Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ long-standing experience in expedition cruising currently benefits two state-of-the-art newbuilds: The HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration will set sail in April and October 2019, expanding the fleet operated by TUI’s subsidiary by two expedition cruise ships. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has now presented the first main catalogue and disclosed further details on the new vessels. They will open for bookings soon.
“Expedition cruising has significant potential and is currently attracting a great deal of attention”, said Karl J. Pojer, CEO Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, in explaining the expansion of the business division. The cruise industry trade association CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) projects global ocean cruise passenger numbers to grow by 5 per cent to 27.2 million in 2018 and expects expedition cruises to continue on a growth trajectory. Travellers increasingly warm to chilly destinations. That demand will easily be met by the two newbuilds to be launched by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. “The HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration are small, manoeuvrable ships with the highest ice class for passenger ships. They will set sail for destinations around the globe, from the Arctic via the Pacific Ring of Fire and the Great Lakes all the way to the Amazon and, of course, the Antarctic”, said Pojer.
Experiencing nature with cutting-edge technology
The newly published catalogue offers 59 expedition itineraries from April 2019 to September 2020. The on-board highlights include the Ocean Academy, featuring interactive technology to provide the guests with comprehensive background information on the visited regions. “Expeditions first and foremost take place under the open sky. The ships therefore offer plenty of open deck space. They also feature circulation on the bow to enable you to get up close,” said Isolde Susset, Director Expedition Cruises. The cruise ships will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology and accommodate up to 230 guests, or up to 199 guests on Antarctica cruises. On-board zodiacs, some of which feature eco-friendly electric drive systems, allow for landings in remote expedition areas without access to a port. The ships also feature a marina for water sports. The ship naming ceremony and maiden voyage of the HANSEATIC nature are scheduled for April 2019, with the HANSEATIC inspiration to launch six months later.
TUI Group’s other cruise brands will also expand their fleets in 2018. The German shipping line TUI Cruises will see the ship naming ceremony for a further newbuild in May of this year: the new Mein Schiff 1. The previous Mein Schiff 1 will then transfer to TUI’s British subsidiary Marella to join its fleet.