Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises cruise line logo

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet

Review of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

This page contains information on Hapag Lloyd Cruises ships schedules and itineraries (news, itinerary changes). Here we offer you Hapag Lloyd cruise line's review and company history, sail dates, prices, destinations information, departure ports and ports of call by vessel.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises logo

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is based in Hamburg, Germany, member of one of the oldest shipping companies in the world and 100%-owned subsidiary of Europe's leading travel group TUI AG (Hanover). It's also the result of a merger between two of the oldest steamship companies in Germany, Hamburg-Amerikanische Packfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (Hapag) and Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) in 1970. Both companies were created in the 1840s to carry freight and passengers between Germany and the US. As a product, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers higher-end luxury travel deals, featuring:

  • A small fleet with itineraries as short as 7 nights and up to as many nights as one could think about. Passengers are attracted to ships’ relaxed atmosphere as there are no black-tie dinners. Food is excellent and various international dining venues are offered. The ports of call are exotic and accessible only to smaller vessels.
  • Hapag-Lloyd's cruise ships are top-of-the-line and offer in-port and on-board experiences ranging from expedition to luxury. All vessels are budget-wise, as fares are on the high side, but each features a different personality and specialty.
  • The best known Europa offers a formal luxury experience as it travels around the world with few if any repeated itineraries. Both Hanseatic and Bremen are expedition ships with the highest given to passenger ships E4 ice ratings. They travel to the Antarctic and Arctic, as well as other exotic regions. Bremen is classed as a four-star ship, while Hanseatic boasts five stars and has upgraded enrichment and cuisine in addition to larger cabins.
  • The launch of the first Hapag-Lloyd new-build since 1999 was a real excitement for the line. Europa 2 debuted in May 2013, aiming at the ultra-luxe market and younger and more active target audience. Families are catered to with kids facilities appealing to youngsters, from toddlers to teens.
  • Regardless of the vessel, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises predominantly attracts well-heeled, German-speaking passengers from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Most of them are repeaters and travel all ships of the line.
  • Each Hapag-Lloyd ship appeals to its own niche - Hanseatic to active adults who prefer pampering on expeditions, Bremen - to adventure-minded cruisers, by featuring quality onboard experience at a moderate price. Europa, the most traditional in Hapag-Lloyd fleet, tends to draw passengers who want a classic luxury experience.
  • The last one, Europa 2, draws on top-notch features of Europa. She is the line's most contemporary and chic ship, featuring dynamic art and sophisticated entertainment that ranges from a jazz club to a kitchen studio for cooking courses. Its appeal is to younger, less luxury-minded cruisers, including families.
  • The all-suite Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ships Europa and Europa 2 provide the largest space-per-guest ratio of any cruise ships currently sailing. All Europa 2 staterooms have balconies. The Hapag-Lloyd company has also dedicated ms Europa 2 as the "bilingual" ship of the line, reaching an international passenger base with enhanced activities geared to English-speaking guests.

Next is shown Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' new expedition cruise ship design. Two such Polar-Class vessels are scheduled for launch in 2019. Their names are Hanseatic Inspiration (launch 2019 October) and Hanseatic Nature (launch 2019 April).

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises new expedition cruise ship design (bow view)

They are sister-ships, each with max capacity 230 passengers (199 passengers on Antarctic cruises), 3 restaurants, extensive wellness area, water sports marina (aft).

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises new expedition cruise ship design (aft view)

Itinerary of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Currently, Hapag-Lloyd offers a wealth of "high-end luxury" cruises for well-heeled travelers. The line's signature destinations are the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, as well as Caribbean, Asia, Australia, plus expedition itineraries to Antarctica and Alaska (Northwest Passage).

The current Hapag Lloyd cruise ship fleet includes the following vessels:

Northwest Passage cruises 2011-2012

Hapag Lloyd was the world's first cruise line with a Northwest Passage Cruise itinerary. In 2011, MS Bremen was the world's first ever cruise ship crossing the Passage from Kangerlussuaq Greenland  to Nome Alaska. In 2012, MS Hanseatic made a full transit with a 25-days itinerary leaving from Nome AK (on August 14) and ending in Reykjavik Iceland (on September 7).

