Hapag-Lloyd Cruises christened its newest addition to its fleet, the Columbus 2 last week. The ship joined the fleet immediately after a major conversion in Barcelona was completed and is now on a two-year charter from Oceania Cruises with an extension option.
The recent conversion added a Kids and Teens area to make the ship more attractive to the family market and will offer predominantly German-language cruises. Its first cruise departed from Mallorca in the past week bound for Malta. The mid-size ship, which entered service in 1998 as Insignia, has 11 decks and 349 cabins and carries a maximum 698 passengers.
Meanwhile, the Hamburg-based company has another luxury new-build under construction. Europa 2 is due to enter service in May 2013 and will be positioned in the five-star segment as a modern lifestyle-oriented version of the fleet’s flagship Europa. Europa 2’s 14-night maiden voyage will take place on 11 May 2013 from Hamburg to Lisbon .The new ship will feature 11 decks and all suites will have their own balcony. All cruises aboard the new Europa 2 will be international and conducted in both English and German. An English-language brochure will be available later this year.