MS EUROPA's scheduled
docking period

"Gonna be some sweet sounds coming down on the night shift ..." -The Commodores played on the jukebox, and though it was still early morning, the song was perfect: the shipyard workers had just finished their final night shift on the EUROPA. And now the tidying up began, with vacuuming and cleaning everywhere you looked. The final details were put in place shortly before the first guests were due. And a name was added to a glass door in adhesive foil: GATSBY's, the new bar on the EUROPA.

Every two years, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises sends its ships to the dockyard. This servicing is required for safety reasons, and parts of the propulsion system and rescue technology are overhauled. And if the EUROPA is bound for the dry dock anyway, it makes sense to carry out any further work then.

Since the era of Albert Ballin, the company - which invented the cruise - has focused on maximum comfort for its guests. While other shipping companies continued to fight for the honour of the fastest Atlantic crossing, Albert Ballin was not satisfied with the high fuel costs or - in particular - with the vibrations that compromised on-board comfort when travelling at speed. The well-being of the guests took priority. And so, Hapag ships thrilled their turn-of-the-century guests not with horsepower, but with unprecedented luxury.

While times may have changed, this ambition remains. For Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, this means retaining its top ranking for the best ships on the world's oceans. And this is why the EUROPA undergoes extensive modernisation during every docking period: almost all bathrooms were renovated, the teak wood on many decks was replaced, the Weltmeere main restaurant was completely redesigned and the Clipper Lounge was transformed into the 20s-style Gatsby's.

The brush-up in numbers

  • 14-day docking period in dock 11
  • 879 workers in shifts around the clock
  • 650 square metres of teak
  • 3,200 litres of paint
  • 4,200 square metres of carpet

Almost 900 workers and craftspeople were on board. The stabilisers are now greased with biopetroleum. This "brush-up" (a typical example of Hanseatic understatement) could just as easily be described as a comprehensive redesign.

Now back to Gatsby's, the luxurious lounge where people meet for a pre-dinner signature cocktail. Classic yet modern furniture, cool lighting effects and a warm ambience. A place that embodies much of the EUROPA spirit. The team at the bar mixes a "German Mule", a variation on the Moscow Mule based on Poire Williams. And we recommend that our guests by the jukebox let The Commodores sing: "Gonna be a long night, it's gonna be all right ..."

A room with just three keys

In the hallowed hallways below deck lies the most sacred place of all, accessible to just three people on board: the captain, the hotel manager (Hotman) and the hotel inventory controller (HIC). Only they can open those thick doors concealing the supply of around 70 kg (154 lb) of caviar worth approximately € 140,000. Roughly 20 tonnes (44,092 lb) of wild caviar are traded and consumed worldwide each year. Of that, more than half a tonne goes on board the EUROPA. The ship is, after Lufthansa, the second biggest purchaser of caviar in Germany. Roughly 15 kg (33 lb) are consumed on each cruise, around 7 kg (15 lb) on the gala evening alone.



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