Christening festivitiesOn April 17, 2012, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises christened their newest addition to the fleet, the Columbus 2, After a short conversion period in Barcelona, the Columbus 2 joined the fleet immediately.

The first cruise will sail from Mallorca to Malta this week. The next expansion step by the Hamburg operator is the completion of the new-build, the Europa 2. From May 2013 onwards the ship will be positioned in the five-star segment, as a modern lifestyle-oriented version of the fleet’s flagship, the Europa. All cruises on the new Europa 2 will be fully bilingual and will cater to the English-speaking market.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises took over the Columbus 2 from Oceania Cruises, with a two-year charter contract and the option to extend. The Columbus 2 has 11 decks and 349 cabins, accommodating a maximum of 698 passengers. “Thanks to a few conversion measures, including the addition of a Kids and Teens area, we can now attract families onboard the  Columbus 2. The family-oriented ship will be positioned in the four-star segment, and will offer a range of German-language cruises,” according to managing director Sebastian Ahrens.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new Europa 2 will take to the high seas in May 2013. Her maiden voyage will take place from May 11-25, 2013 from Hamburg to Lisbon. The ship is currently being built at the shipyard STX Europe in Saint-Nazaire, France. The newly built addition to the fleet will feature eleven decks, all-suites with their own outdoor verandas, and the largest space per passenger ratio in the cruise industry. All of the cruises of the Europa 2 will be international, meaning they will be conducted in both German and English for the duration of all cruises. An English-language brochure will be published in the autumn of 2012.