The Europa 2 (photo: Oliver Amussen)The latest edition of the popular “Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships” has awarded the two sister ships in the luxury sector, the Europa and Europa 2 of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the highest distinction of 5-stars-plus, making both ships global leaders.

The expedition ship Hanseatic was ranked in first place in the top ten “boutique ships” with up to 250 passengers.
 
Attaining 1,860 points out of a possible 2,000, the Europa 2 achieved the highest score. Together with its sister ship, the Europa has once again been included in the 5-stars-plus category with 1,851 points.

This allowed both luxury ships to claim first and second place amongst the top ten “small ships” with up to 750 passengers. The Hanseatic improved its score with 1,765 points and, as the only expedition ship to be awarded five stars, is featured in the top ten list of “boutique ships” for the first time. The Bremen also improved its score with a total of 1,555 points and was awarded the 4-stars-plus rating.
 
“In the 29-year history of Berlitz ratings, this is the first time two cruise ships are in the exclusive 5-stars plus club. No other ships currently achieve such a high standard, which are set by the Europa and Europa 2 and their crews,” said Douglas Ward at the presentation of the Berlitz award to the management of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

"The Europa 2 has also achieved the highest score ever in the history of the book. She offers a great space per passenger ratio, a lot of light through the high windows, excellent and high-class culinary choices, and attentive and unobtrusive service,” explains Douglas Ward.
 
“We are especially proud to be global leaders in the luxury sector with both ships,” said Karl J. Pojer, chief executive officer of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. “This score is a special distinction for the crews of the Europa and Europa 2 who are setting the bar in the sector with their quality and service. It is also a huge ‘thank you’ to the team in Hamburg and a welcome affirmation of our strategy in the luxury and expedition sectors,” explained Pojer.
 
Author Douglas Ward and his team tested a total of 285 cruise ships around the world and scored them based on criteria such as ship fittings, menus, restaurant quality, service, crew, entertainment and the cruise experience.