MS Bremen in Antarctica
MS Bremen in Antarctica / Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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Weltmeere Restaurant
Weltmeere Restaurant / Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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Polar Bear in the Arctic
Polar Bear in the Arctic / Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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Onboard Zodiacs
Onboard Zodiacs / Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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MS Bremen Balcony Cabin
MS Bremen Balcony Cabin / Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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Excursion in the South Seas
Excursion in the South Seas / Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Our Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Based in Germany, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is better known for shipping than for passenger cruises, but these decadent ships mimic the elegance of the golden age of cruising. Aboard the 400-guest Europa and 500-guest Europa 2, expect white-glove service, elegant evenings, and gourmet cuisine. 

The line also has three new upscale expedition vessels, Hanseatic Inspiration (which caters to the international market with both German and English spoken on board), Hanseatic Nature, and Hanseatic Spirit (which mostly cater to the German market with German spoken on board). These three sleek PC6 polar-ice-rated ships, launched from 2019 to 2021, carry 230 guests (199 in the Arctic and Antarctica) and feature contemporary décor, three restaurants, two bars, and 17 Zodiacs for shoreside expeditions.

What We Love

Art at Sea: With 890 original works by artists such as David Hockney and Damien Hirst, The Europa 2 is home to one of the most valuable art collections at sea.

Space to Spread Out: The all-suite Europa and Europa 2 deliver some of the largest space-per-passenger ratios at sea. In addition, all Europa 2 cabins have balconies.

Best Known For

German Cruising: While crew members are fluent in English across the fleet, sailings on the Europa are primarily marketed to a German-speaking clientele. Voyages on the newer Europa 2, however, cater to English speakers as well, though they remain the minority. Select MS Bremen and MS Hanseatic itineraries are designated as international voyages, with special accommodations for those who speak English.

Impressive Service: Europa and Europa 2 are regularly ranked among the most luxurious cruise ships in the world.

Who It's Best For

Mature Couples: These pricey sailings appeal to mature, well-heeled couples who are interested in hobnobbing with an international clientele.

Families Who Sail During School Breaks: Children ages 11 and younger sail for free, when accompanied by two paying adults, on the Europa and Europa 2. Europa 2 also offers extensive supervised onboard kids and teen programs in English.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

No Casinos: Gambling is not popular with German cruisers.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?: Apart from the Europa 2 and Hanseatic Inspiration, which attract a growing anglophone clientele, the predominantly German-speaking atmosphere aboard other ships can feel isolating.

Elissa Garay
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger