PHOTO: The redesigned Collins gin bar on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA 2. (photo courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises)
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ flagship EUROPA 2 has finished its latest refurbishment in Hamburg, Germany, reemerging with new features.
In total, nine onboard areas were retooled.
The ship’s second dry-dock process since first launching in 2013 took place on September 13-27, 2017 at the Blohm + Voss shipyard. About 550 outside specialists and 370 crew members were tasked with everything from routine maintenance to dramatic design changes. Work extended to approximately 1,000 points and included the application of 43,055 square feet of new carpet and 1,099 gallons of paint.
Among the updates was the integration of the library into the Belvedere observation lounge and coffee bar. The space sports a fresh aesthetic and furnishings. The previous library is newly the Cruise Sales Lounge as well as home to a EUROPA 2 museum with historical displays of the ship’s early life. Artifacts include a vessel model and keel-laying coin replica.
Also receiving the multipurpose treatment on Deck 9 is the auditorium across the way, which is now a studio for not only film screenings and lectures but additionally workshops and yoga classes. A smaller independent conference room is also next door, while the culinary school and art gallery remain in place as well.
The Ocean Spa received the bulk of the redesign attention, retouching its four saunas.
The facility now includes a 194°F Finnish sauna, 131°F Deep Ocean sauna, 113°F mineral steam bath with up to 100 percent humidity and a 149°F Black Forest-inspired herbal sauna. Plus, there’s a lounge with an electric fireplace and new furniture for the outdoor section.
Meanwhile, in the entertainment corridor of Deck 4, the Herrenzimmer gin bar has been restyled and renamed Collins. The biggest gin collection at sea has been expanded to 45 varieties, and guests here can now select records to playback on a new turntable. As a central conversation piece, Hamburg duo Sutosuto crafted a wall portrait mural of Albert Ballin among wildlife.
On the other side of the ship, the former Jazz Club has made way for Club 2, while the Teens’ Club has been relocated to this stretch from Deck 7 for added privacy. The lounge and its new alcoves and games consoles replace the previous Speisezimmer private dining room now funneled into by the graffiti art of Lady Wave.
Elsewhere, new seating has been installed in the Serenissima Italian restaurant.
Altogether, the changes look to offer a better utilization of the ship’s venues, which already benefit from an ample passenger space ratio.
Speisezimmer seemed underused on an earlier sailing, making it better suited to teens currently. Its previous public space is no longer delineated on the deck plan and might serve as a crew break area instead.