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8 Things You Didn't Know About Europa 2

 (Photo: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises)

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Europa 2 is rated as the best cruise ship in the world, according to the "2017 Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships," scoring 1,860 points out of a possible 2,000. So, what makes it so special?

Updated January 8, 2020

The ship is spacious, elegant and luxurious

The ship is spacious, elegant and luxurious

Europa 2 has the highest passenger-space ratio of any cruise ship; the highest cabin ceilings; the largest spa-fitness facility for a 516-passenger ship; free fine-dining restaurants and a huge art collection (890 pieces) including works by acclaimed English artists David Hockney and Damien Hirst.

It has no homeport

It has no homeport

In fact, all Hapag-Lloyd ships are non-homeported gypsies. Europa 2 and Europa follow the sun; the line's expedition ships (Hanseatic, Bremen and Columbus 2) follow the ice.

Kids cruise free

Kids cruise free

Children under 11 can sail with their parents for no extra charge; teens aged 12 to 15 years cost only 60 euros per day (about US$63/AU$85). The kids' sections of the ship's seven interconnecting family cabins are adorable -- beautifully decorated, stocked with toys, and with smaller bathtubs and toilets.

Europa 2 is different to Europa

Europa 2 is different to Europa

Aside from being 14 years younger than the "old" Europa, Europa 2 carries around 100 more passengers, who also tend to be younger. No announcements are made; there are no Captain's dinners or farewell drinks. It's more like a "floating boutique hotel" than a traditional cruise ship.

Mini-bar is free

Mini-bar is free

This is one of the few luxury lines that aren't all-inclusive. However, the soft drinks and beer in your minibar are free and replenished daily. ("Beer is considered a soft drink in Germany," quipped Gerd Wilmer, of Landmark Travel, which represents Hapag-Lloyd in Australia.) Bar prices are reasonable: about 1.60 Euros (US$1.69/AU$2.30) for a beer, five Euros ($US5.28/AU$7.15 for a cocktail. A welcome bottle of Champagne is placed in your cabin when you board, too.

It has the largest gin collection at sea

It has the largest gin collection at sea

Europa 2 sells 37 varieties of gin in the Herrenzimmer Bar, which also permits cigar smoking all day.

All crew speak English

All crew speak English

Although it's a German ship, the crew and most German passengers can speak English.

Cruises sell out very quickly

Cruises sell out very quickly

Passengers need to book about two years in advance. Europa 2 is generally sold out at least a year in advance.

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