Friday, 14 January 2011

Hapag-Lloyd Expansion in the Luxury and Premium segment with MS EUROPA 2 and MS COLUMBUS 2

•  Commissioning of newly built MS EUROPA 2 in Spring 2013
•  Commissioning of MS COLUMBUS 2 in April 2012
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will strategically expand its product offering  by 2013 with the addition of two ships to its existing fleet. With the newly built MS EUROPA 2 the company will strengthen its leading position in the Luxury segment by Spring 2013. The Premium segment will be enhanced as of April 2012 with COLUMBUS 2.
Sebastian Ahrens, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: "We are pleased to be increasing our product diversity with both ships with the aim of reaching new target groups. The EUROPA 2 is the logical further development and contemporary interpretation of a luxury ship and, as sister ship to the existing EUROPA, will be positioned as a lifestyle-oriented and informal 5-star vessel. The COLUMBUS 2 fulfils the demand for a relaxed, small Premium ship with a modern concept in the German-speaking cruise market, and therefore offers an expansion of this segment, which is attractive for us by its nature and in commercial terms."
The EUROPA 2, with her eleven decks and 258 suites, will accommodate a maximum of 516 passengers and offers the largest amount of space per passenger on a cruise ship, with all-veranda suite accommodation of at least 28 square metres. Spa, penthouse and family suites complete the accommodation range. Seven restaurants, including a sushi Bar, two lounges and four bars will offer culinary diversity and a multi-faceted entertainment programme. A large wellness and spa zone, as well as a variety of sport- and health-oriented facilities, will do justice to the current trend for active holidays and wellbeing. With seven-day combinable cruises to the Mediterranean in the summer months and to distant destinations in winter, the EUROPA 2 will be particularly suited to fulfilling the requirements of guests taking time out from work and of families who are looking for an easy-going holiday in an elegant ambience at sea. Equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs, the EUROPA 2 will also be in a position to offer landings in small harbours and isolated bays off the familiar routes.
The COLUMBUS 2 has eleven decks and with 349 cabins provides accommodation for a maximum of 698 passengers. With just 28 inside cabins and with 89 outside cabins, 170 balcony cabins, 52 penthouse suites and four Vista and six Owners' suites, the Premium ship offers a very high standard of accommodation for this market segment. The spacious cabins have a standard size of 20 square metres. With four restaurants and three bars the ship has a diversity of dining facilities ranging from casual to informally elegant.
Various stages and lounges are available for the recreational and entertainment programme. The pool deck with its stage offers the prospect of summer events in the open air. A generously sized spa and wellness zone, a pool deck with swimming pool and jacuzzis, sunbathing areas, an on-deck jogging course and on-deck driving range ensure active relaxation on days at sea. W-LAN throughout the whole ship, along with Internet access points in the Library and Observation Lounge, enable passengers to remain connected, even on the high seas.
The ship, which was built in 1998 in what is now the STX shipyard in France, will be sailing in spring and autumn on seven-day combinable routes in the Mediterranean. In the summer months COLUMBUS 2 will be offering twelve-day cruises visiting the Nordic countries and sailing the Baltic Sea. In addition, two- to three-day "introductory" cruises, for example at the time of the Hamburg Cruise Days 2012, will give passengers the opportunity to get to know the ship. In the winter months the COLUMBUS 2 will set off on a world cruise to distant destinations.
An extended route preview with information on the COLUMBUS 2, cabins and deck plans will be published on 25th January. Bookings will be taken from that date onward.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is represented in Australia by Landmark Travel, gerd@landmarktravel.com.au or 13 00 13 68 46