Smoke on the Water: Europa 2 World’s Best Cruise Ship?

Posted on May 11, 2013 | Comments Off on Smoke on the Water: Europa 2 World’s Best Cruise Ship?


What’s the most highly rated cruise ship in the world? If you may start thinking of the ships of cruise lines like Crystal, Silversea or SeaDream you’d be wrong. The “bible” of cruise ratings is Douglas Ward’s Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships and the 2013 edition has, like so many in the past, rated Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa as the pinnacle of cruising perfection.


However, there’s a new kid on the block. This week the German cruise line launched the 516-passenger Europa 2 this week and it’s undertaking shakedown voyages around Europe right now. Space and lightness and close connection to the sea are some of the initial reactions to the ship. It’s largely all inclusive and it’s certainly not cheap and has the greatest ratio of space per passenger of any cruise ship in the world. It has also moved to a more casual atmosphere: “21 knots without a tie” is the clever marketing phrase being used.

E_EUROPA2_Veranda_Suite_02_a03175f5fe H_EUROPA2_Spa_Suite_02_909fef683f

Chances are that Europa will have to give way to Europa 2 when the 2014 Berlitz cruising guide is released in November. For those who can afford it some consideration may be given to the fact that it is a German-language vessel that’s aiming for up to 20 per cent English-language passengers. And, in a typically continental manner smoking is allowed more generally than Australians may be used to. As the cruise line clearly points out: “All the restaurants with the exception of the portside of the terrace of our Yacht Club Restaurant are non-smoking restaurants. The theatre, the Belvedere and the Atrium are also non-smoking areas. In the Jazz Club and in the Sansibar there are smoking and non-smoking sections. Cigars, cigarillos and pipes can only be smoked in the Gentlemen’s Room and in the outside area on the starboard side of the Sansibar. All outside decks with the exception of the Magrodome area are smoking zones. Please use the ashtrays provided. In the interest of all passengers we would ask you not to smoke in the suites. Smoking is allowed on the veranda. Here, too, we kindly ask you to use the ashtrays provided.”


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