Hapag-lloyd cruises: is the new hanseatic inspiration worthwhile?

HANSEATIC inspiration: What does the new expedition class from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offer?

With an adventurous christening ceremony in the wind and weather has Hapag-Lloyd Cruises his newest fleet member, the HANSEATIC inspiration, Welcome to the Port of Hamburg. In a Zodiac dinghy, we defy the rain and are rewarded with a spectacular lightshow on the Elbe: From the jungles of the Amazon to the icy worlds of the Antarctic typical landscape forms and animals are projected on the new expedition ship, to Weltumseglerin Laura Dekker with her baptismal promises the acclaimed climax.

Even before the official maiden voyage from Antwerp, on an exclusive introductory trip for three nights on board, we have the opportunity to personally convince ourselves of the many highlights of the new expedition class. Also captain Ulf Wolter answers many questions on the bridge. What makes the charm of an expedition cruise? What can future passengers on the new ship look forward to? And how is Hapag-Lloyd actually responsible for environmental protection??

The new HANSEATIC inspiration: Luxury meets adventure

Who of you the shipping company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises already knows, certainly knows about the high standards of the company. Finally, the two luxury ships belong MS EUROPA and MS EUROPA 2 For years, the absolute world leader and lead the only one the highest rating of 5-star plus in the prestigious Berlitz Guide. And as the expedition market seeks more and more comfort and convenience, the new expedition class is once again becoming a pioneer in a whole industry.

That appreciated Berlitz already at the sister ship, baptized in April HANSEATIC nature, which was immediately awarded 5 stars as the best boutique ship. And there is absolutely no doubt that the identical HANSEATIC inspiration and HANSEATIC spirit (Delivery 2021) received the same rating immediately after baptism. But are the new ships really special? We only need a few minutes on board to say yes to this question.

The modern ambience, the harmonious interior design (inspired by nature) with many natural elements and the generous space are perfectly coordinated. Down to the smallest details we feel the successful symbiosis of the best possible experience and the greatest possible comfort. There are only outside cabins and suites, the vast majority have private balconies. Thus, the sea view is always guaranteed from your own four walls.

We can enjoy a junior suite which, with a spacious 42 square meters including a balcony and a separate living and sleeping area, does not have to hide from luxury hotels ashore. Compromises and limitations are not part of the concept of Hapag-Lloyd, Only the best seems just right for the passengers. As in all cabins in our suite a bathroom wall is fully heated (for example to dry Expeditonskleidung), also expects us in the large rain shower even a private steam sauna. A lot more stylish you can not end an eventful day in the Antarctic.

Much reminds us of the casual elegance of EUROPE 2, Refined and adapted to the needs of an exceptional expedition. Even a high quality Swarovski-Binoculars are available in addition to Nordic Walking poles in each of the 120 cabins and suites. Cabin service is included 24 hours a day for all passengers, while Junior Suite and Grand Suite guests even receive a personal butler service. Even if we do without special requests, we appreciate the attention to our well-being during the short trip from Hamburg to Antwerp.

  • Lunch at the Lido Restaurant

Of course, there is also plenty of culinary delights on board. There are no fixed table times or allocated seating, and a strict dress code is also sought in vain. Nevertheless, it is extremely high class in the same three restaurants HANSEATIC inspiration which combines the topic of expedition cruises with international gourmet cuisine. Mornings and lunches can be chosen between the main restaurant HANSEATIC with excellent buffets and the charming Lido restaurant with a large outdoor area. In the evening, next to the HANSEATIC with daily changing menus, the extremely creative and excellent specialty restaurant opens Nikkei with Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine. A true pleasure experience with top service!

Excellent service and much to discover

Anyway, the service level of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is outstanding, many of the 175 crew members aboard the HANSEATIC inspiration come either from the upscale luxury hotel industry or have already collected years of experience on other ships of the shipping company. A maximum of 230 passengers, on Antarctic voyages and around Spitsbergen is even a voluntary self-restriction to 199, resulting in almost a guest-to-crew ratio of 1 to 1. Best conditions for a personal guest service at the highest level.

This is reflected not only in the excellent restaurants and bars, but especially in the specially designed adventure areas of the ship. With more open decks and exterior surfaces than any other expedition ship, unforgettable outdoor impressions and breathtaking outdoor highlights are virtually guaranteed. Especially nice: experts and scientists are always close by to share their impressive knowledge and answer questions. Be it whale watching on the freely accessible bow (inspiration walk) or a polar bear seal of the Observation Lounge.

Absolute highlight on board is the state-of-the-art Ocean Academy Deck 8 on the back. Comfortable lounge chairs with swiveling touchscreens, an interactive science poster and a gigantic Study Wall with interesting lectures and explanations for interested passengers. High-quality binoculars are available in the adjoining microscopy area to dive deeper into the wonders of nature together with a professional. What does a polar bear hair look like in detail? And how does fluorescence occur with certain minerals? Absolutely impressive.

