Hapag-Lloyd's newest ship, the 230-passenger Hanseatic Inspiration, is the second of the German cruise line's three new expedition ships, which offer a blend of luxury and adventure. With the aim of attracting more international cruisers, Hanseatic Inspiration's cruises are bilingual, with both German and English spoken by crew and staff, and menus and other materials printed in both languages. The ship was built for polar voyages in the Arctic and Antarctica (when it will only carry 199 passengers) and will sail to other destinations such as the Great Lakes and the Amazon. In October 2020, the ship will entirely ban smoking onboard.
High-tech amenities are everywhere. At Reception, you're greeted with enormous LED video walls displaying scenery from places the ship visits. Head into the HanseAtrium, the ship's main public space where lectures, daily presentations and shore excursion preparations occur, and gaze in wonder at another LED wall and an LED ceiling in which you might see birds flying by or a whale swimming through the water. Outdoors, two extendable glass balconies on the Pool Deck let you peer into the water, if you are brave enough to step out on to it.
The ship's 120 cabins, ranging from the 226-square-foot Panoramic or French balcony cabins to the 764-square-foot Grand suites, are decorated in soothing natural colors and feature plenty of clever storage space. There are lots of innovative touches, such as customizable lighting on the walls and a heated wall in the bathroom to dry your clothes.
Key for many travelers on expedition cruises is enrichment and education, and the high-tech Ocean Academy, open 24 hours a day, is a perfect spot to learn about the places you'll visit or take a deep dive into the lives of explorers, scientists and others who have made an impact in the world. There's an enormous interactive media wall, plus several personal media centers, and even microscope stations with samples of everything from polar bear hair to a fly in amber to study. Expert lecturers are onboard to enhance your experience and describe everything you're seeing.
A welcome bottle of Champagne in your cabin
Meals in the three restaurants
Nonalcoholic drinks and an in-room mini-bar with juices and sodas
Use of the gym, sauna and steam room
One hour of Wi-Fi per day, per person
Gratuities, except for alcohol
Use of binoculars and walking sticks during the cruise
Excursions on Zodiacs
Hiking, snowshoeing, snorkeling and stand-up paddle-boarding excursions (when offered)
Enrichment and lectures
A selection of alcohol included in suites
Wi-Fi, after one free hour
Kayak tours (when offered)
Camping in the Antarctic (when offered)
There is a concerted effort by Hapag-Lloyd to entice an international clientele, not just German speakers, onboard. With a fully bilingual crew and staff, the ship's passengers will hear both German and English spoken onboard, as well as everything from menus to excursions offered in both languages. With a focus on education and adventure and traveling to remote locations, these cruises are for passengers who want to explore and learn in far-flung places with like-minded people.
**Daytime: **Casual, with shorts or pants and T-shirts most common inside the ship and bathing suits and cover-ups on the pool deck.
Evening: For the evening, the ship recommends casual-elegant attire, which means jackets and long trousers are preferable in the main dining room and specialty restaurant. Jackets and ties are recommended for the welcome evening and farewell evening but are not required.
Not permitted: Swimwear is not allowed in the restaurants, bars and lounges.
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