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Hanseatic Spirit Review

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Hanseatic Spirit (Image: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises)

Looking like a scaled-down Europa 2 (Hapag-Lloyd's luxury flagship), Hanseatic Spirit is designed to go practically anywhere on the high seas -- and to do so with every conceivable comfort.

At the same time, education is a major focus for Hapag-Lloyd, which has outfitted Hanseatic Spirit with dedicated lounges for lectures, interactive presentations and details on the day's adventures ashore -- most of which are conducted by boarding one of the 17 onboard motorized Zodiac rafts.

Like its fleetmates, Hanseatic Spirit will be outfitted with the highest polar ice class level available to passenger ships. This will enable the ship to sail to the Antarctic and the Arctic, where passenger count will be reduced to just 199 in order to comply with regulations governing both areas.

In addition to a panoramic observation lounge, Hanseatic Spirit will also feature its very own ice bar onboard.

As with Hanseatic Nature, Hanseatic Spirit is intended and marketed solely to the German-speaking cruise market. North American passengers will find a better fit aboard the internationally-minded Hanseatic Inspiration, where English is the primary language spoken onboard.

Mealtimes are a real event aboard Hapag-Lloyd's ships, and that is no exception aboard Hanseatic Spirit. Three dining options will be available to choose from, including the ship's main dining room, a more casual bistro with indoor and outdoor seating and a specialty restaurant that will serve Japanese-Peruvian cuisine. Meals are all taken in open-seating environments, and dishes tends to be a mix of European and international favorites.

Room service is complimentary.

Unlike North American luxury cruise brands, Hapag-Lloyd does not include alcoholic beverages with the cost of the cruise. Those can be purchased at an additional cost, with onboard expenses billed in euros.

The 120 cabins onboard Hanseatic Spirit run the gamut from 226-square-foot French balcony suites to 746-square-foot top-of-the-line Grand Suites that include full step-out balconies.

Each cabins is equipped with binoculars, Nordic walking poles, a coffee machine and a complimentary stocked mini-bar. Bathrooms feature designer toiletries and even have heated walls -- perfect for drying off wet parkas and towels when the ship is cruising in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Butler service is available at the Junior and Grand Suite levels.

Upper-deck attractions aboard Hanseatic Spirit include the cozy forward-facing Observation Lounge, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap 180-degrees around the room.

Farther aft, passengers will find a heated swimming pool with a swim-against-the-current option. Covered by a retractable glass ceiling, the pool area features loungers, a hot tub and an adjacent pool bar.

Aft is the ship's spa, salon and fitness center complex. A neat feature is offered midship on the pool deck: cantilevered glass platforms that extend off both sides of the ship, allowing for some pretty spectacular views alongside the vessel.

Onboard lectures, briefings and other enrichment activities are held in the HanseAtrium, the ship's social hub. Passengers who want to dive deeper can visit the Ocean Academy on Deck 8, which houses a study wall, reading chairs and even microscopes to study the smallest wonders of the world.

Wildlife viewing on the ship's bow (which is accessible to passengers) is a form of entertainment in its own right, as is the library housed within the Observation Lounge on Deck 8.

After a hard day's activities ashore in places like Svalbard and Antarctica, don't be surprised if most passengers opt for a quick post-dinner drink and then head back to their cabins. All that exploring and adventure is tough work.

When Hanseatic Spirit debuts in summer 2021, it will sail worldwide itineraries with a focus on the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

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