.00 hrs
Mon 09.9. Amsterdam arrival 8.00 hrs
Tue 10.9. Amsterdam departure 7.30 hrs
Wed 11.9. Oslo arrival 18.00 hrs
Thu 12.9. Oslo departure 18.00 hrs
Fri 13.9. Copenhagen 12.00 – 19.00 hrs
Sat 14.9. Travemünde arrival 7.00 hrs

Individual travel arrangements to Greewich and from Travemünde / t = at anchor

* These arrangements not included in the cruise price and subject to change.

Special Offers:

Pay guaranteed Suite Cat. 0 and get an upgrade to Veranda Suite Cat. 4 – 7 £2,878 per person

Single Special: Pay Suite Cat. 1 and get an upgrade to Veranda Suite Cat. 4 £4,965 per person (single occupancy only)

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.

Countdown to Europa 2: Here’s One – Barcelona to Monte Carlo, 7 nights, June 22, from £3,070 per person for top luxury

Countdown to Europa 2This classified advertisement will appear in the lineage adverts of The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph on Saturdays for the next few weeks, leading up to Europa 2′s arrival in Southampton in early May. Meanwhile, from The Sunday Times of January 13:-

The Next Best Ship: Europa is a rather special vessel. She’s been voted the best in the world by cruising’s most revered critic, Douglas Ward, for 13 years running. From this May, though, she’ll have a sister ship to vie for the title. Europa 2 promises a “more casual and modern approach,” which translates as trendier interiors, glitzy entertainment, a cookery school and far fewer black-tie dinners. Will they maintain the same impeccable service and superb food? You be the judge on a seven-night voyage  from Barcelona to Monte Carlo, casting off on June 22. The Cruise People (020 7273 2450) has the trip from £3,070, full-board. Flights are extra; easyJet (0843 104 5000, easyjet.com) and British Airways (0844 493 0787, ba.com) fly to both Barcelona and Nice.

Call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

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 .

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