Europa 2 under construction at STX France (photo: Christophe Dedie)When the passengers are paying an average of $800 a day, the ship better be perfect.

“The Europa 2 is a contemporary version of the Europa. We looked at what we’re good at on the Europa and are making it better on the Europa 2,” said Dr. Henning Brauer, director of newbuild for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The newbuild team for Hapag-Lloyd team is split in two, with a group at headquarters in Hamburg and another 50 at STX France, overseeing the building of the 39,500-ton vessel.

“The design team has been in Germany from the start for the last four years, managing the overall design,” Brauer explained.

Classed with Germanischer Lloyd (GL), which has three people on-site in St. Nazaire, checks take place when the yard presents a major aspect of the ship to the cruise line, supplier and GL.

The main efficiency on the Europa 2 comes in its hull design, said Brauer, who explained the hull had been optimized for a service speed of 15 knots after the company had designed three separate hulls for various speeds.

“There was an extensive test series,” he said. “We have all sorts of driving profiles due to global deployment.”

The new hull will not have a silicone-based coating. “It is expensive and at the end of the day doesn’t save much energy,” Brauer said. “Not everyone thinks the same way, but we have learned.”

LED lighting is not yet up to Hapag-Lloyd’s five-plus-star standard either, said Brauer.

“Everyone is doing it, and we did a very intense analysis, but the quality is not there yet,” he said, pointing to, among other things, issues with lighting food in the ship’s high-end restaurants.

“We looked into the energy savings aspect and found out it was minimal. At that point we said ‘let’s drop it and stick to conventional halogen lighting.’”

Brauer cited a stark compromise on passenger comfort in hotel energy savings initiatives, also adding that they did not want to cut down on water production.

“If you cut shower output by 30 percent, you can save lots of energy, but the guests need to take a decent shower.”

Also interesting: the ship will be the first in some time to have real teak decking on a large scale. “Even on the balconies,” added Brauer, who pointed out that artificial teak does not weigh less and is not all that easier to maintain. “It is, however, dirt cheap,” he said. “You still know you’re walking on plastic.”

The Europa 2 will be sporting a catalytic converter, the first of any cruise ship, to cut down NOx emissions.

After looking closely at scrubbers, the cruise line opted not to install one.

“It takes away a lot of space … a wet scrubber does not make sense as it pumps the SOx back to the ocean. A dry scrubber is better, but it uses a tremendous amount of fuel and takes away too much space on the ship.”

>> Also in this section: Operators Face New Lubricant Rules and the Nippon Maru Drydocks at Mitsubishi

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Spring 2013