Keel laying

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VARD's Tulcea, Romania-based shipyard has laid the keel for the new Hanseatic Nature, which will enter expedition service for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in April of 2019.

Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, placed a coin inside the steel block; the coin was welded into the block and will accompany the ship on all its future cruises. This ship-building tradition is believed to bring luck to new ships, the company said, in a statement.

The keel for the 230-passenger ship consists of two steel blocks: each block is 9 meters long, 11 meters wide, 1.5 meters high and weighs 33 tons.

“It is a great pleasure to watch the development of our first expedition new-build. In the shipyard, as well as in the Hamburg office, many experts in their specialist field, are working daily on completing the two vessels. With our new expedition vessels, we will soon be able to offer very unique travel experiences," said Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The ship will eventually be towed to Norway for outfitting, and will sail its first voyage in April 2019. A sister ship, Hanseatic Inspiration, follows in October 2019.