Impression of EUROPA 2, coutesy Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
On Friday April 26, 2013 at a formal ceremony, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises took delivery of the modern and casual luxury ship EUROPA 2 from the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire. Dr Wolfgang Flägel, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, signed the takeover protocol. Captain Friedrich Jan Akkermann will navigate the newest member of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet across the world’s oceans.
After a 20 months construction period, the management of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises took delivery of the EUROPA 2. After signing the acquisition papers, Dr. Flägel said: “Today is a special day for us. By adding the EUROPA 2 to our fleet, we are acquiring the latest generation of cruise ship, which embodies an entirely new type of luxury cruising at sea. I am certain that we will raise the bar with the EUROPA 2 in the luxury cruise sector.”
After the signatures and flag change on deck had taken place, Laurent Castaing handed over a large canvas portrait of the EUROPA 2 to Captain Akkermann. In recent weeks over 1,000 of the shipyard’s employees worked to complete the cruise ship. Amongst other materials, 20,000 lbs. of steel have been used, around 186 miles of cable and 247,570 square feet of carpet were laid.
A rendering of the completed EUROPA 2 at sea. Courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
The EUROPA 2 is a modern and casual luxury ship, which does away with cruise traditions such as the captain’s dinner. With up to 516 guests, the EUROPA 2 will provide the greatest space per passenger of any cruise ship in the world. The ship features exclusively suites with verandas and a minimum area of 301 sq. ft. Eight restaurants and six bars are dedicated to serving up culinary diversity, and a large spa and fitness area accommodates the well-being trend on cruises. Its’ flexible route concept will appeal to professionals and families in the luxury sector in particular.
The ship will be christened in Hamburg on May 10, 2013, as part of the port’s anniversary celebrations. The EUROPA 2 will then embark on a 14-day maiden voyage towards Lisbon.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
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