MS EUROPA 2 and MS EUROPA awarded five-stars-plus

Top award in the Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships Guide 2018

  • Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ luxury ships defend their top ranking
  • MS HANSEATIC: the world’s only five-star expedition ship
  • Berlitz Cruise Guide 2018 available from October 2017

Once again, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA 2 and EUROPA are the only cruise ships to receive the coveted distinction of five-stars-plus in the latest edition of the renowned “Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2018”. This is the fifth time that the EUROPA 2 has been awarded the highest distinction and the 18th time for the EUROPA. The HANSEATIC was awarded five stars, making it the best “boutique ship”.

The EUROPA 2 achieved 1,863 of a possible 2,000 points, topping the rankings for small ships with 251 to 750 passengers. Its sister ship, the EUROPA, came in second with 1,852 points.

According to the Berlitz Cruise Guide’s author and cruise expert, Douglas Ward: “the EUROPA 2 and EUROPA are both beautiful ships to sail aboard, with an outstanding amount of space per passenger, passageways with high ceilings, a superb range of dining venues and types of cuisine, and attentive, friendly, yet unobtrusive, personal service” (taken from the Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2018).

The HANSEATIC expedition ship leads the “boutique ships” with 50 to 250 passengers, receiving five stars and 1,716 points, while sister expedition ship the BREMEN received four stars and 1,495 points.

“We are proud, once again, to have defended our top position with the EUROPA 2 and the EUROPA. These ratings are a special acknowledgement of our services and our quality promise in the luxury and expedition segment”, says Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. “We would particularly like to thank our crew members on board and our employees in Hamburg, who spend every day creating unique and outstanding experiences for our guests.”

Douglas Ward’s team tested a total of 300 cruise ships and scored them based on criteria such as ship fittings, quality, restaurant menus, service, entertainment and the general cruise experience.

Heading to new and exciting shores time and again. Since 1891 ...

When the legendary AUGUSTA VICTORIA set out on the world's first ever "pleasure cruise" on 22 January 1891, it was the beginning of a unique story in the history of cruises. Inspired by the passionate pioneering spirit of Albert Ballin, chairman of HAPAG, our current fleet continues the story that began more than 125 years ago. This might be a milestone such as our "cruises above the clouds" in the ALBERT BALLIN private jet. Or great moments such as the maiden voyage of the world's best cruise ship, the EUROPA 2, in 2013. Or the many small moments that endow each cruise with its own distinctive spirit. With every guest who comes onboard, our story takes its course. Perhaps you, too, will soon be part of it.

When passion determines the course

The Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet is similar to a family: each member of the fleet has its own special character and its own distinctive philosophy. Nonetheless, there is one desire that unites us: to keep on bringing you fresh surprises, time after time. To bring you closer to the exceptional, ashore and onboard, so as to make every moment of your cruise unforgettable - that is the passion that drives us and that for years has set us apart. Welcoming, authentic and "Nordic by nature", the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises concept uniquely unites traditional values with modern ways of thinking. This strategy is also reflected in our ships.



Our 5-star-plus* flagship awaits you with first-class service, luxurious spaciousness and the highest standards of cuisine and comfort. As you travel to the world's most thrilling destinations, enjoy a stylish cruise in the company of a small group of no more than 400 guests. Simply perfect in each and every moment. That is how it feels when the luxury to which the multiple award-winning EUROPA owes its unrivalled exclusivity accompanies you over the oceans.



Elegance, clarity and integrity combined with size, space and generosity. Since her maiden voyage in May 2013, the EUROPA 2 has been setting new standards, with a philosophy that pursues just one idea: bringing you the freedom that takes you places. As exceptional as you expect and as unconstrained and individual as your lifestyle. Experience with us a new dimension in cruising with a focus on contemporary design. All the promises of a yacht and the serenity of a small resort: that's the difference the casual luxury of the EUROPA 2 makes.



Look forward to the overwhelming sensation of entering uncharted waters as we press on into the untouched regions of the world. Guided by your thirst for adventure, join our experienced crew and follow in the footsteps of great pioneers. Wherever your expedition leads you: the drive and philosophy of the HANSEATIC and the BREMEN are measured not in knots but by your enthusiasm for our expeditions, expertise, experts and exclusivity.


Exclusive travel across all borders

As a guest on board the ALBERT BALLIN, you will travel far away from conventional flight connections on spectacular routes around the globe. First-class service on board and on the ground. Select, luxury hotels in the most beautiful places on earth. As our guest, you will experience the world in a style granted to only the very few - far away from the familiar, and in moving intensity. Prepare to be inspired, view the world from this exclusive angle and enjoy every second of the ultimate way to travel.


Contact us today about this fantastic small ship cruising opportunity

Call 0800 827 847 or (09) 630 4931 or click here to email us