For the tenth time in a row, the MS EUROPA is ranked the top cruise ship in the world, according to the 2010 Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships, out this week. According to the book’s editor, expert cruise writer, Douglas Ward, the EUROPA is the only five-star-plus cruise ship in the world with 1,851 points out of a total 2,000 points, and the only ship out of 270 ships to be awarded this rating in the book.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA is literally in a class of its own. So impeccable is the ship’s performance that Ward creates a dedicated class for it. Douglas Ward and his team have been reviewing cruise ships throughout the world for 25 years, and have only awarded one five-star-plus rating in this year’s 25th anniversary edition of the annual guide.

The British author Douglas Ward, with over thousand cruises under his belt, is the world’s most highly regarded expert on cruising. The annual cruise guide has become a source of independent star ranking for ocean-going cruise ships worldwide. Often referred to as the ‘bible to the world of cruising,’ the fully revised and updated annual Berlitz Guide has excellent advice and hard-hitting reviews of 270 cruise ships.

“It’s not just the ship herself and all the facilities that deserve the highest rating – but the myriad details, outstanding cuisine and above all the personal and discrete service offered by the excellent crew. All of these elements makes it the world’s best cruise experience,” said Douglas Ward.

Douglas Ward presented the plague to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises managing director Sebastian Ahrens during the EUROPA’S tenth birthday celebration onboard, on September 21st in Hamburg. The EUROPA just returning from a 14-day shipyard stay, during which all of her 204 luxury suites received fresh new fabrics and colors, and the Penthouses Deluxe Suites (measuring 484 sq. ft.) and the Penthouse Grand Suites (measuring 915 sq. ft.) were fully renovated.

“Thanks to regular modernization and design changes, the EUROPA is still at the top of her class after ten years. We are proud to offer our guests’ a modern cruise ship that continues to evolve,” said Sebastian Ahrens.

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.