STX France has received an order to build a luxury cruise ship, the EUROPA 2. The new ship will be operated by Germany's Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.However, it is being acquired by a third-party proprietary company outside the cruise line's parent TUI group.
With 258 cabins and a maximum passenger capacity of 516 people, the new ship will complement the existing EUROPA, which has a capacity of 408 passengers in all-suite accommodations. Construction will start in September 2011 and delivery is scheduled for 2013.
Hapag-Lloyd is chartering the EUROPA 2 for 12 years.
For STX France this new contract represents about 2.5 million working hours.
"We are proud to be chosen to build the new cruise liner in our Saint-Nazaire shipyard and we are delighted to contribute to the expansion of the luxury cruise activities of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises," says Jacques Hardelay, General Manager of STX France.
In addition to building the new EUROPA 2, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is also taking Oceania Cruises' Insignia on a two-year bareboat charter of . As of April 2012, the ship will be integrated into the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet under the name COLUMBUS 2.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises says the EUROPA 2 will offer a modern and casual 5-star alternative to the existing EUROPA. With sets of 7-day cruises in the Mediterranean in the summer months and faraway destinations in the winter, the two ships will also complement each other in terms of their itineraries.
With 349 cabins, the COLUMBUS 2 offers accommodations for a maximum of 698 passengers; the amenities include a variety of restaurants and bars as well as a spacious spa and wellness area. In the summer months, the ship built in 1998 will be cruising the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Nordic countries. During the winter, the COLUMBUS 2 is scheduled to go on a world tour.
Sebastian Ahrens, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, comments: "We have identified potential for growth in both market segments, and we would like to make use of it. Beyond this, both ships adequately enhance our portfolio, enabling us to serve new target groups. The COLUMBUS 2 offers more diversity and comfort to the existing COLUMBUS, and the EUROPA 2 will be the logical evolution and modern interpretation of the standards we have set in the luxury segment of the international cruise market."
January 10, 2010