There’s good news today for luxury expedition cruise lovers: Hamburg-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has just announced plans to build two new five-star expedition cruise ships. Scheduled to debut in the spring and fall of 2019, the two as-yet-unnamed ships will be designed expressly for service in the Arctic and Antarctic, and will boast the world’s highest polar ice class (PC6).
Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, said “The former director Albert Ballin invented the modern cruise concept 125 years ago. We are perfectly positioned in the luxury market with our cruise ships EUROPA and EUROPA 2. In this anniversary year, we are charting the course for the future. Already we operate successfully in our expedition segment, which offers growth potential for 5-star cruises. Our new-builds will help us to develop further the expedition segment and offer a modern interpretation. They will also serve to strengthen our leading position in this market, in particular at the international level.”
Albert Ballin was the director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises at the turn of the last century. He is widely credited with creating the world’s first pleasure cruise, aboard the striking Augusta Victoria in 1891. Ballin himself was a passenger, onboard to oversee the actual progression of the voyage. Ballin’s spirit of adventure and willingness to go a different route lives on in Hapag-Lloyd’s cruise ships and itineraries to this day.
Of the two newbuilds, one will be set aside exclusively for the German-speaking market. The other vessel will operate cruises for both German and English-speakin