For wine connoisseurs and epicures, the Europa 2, described as the new, modern, casual luxury ship in the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet – features a really special culinary opportunity onboard.

The Grande Reserve, one of the seven restaurants on board, offers guests exquisite wines - and genuine rarities - paired with complementary foods.

Here, the selection of wines determines which small dishes are served to the guest as an accompaniment. The Grande Reserve also offers special wine tasting sessions in an exclusive group, limited to no more than twelve guests.

The sommelier on the Europa 2, Florian Sender, organises the wine tastings onboard in the Grande Reserve. For each tasting he puts together a totally different collection of wines – after all, there are many to choose from:

“In total we have about 19,000 bottles onboard with some 450 various cuvees originating from 14 different countries. There is simply no limit to the creativity and new ideas that can come into play in our tastings,” said the sommelier.

The wines and champagnes are stored on Deck 2, since this is where the ship’s motion is at a minimum. Amongst them, there are also some really rare wines and very special, distinctive vintages.

“The most expensive wine onboard the Europa 2 is the 2008 Romanée St. Vivant Domaine Romanée Conti from Burgundy, France at € 1,413 per bottle. The price range varies – are very good and tasteful wine is also available on board starting at €20 to €30. When it comes to selecting champagne, in addition to great, well known brands, we also keep those known as 'winegrowers’ champagnes' that are only produced in small quantities and that are also distinguished by their high quality,” explained Sender.