The most recent addition to Hapag-Lloyd's fleet is Columbus 2 (formerly Oceania Cruises
' Insignia). The 698-passenger ship, under lease to Hapag-Lloyd through March 2014, has more options, from cabin styles to dining venues, than any other ship in the fleet. It's aimed at a wide range of travelers, from solos to families, and, like the line's upmarket flagship Europa, it rarely repeats a cruise itinerary. It's also more informal than Europa, though still graciously elegant.
Columbus 2 is primarily geared to German-speaking travelers, with less effort made to accommodate non-German speakers than Hapag-Lloyd's other four ships.
Cabins on Columbus 2 range from small insides with no windows to expansive suites with butler service and massive verandahs. In between, travelers can book cabins with panoramic windows or standard balconies, and a variety of suite configurations. All come with private bathrooms (shower-only until suite categories), flat-screen televisions, mini-fridges and supremely comfortable bedding.
Columbus 2 has four restaurants onboard, and its main dining venue is Albert Ballin, which offers open-seating dining and a wide choice of dishes. Other options include the Polo Grill, a steakhouse; Restaurant Toscana, specializing in Italian fare; and the Lido, an indoor-outdoor venue that serves both buffet and a la carte options.
The Ocean Spa on Columbus 2 is the most beautiful in the Hapag-Lloyd fleet and features an outdoor thalassotherapy pool, steam and sauna in both men's and women's locker rooms, a beauty salon, a gym, and treatment rooms for massages, facials and the like. The ship is geared to golfers; onboard there's a golf cage and a resident golf pro, and cruises include shore excursions to famous courses.
Columbus 2's family facilities offer kids' clubs for children of all ages, including a teen-only venue.