Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is to build two brand new five-star expedition ships, scheduled to be launched in April and October 2019.
The two ships will be built at the Norwegian Vard shipyard, and vessels will be equipped with state-of-the-art technological features and environmental technology, including the highest Polar Class designation for passenger ships, PC6. This rating means they will be able to cruise not only in polar regions in the Arctic and Antarctica, but also in warm water destinations such as the Amazon. On-board Zodiacs will allow landings in otherwise inaccessible expedition areas. The ships will also feature a water sports marina and three restaurants, a spa and fitness area.
Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, said: “The former director Albert Ballin invented the modern cruise concept 125 years ago. We are perfectly positioned in the luxury market with our cruise ships EUROPA and EUROPA 2. In this anniversary year, we are charting the course for the future. Already we operate successfully in our expedition segment, which offers growth potential for 5-star cruises. Our new-builds will help us to develop further the expedition segment and offer a modern interpretation. They will also serve to strengthen our leading position in this market, in particular at the international level.”
Both ships will be 16,100 gross tonnes, have a length of 138 metres, and will be able to accommodate a maximum of 240 travellers. Although both ships will be identical, one will be dedicated to the German-speaking markets of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The other will serve both the German market, in addition to Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US. Work is expected to begin in August 2017.