Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 by Shawn Dake
The most spacious ship in the world, the new EUROPA 2 of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, met seawater for the first time in a festive ceremony at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire on July 6, 2012. The keel for the 39,500 gross ton ship was laid on March 1st. The first block of the ship weighed 881,840 pounds and the remaining hull was completed in a short four month period. At the same time, construction began on the 251 suites, all with private balconies, which are being manufactured at the shipyard’s cabin factory. The smallest suites on the new ship are 301 square feet in size. The EUROPA 2 will offer a maximum of 516 guests more space per passenger than any other cruise liner. Also onboard will be eight restaurants, a modern theater as well as six bars, a large spa and fitness area, lounges and spacious public areas.
Now that the EUROPA 2 has left the drydock the next construction stage is due to begin – the completion of the interior at the outfitting pier. A total of 835 shipyard workers are involved in the construction of the new ship. They will dedicate around 2.5 million hours of labor to the project, and 10,000 tons of steel have already been used in the process of building the EUROPA 2. The ship is expected to be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises at the end of April 2013. Her 14-day maiden voyage from Hamburg to Lisbon will take place from May 11 – 25 2013.
With the arrival of the EUROPA 2, it will join the existing EUROPA as the most spacious ships in cruising. The two are fleetmates rather than identical sisterships but both will offer a similar atmosphere combining luxury with spaciousness. The EUROPA 2, will be positioned in the luxury segment as a lifestyle-oriented, casual alternative. Families will be welcome onboard. The EUROPA 2 will be the larger of the two at 39,500 gross tons, a length of 739 feet and a beam of 88 feet, but carries just over 100 more passengers than the original ship. By comparison, the earlier EUROPA built in 1999 measures 28,890 gross tons and is 652 feet long with a beam of 79 feet. It handles just 408 passengers. The name EUROPA has graced the bows of many ships over the years and will continue to be synonymous with luxury at sea.