A rendering of the new 516-passenger Europa 2, scheduled to enter service in 2013 // © 2011 Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced the debut of two charters that will substantially increase the company’s capacity and offer both luxury and premium cruise choices. The line is chartering the new 516-passenger Europa 2 for 12 years; she will enter service in 2013 as a luxury ship, offering a casual luxury alternative to the existing Europa, with seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean in the summer months and exotic destinations in the winter months. The ship is designed with 258 all-balcony suites, including four grand penthouses and family suites. There will be seven restaurants and a substantial spa and wellness area.
In the premium sector, Hapag-Lloyd has arranged a two-year charter of Oceania Cruises’ 698-passenger Insignia, which will join the fleet as the 698-passenger Columbus 2 in April 2012. At the same time, Oceania will take delivery of the 1,250-guest Riviera, the second of the line’s new breed of newbuilds.
Columbus 2 will cruise combinable seven-day itineraries in the Mediterranean in the spring and fall, with longer itineraries in Northern Europe in summer. During the winter months, she will sail on a world cruise.
Sebastian Ahrens, managing director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, said Europa 2 will be positioned as “a lifestyle-oriented, informal sister ship on a five-star level,” while Columbus 2 satisfies the demand for a “relaxed, small premium ship with a modern concept.”