Incidentally, there are also impressive views on the cozy pool deck, because the two large glass balconies can be hydraulically extended if necessary. With the feeling of truly hovering over the ocean, the experiences become even more intense and moving. Centerpiece and social meeting place of HANSEATIC inspiration is the modern one HanseAtrium. The multifunctional lounge is ideal for pre and post meetings of the expeditions as well as captivating stories of the traveling experts. Thanks to the atmospheric atmosphere and the stylishly integrated bar, it is also the perfect place to let the many impressions of the day come to an end in the evening.

  • HanseAtrium

What about environmental protection at Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten?

Hardly any topic has occupied the public and the media in the last few months as much as the climate debate. And undoubtedly, cruises always came at the worst in the often heated and controversial discussions. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is not only committed to its own passengers, but also to Mother Nature, as can be heard everywhere in our discussions with managers and also with Captain Ulf Wolter. It’s not just empty phrases. Rather, we see serious efforts to become better and more sustainable, step by step.

The latest investments and company decisions are the best proof of this: the HANSEATIC inspiration already dispenses with the environmentally harmful heavy oil and instead uses the low-sulfur marine gas oil 0.1% (LS-MGO). As of July 2020, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is even banning the use of heavy fuel oil for the entire fleet worldwide. This measure also reduces the emission of particulate matter and soot emissions. In addition, modern SCR catalysts clean the exhaust gases and drastically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides. Depending on the measurement method and conditions, the emission savings are 80 to 95 percent.

In the cabins unnecessary plastic is dispensed with, recently the new water treatment plants have been released and allow every passenger freshly bubbled mineral water in stylish decanters without the use of plastic bottles in the room. Even the coffee machines are gradually being converted from espresso capsules to biodegradable alternatives, and even in the bathroom, instead of plastic mini containers, natural cosmetics in particular are found in reasonable sizes. Finally, the garbage on board the ships should be significantly reduced.

Some of the on-board expedition dinghies are already electrically powered (eZodiacs). Since the lithium batteries currently weigh up to 250 kilograms per Zodiac, a complete change logistically not yet possible. The new expedition class is also one of the industry’s pioneers when it comes to using shore power. Although many ports do not yet have the necessary infrastructure, the ships are already fully prepared for this. We are curious about the seriousness with which politics also pushes the structural conditions and opportunities (not least in the ports).

HANSEATIC inspiration: Bridging with Captain Ulf Wolter

Captain Wolter is almost into raptures about the technical characteristics of his new ship: “With a special propeller at the helm and the slim hull shape, we are not only very manoeuvrable, but also consume noticeably less fuel,” says the sympathetic Hanseatic. Of course, this also results in fewer emissions and less environmental impact. For him, the change from the EUROPE 2 to the wheel of HANSEATIC inspiration a little way back to his roots.

Many years, the experienced captain has the “old” Hanseatic and MS Bremen guided through exciting expedition areas and especially learned to love the Antarctic. “I’m looking forward to it,” says Wolter. “No matter how challenging the weather in the Drake Passage below Cape Horn may be, in the end you will always be rewarded.” But other areas, such as the Great Lakes in the US, would have a big one for him in the coming months appeal. In any case, he enjoys both well-known destinations as well as new routes alike. And you can look forward to breathtaking nature, a leaping whale or an imposing iceberg like on the first day.

“That’s the beauty of expeditions. We can take the time to enjoy special moments. I’ll also make an announcement at 7 in the morning, so that every guest can participate in extraordinary sightings, “says Wolter with a grin. This may indeed confuse the processes in the restaurants, when all guests suddenly storm outside. But in the end it would be about the experiences and discoveries on such a journey. “That’s what the passengers on board with us!”

Wolter understands himself as a very affable captain, who always has an open ear for questions and requests of his guests. The entire cruise industry has become looser and more modern in recent years. “That’s the test of time.” But even without a formal captain’s dinner, Wolter was by no means invisible to his guests: “If there are no special weather conditions, we often invite passengers to stop by on the bridge during the day.”

Our conclusion on the HANSEATIC inspiration from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

The HANSEATIC inspiration closes a considerable gap on the market with the two sister ships HANSEATIC nature and the HANSEATIC spirit, which was added in 2021. After all, the demand for professionally executed and, above all, luxurious, comfortable expedition cruises still far exceeds the current range. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises uses the years of experience gained in luxury cruises and expeditions in its new buildings to merge them into a completely new product category: expeditions on a real 5-star boutique ship.

The concept not only completely hits the nerve of the time, but in terms of ambience, design and lived service mentality also completely our personal taste. Many highlights on board are not only superbly implemented, but also set standards for the entire industry with their innovative technology and experience. The entire design and interior is consistent with that Inspired by Nature Concept ajar. Whether ice floe patterns on the carpets, coral-like hanging lamps, indicated lava cracks on the walls or animated ceiling panels in the Hanseatic Atrium: none of it looks cheesy or too playful.

On the contrary, the small and big tricks of HANSEATIC inspiration always strike the decisive bridge from the pure luxury aura to a ship with a ubiquitous exploration and adventure desire. We like that very well and above all, we are so innovative that you do not have to hide from the technical and fashion innovations of the coming years. If we add to our very positive impressions on board the praiseworthy investment in much more sustainable cruises, we can not come to an overall conclusion on any other result than: Highly recommended!

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Christina Cherry
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