Hamburg-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises comprises two luxury ships (Europa and the Europa 2), one upscale ship (Columbus 2), and two expedition ships (the luxury ship Hanseatic and the upscale Bremen). Catering to a largely German speaking clientele, the company is working to attract more English-speaking passengers on the line's newest ship, Europa 2. All officers and staff are bilingual, as are all onboard announcements and printed materials. The all-suite Europa and Europa 2 offer the largest space-per-passenger ratio of any ships currently sailing. Further, all cabins on the Europa 2, which entered service in May 2013, have balconies. Only Columbus 2 carries more than 520 passengers; its capacity is 698.
This small fleet calls at ports on all seven continents, with itineraries as short as seven nights and up to as many nights as one could imagine. Some passengers have taken up virtual residency on the luxury liners, attracted to the relaxed atmosphere (there are no black-tie dinners or toga nights), excellent food in a variety of international dining venues, and variety of ports of call accessible only to smaller ships. There are extensive programs for young children as well as teens, and a variety of activities for all ages both onboard and ashore. The Hapag-Lloyd non-expedition ships circle the globe, and passengers can join as they wish, joining any available itinerary segments. Not so with the expedition ships, where passengers must sign on for the whole itinerary. With over 100 years in the cruising industry, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is carving out quite a nice little luxurious niche for itself—all around the world. (49)403070–3070 (in Germany). www.hl-cruises.com.
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