Hapag Lloyd Cuba cruises

In 2016 (October and November) ms Europa 2 visited Cuba for the first time. Two cruise itineraries included the Cuban ports Havana (city tour), Santiago de Cuba (city tour), Cienfuegos, Isla de la Juventud.

Both itineraries were one-ways, leaving on October 24 (12-day from La Guaria (Venezuela) to Havana) and on November 6 (13-day from Havana to Colon Panama).

The current list of passenger shipping lines offering cruises to Cuba includes:

  • Carnival Paradise leaving from Tampa Florida - cheapest prices (from USD 480 pp) since June 2017
  • Royal Caribbean (ship Empress of the Seas) from Miami and Tampa since April 2017
  • MSC Cruises (ship MSC Opera, leaving from Havana)
  • Holland America (ship Veendam) leaving from Fort Lauderdale since December 2017
  • Oceania Cruises (ships Marina and Regatta) since 2017, Cuba circumnavigation, stops in Cienfuegos and Havana, also part of some Panama Canal transition itineraries.
  • NCL (ship Norwegian Sky) 4-day itineraries with Havana overnights - since May 2017
  • Azamara Cruises (ship on Azamara Quest from Miami)
  • Compagnie du Ponant (yacht Le Ponant, leaving from Miami Florida)
  • Pearl Seas Cruises (ship Pearl Mist, leaving from Fort Lauderdale Florida) since January 2017
  • Thomson Cruises (ship Thomson Dream) 7-day, leaving roundtrip from Jamaica (Montego Bay) to Havana
  • Lindblad Expeditions (chartered sailing ship MS Panorama II, leaving from Havana)
  • Celestyal Cruises (ship Celestyal Crystal, leaving from Havana and Montego Bay Jamaica)
  • Grand Circle Cruise Line (ship MV Clio / ex Tere Moana) one-way from Miami to Havana, or the reverse from Havana to Miami (embarkation/disembarkation in port Cienfuegos).
  • International Expeditions (leaving from Havana, charter flights out of Miami)
  • Victory Cruise Lines - MS  Victory I (former MS Saint Laurent) - fly-cruises from Miami to Havana (home-port Cienfuegos /departures)
  • Note: According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise ships). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuban-born Americans were denied booking on cruise itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government for allowing ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom cruise line started Miami to Cuba cruises in May 2016 with the transferred from P&O UK ship Adonia. The brand was terminated in April 2017. At the following tag link can be found listed all CruiseMapper's news related to Fathom Cruises
  • Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.

(animal cruelty) Faroe Islands cruise boycott

In mid-July 2016, Hapag-Lloyd became one of the three cruise ship companies (together with Disney and AIDA) that have banned Faroe Islands (a Danish territory) as destination part of their North European itineraries.

The boycott is due to the island nation's traditional mass slaughter of pilot whales each year. The protected by Denmark gruesome practice of killing whales is called “Grindadrap Grind". Locals use motor boats to drive a pod of whales into a harbor. The defenseless animals are dragged to the shallow water and brutally slaughtered by locals armed with knives (16-19 cm / 6 8 inch long) while their families cheer them on. The killing party even rip out baby whales from their mothers.

Faroe Islands have population of about 50,000 and kill each year over 1,000 pilot whales. You can see the cruise ship schedule of Torshavn - Faroes most visited port. All cruise lines with scheduled visits to the Faroes are accused of supporting the brutal whaling practices. Whaling is still officially approved and carried out by the "civilized" countries Japan, Norway and Iceland, killing over 2000 whales each year and trading in whale products.

HL's response was to the "Faroese Pilot Whaling Act" by the local government, which continues to allow pilot whales to be culled or massacred. It also empowers local authorities to imprison (for up to 2 years) people found guilty of impeding these whaling activities - despite all the international condemnations.

Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace are among the largest organizations taking direct actions against the "Faroese Pilot Whaling Act". Most of the available online haunting images of slaughtered whales lying in a sea of blood are released by these organizations.

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