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First Look: HANSEATIC inspiration

German Hapag-Lloyd Cruises newest ship has just entered service. The HANSEATIC inspiration is the second ship in their luxury expedition class.


Hapag-Lloyd is mainly known for their 222 ‘box ships’. This is their huge fleet of huge container ships (some similar in size to the largest cruise ships). The German company can trace it’s origins back to the mid 1800’s to two companies familiar to passenger ship historians; Norddeutscher Lloyd and the Hamburg America Line.

Over time, Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten alwasy remained part of the company as it was baught and sold by many companies. One of those companies was European tour conglomerate TUI Group. Their cruise division contains three firms: the all German TUI Cruises (a JV with RCCL), the UK focused Marella Cruises and the mostly-German Hapag-Lloyd. While it’s mostly intended for German speaking guests, they do offer English on select cruises for a more diverse client√®le. To cater to both segments, TUI ordered two ships to be built. These adult-only ships are built to Polar Class PC6 which is the highest of all the classes allowing arctic expeditions to be offered.

Hapag-Lloyd partnered with VARD in Norway, a subsidiary of Fincantieri, to design and construct the new clean-sheet design. Because labor is so expensive in Norway, the hull and superstructure are constructed in Romania. The ship is then towed to Vard Langsten in Norway for the final outfitting and installation of the technical equipment.

The passenger area span across 7 decks. The bottom-most deck accessible to passengers, deck 03, contains the infirmary midships, along with the gym, and the marina off the stern.

The next deck up, deck 4, contains passenger areas. Amidships is the the main lounge, HanseAtrium. This area features drinks in the evening and presentations during the day.

There’s a dedicated smoking room, as it’s catering to the German market, off to the side.

Past that is the main reception area.

Just beyond that is the specialty restaurant on the HANSEATIC inspiration, Mikkei. This features both Japanese and Peruvian food depending on where she’s sailing.

The main dining room is at the aft end and called the HANSEATIC Restaurant. This seats 180 pax and is open for all three meals.

There’s also 3 pax cabins on the portside, forward.

Deck 05 contains outside and balcony cabins for the first half. The aft part contains the casual Lido Restaurant. The area seats 84 indoors and 110 outdoors. This is the ships buffet.

Deck 06 is all cabins with a bow observation platform at the very front. Deck 07 contains all cabins. The bridge is at the front.

Up on top of the vessel is and observation lounge forward, and a pool amidships.

Past that area is then the Spa in the aft.

There’s also the Ocean Academy at the back of the deck. This is an interactive place where guests learn about their destinations.