Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Europa sets sail in July for the far north of Scandinavia. The Arctic will provide the backdrop for the fifth “Stella Maris” singing competition, in which eight talented young singers from famous opera houses will vie for glory on board the ship in the Lieder, opera and oratorio categories.

Along the way, musical and scenic highlights galore await guests as the ship makes its way from Hamburg to Iceland through the fjords of Norway and on to Spitsbergen. There will be opportunities to take off in a manoeuvrable Zodiac to discover the region north of the Arctic Circle during the hours between the performances.

The various concerts accompanying the “Stella Maris” competition will showcase the classical singing skills of a host of talented young artists. For the fifth time the EUROPA will be transformed into a festival stage, searching for the latest stars in the classical sphere, under the artistic leadership of chamber singer and tenor Michael Schade. The audience will play an active part in the musical event, choosing the winner, who can look forward to a 15,000 euro prize courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Meanwhile, the no less coveted “Test Recording” and “Guest Engagement” prizes are to be awarded by a prestigious jury, composed this year of the following members: Christina Scheppelmann, CEO of the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera and Marita Prohmann, Executive Producer and consultant for “Deutsche Grammophon.” As the journey unfurls, guests will not only be enchanted by glorious music, but also learn the artful use of the sword. As the EUROPA sails through the unique natural kingdom of rocks, fjords and volcanoes, our on board “Fencing Master” will initiate children and adults alike into the sport with a series of special classes.

A Nordic Summer Dream

After setting sail from Hamburg on June 30, 2013, the ship will head past Iceland up towards Spitsbergen. The EUROPA will then spend three days along Norway’s “Cold Coast.” Guests on the voyage will also be able to marvel at the cliffs of the Faroe Islands, the geysers of Iceland and the idyllic Lofoten Islands dotted with ancient fishing villages. And there’s more for families too: this itinerary also includes a number of outings such as the communal bathing in the Blue Lagoon under the skies of Reykjavik.


18 day cruise on the Europa from Hamburg/ Germany via Torshavn/ Faroe Islands, Reykjavik/ Iceland, Akureyri/ Iceland, Spitsbergen/ Norway, Tromsoe/ Norway, Leknes/ Norway, and Skjolden/ Norway back to Hamburg, June 30– July 18, 2013, cruise-only-rates start at $8,390.

Cruise-only fares include: accommodation in the category booked; full board on the ship; mini-bar in the suite; a different entertainment program each day; port fees; travel cancellation insurance; and a share of the ship's fuel costs.