Recommend July 2015 - (Page 37)

onboardreview D E C E M B E R 2 0 14 Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2 vivian holley The first time I reported on German-born Hapag-Lloyd Cruises- several years ago after sailing with the first Europa-I called it the best cruise line American vacationers had never heard of. Now there's Europa 2, and it's highly likely that travel consultants and their clients are hearing quite a lot about Hapag-Lloyd thanks largely to a lively marketing campaign. Designed to entice the American market to the new ship-emphasis on English language availability in all aspects-the promotion is spotlighting a selection of 7-day June-August Mediterranean cruises (; fares start at $4,490 pp dbl). It's a safe bet that your clients with a taste for high-end won't be disappointed. The ship is simply, sleekly gorgeous-an impression that never left me on a New York-Antigua cruise from the moment I entered the spacious, high-ceilinged reception area, light-washed by tall windows, punctuated by striking ebony-and-silver columns and gray leather seating. The clean-lined contemporary design (Michael Steffl, Hapag-Lloyd's manager of international sales, calls it "European/Scandinavian, with a lot of space on deck as well as in the suites") is a ship signature, yet each of the seven restaurants reveals sumptuous, rich-colored touches such as Murano chandelier confections in sea green or hot pink, marble floors here, creamy columns there. Distinctive art accents the various culinary dining themes: French, Asian, Italian and sushi. Ah...the art. Europa 2 shows off not only a gallery of changing exhibitions on Deck 9, but is itself a grand gallery of 890 original works, with a showstopper at every turn by names from David Hockney and Damien Hirst to Hans Hartung and Gerhard Richter. Look for paintings and prints, silkscreens and sculptures-all in keeping with the ship's modernist magic. On every voyage, an artist and/or gallery owner is aboard to lead tours of the collection. Pre-cruise, I was told that the new vessel's onboard style is casual. Really? The aesthetic recalled from my sailing with older sister Europa was all cosmopolitan elegance with considerable formality and evening parades of tuxedos and long sparkly gowns. But Europa 2 is indeed different. As in, no fixed mealtimes, no formal nights, no captain's dinner. No plush fabrics, no bling, no chichi. Clients need pack neither tiara nor tie. The urbane-but-unbuttoned concept is clearly homing in on today's more relaxed zeitgeist. Still, it seems almost a contradiction in terms considering the deluxe offerings, including more breathing It's how you get there. CST #2065452-40 On our river cruises, you don't just pass through a destination - you experience it. Our ships are custom-designed to carry fewer passengers so our guests can indulge in spacious staterooms and restaurants without ever feeling crowded. Because it's not just about where you go. It's how you get there that matters. 800.626.0126 | july 2015 35

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend July 2015

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Goway’s IslandsEscapes
Adventures in North America
Romania: Superbly Scenic, Marvelously Medieval
Central Europe With Adventures by Disney
Get Off That Beach Chair!
Off-Beat Adventures
INDABA 2015 (With a Taste of Durban)
A Treasured Journey Into the Past
Small Boats & Big Tortoises in the Galapagos
Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze
Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2

Recommend July 2015