Ranked the top cruise ship in the world, according to the  Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships for the last nine years, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS EUROPA will celebrate its 10th birthday this month with a grand harbor cruise in Hamburg after returning from a 14-day shipyard stay. During the shipyard stay all of her 204 luxury suites are scheduled to receive fresh new fabrics and colors, and the Penthouses Deluxe Suite (measuring 484 sq. ft.) and the Penthouse Grand Suite (measuring 915 sq. ft.) will be fully renovated.


Since its commissioning in 1999, the EUROPA, has been true to her motto “10 years young,” continuing to mesmerize guests with the addition of modern amenities along the way, which have included: Cruise Net, a complimentary TV information network with private e-mail, movies, music on demand, cruise information and the internet (at an additional charge), the establishment of the Sansibar, upgrades to the golf area with a computer controlled tee-shot analysis, a 2007 newly designed OCEAN SPA with 4 enclosed SPA suites, the enlargement of the fitness loft with ocean views and the addition of 2 children’s areas. All of these additions have been the result of constant investments, numerous constructional modifications, and renovations that have continued to improve the product for new and repeat guests.


“We have worked hard over the past 10 years to offer our guest’s the best product on the market, and continue to raise the bar by constantly adding new and modern additions. We are extremely proud of the EUROPA, then and now and continue to attract more and more Americans who are looking for luxury and outstanding personal service,” said Sebastian Ahrens, managing director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. 


 In honor of the 10th birthday of the EUROPA, guests will receive special savings on a Far East cruise this spring. This Far East itinerary departs Manil/Philippines on March 7, 2010, and ending in Shanghai/China on March 22, 2010, making stops in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China along the route. Guests purchasing a category 0 cabin will be automatically upgraded to a category 4 veranda suite, which is $3,100 worth of savings. Rates start at $9,700 per person, based on double oocupancy for this cruise.


In addition to the birthday special, for the first time, the EUROPA will be offering a short bilingual introductory cruise. This 4-day Mediterranean itinerary will familiarize new passengers with The World’s Most Beautiful Yacht, as well as take guests over to beautiful Bonifacio (Corsica), Capri (Italy) and Portofino (Italy).


Also in 2010, the EUROPA will be once again be offering their very popular Ocean Sun Festival, the most prestigious classical music festival at sea. The 15-day music festival departing Kiel, Germany on August 24, cruises around Great Britain and ends in Kiel on September 8, 2010. The “Ocean Sun Festival” will feature internationally-acclaimed classical music stars performing on board, as well as exclusive concerts at historical sites ashore.


EUROPA is the first “all-suites” cruise ship, with staterooms that are never less than 290 square feet, 80% of them having their own veranda, assuring privacy and relaxation. The EUROPA is one of the few ships in the cruise industry that offers guests the largest space per passenger, as well as one of the highest staff passenger ratios, with 280 staff members for max. 408 guests.