In today’s seemingly fully developed world, there are still opportunities to make great discoveries and enjoy extraordinary cruises. Where large cruise ships have to turn about or can only sail past, you will experience a renaissance of wonder. Regions that often have no beacons, pilots, harbours, hotels or airports. These are the expedition destinations of our new expedition ships HANSEATIC nature, HANSEATIC inspiration & HANSEATIC spirit, where your curiosity sets the course. Rather than journeys from A to B, these ships offer intensive
discoveries from A to Z.
In our travel diaries and our films, we take you along on our expeditions and provide intensive insights even before you travel.
A team of prestigious experts in various fields accompanies every cruise. Wise minds who, as well-travelled cosmopolitans, translate the essence of their professions to passengers as passionate speakers.
Exciting and informative: our experts are the perfect accompaniment for your expedition and provide you with invaluable knowledge on board and ashore. Benefit from their inexhaustible know-how during Zodiac rides and landings,
in fascinating presentations and personal conversations.
Broadening horizons: whenever possible, you will head ashore and out in the Zodiacs with our experts. This reveals exciting background information and trains you to spot extraordinary things that other travellers would miss. Priceless if this fixes your attention to a particular experience just at the right moment.
A new perspective on nature and culture: complex links and scientific research are made understandable with “living” examples. Our experts have visited each destination many times and conducted in-depth studies and research or written about them in books. As a result, they serve as travel companions, field guides and bridges between cultures.
Our expedition ships as a place of learning: as part of short excursions together and on plenty of Zodiac rides with your experts, you will gain exciting insights and learn new information. On board, interesting exhibits turn into exciting research subjects. Examining, discussing and looking under the microscope will quench your thirst for knowledge.
Why explore the world with us? Because we truly know how to do expeditions. Our many years of experience in particular allow us to plan, prepare and perform these highly complex journeys. In 1891, Albert Ballin, who would later become the general director of HAPAG, sent the Augusta Victoria to the Mediterranean with 241 passengers – the birth of the modern cruise. This pioneering spirit was continued for almost 30 years by the expedition ship BREMEN and 25 years by the former HANSEATIC. Their expedition expertise, award-winning route concept and numerous pioneering feats shape all of our current cruises.
State-of-the-art navigation, positioning and communications systems place our new expedition ship in a technical league of its own – we’ll be happy to show you when you visit the bridge. Particularly in the polar regions, we check the route daily, look for even more impressive alternatives and react flexibly to the weather and ice. This expertise has proven to provide the best foundations for expeditions and will take you to places that other ships cannot reach.
Expedition cruises leave no room for experiments - nautical expertise, serious planning, caution and care are essential to ensure safety and wonderful experiences. Only cruise operators like us who meet the requirements of the Polar Code of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and are certified accordingly may travel in polar waters. For polar expeditions, our expedition ship is constructed in a completely different way to "normal" (cruise) ships - it has thicker steel plates and numerous additional frames at the main ice area of the hull. The ship can move through polar waters for longer periods without stopping for provisions or fuel - for example on the Northwest Passage. With the highest ice class for passenger ships (PC 6), our expedition ship can push aside the broken pack ice and, if necessary, travel safely through solid ice cover of around 90 cm (35 in.) thick. On our expeditions, we not only adhere to stringent legal provisions, but go beyond these requirements with voluntary measures to protect the regions we visit. Therefore, we completely forgo the use of heavy fuel oil and, since 2020, have exclusively been using marine gas oil with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1 % (LS-MGO).
On the expeditions, the Zodiacs are often deployed several times per day. These inflatable rubber boats are perfect for expeditions and can take you ashore whenever there is no harbour. A sense of pure adventure is never far behind.
Climb into the Zodiacs in small groups and with no long waiting times, and see the scenery from a unique angle: just a few centimetres above the surface of the water, travel to regions that have remained untouched. The robust inflatable boats navigate through the ice formations of the Arctic and Antarctic and provide an opportunity to enjoy impressive wildlife sightings. You will be joined by experts, who will help you discover special details. Your excursions are allocated generous amounts of time with plenty of scope for first-hand sightings and exciting new impressions that can only be experienced this way.
Zodiacs are designed to handle extreme conditions, and there are 17 on the new expedition ships HANSEATIC nature, HANSEATIC inspiration and HANSEATIC spirit. They will be under the control of specially trained operators.
The many unforgettable experiences on your expedition will make for perfect photo opportunities. And the people on board will provide even more vivid memories. Warmth and a passion for the extraordinary are in their blood. Where the most spectacular regions in the world leave nothing more to be desired, an array of exclusive moments on every expedition will give you a truly personal feeling of well-being. A champagne reception right next to a gigantic ice floe. An ice cream parlour built from palm leaves in the crystal-clear waters of the South Seas. Or fresh glacial ice for your drink. A crew of over 175 is there to carry out all the wishes, big and small, of no more than 230 guests. Attentive, enthusiastic and pleasantly discreet – your smile is reward enough for us.
Since 1993, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has specialised in gaining extensive expedition experience – something unique in the industry. It’s precisely these years of experience and intensive planning that have made it possible to successfully master the most challenging of routes multiple times – be it the Northwest Passage twenty times, the Northeast Passage five times and semi-circumnavigating the Antarctic just as many times. And the HANSEATIC and the BREMEN have also made history alongside these legendary sea passages, which will now be continued by the new expedition class.
A true premiere on the ice: In 1996, the BREMEN becomes the first passenger ship to circumnavigate the islands and archipelagos of Spitsbergen. A very special moment for the passengers and crew.
Uncharted territory ahead! On an expedition in the Antarctic in 2003, the BREMEN discovers a previously unknown strait of water that leads to an inaccessible island. Since this spectacular discovery, these have been known as the Bremen Channel and Bremen Island.
Premiere at the North Pole: In August 2012, the BREMEN passes the 82nd line of latitude in the Arctic Circle for the first time, 887 km from the North Pole!
All of the Azores islands in one cruise: In 2013, the BREMEN makes its first trip to all nine of the diverse paradises in the archipelago for breathtaking natural spectacles and whale watching.
Pioneering endeavours in the Northeast Passage: In 2014, the HANSEATIC becomes the first non-Russian cruise ship to negotiate the legendary sea route – 6,032 nautical miles between the Russian Far East and Europe. Furthermore, the ship set a new record for passenger ships: the HANSEATIC reached the northernmost point at 85°, 40.7' north and 135°, 39.6' east. This is just 480 km from the North Pole.
Forgotten worlds: in 2015, MS BREMEN was the first international cruise ship to sail to the Marshall Islands – an island nation in the heart of the Pacific with widely dispersed atolls and over 1,000 islands, completely untouched by tourism.
Good things come in threes: in 2019, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises commissioned two new expedition ships within a year. The naming ceremony of the HANSEATIC nature took place on 4 May and the HANSEATIC inspiration on 11 October, thus continuing the successful story of the HANSEATIC in an innovative way. In 2021, the HANSEATIC spirit completed the new expedition class.
World premiere: the BREMEN was the first passenger ship to successfully circumnavigate the entire Arctic in 72 days. From Tromso via Spitsbergen, Iceland, Greenland, the Northwest and the Northeast passages, the small expedition ship travelled 14,107 nautical miles in two and a half months.
New horizons: in winter 2021/2022, the HANSEATIC spirit will be the first ship from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and the first passenger ship ever to explore the northern extension of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia as well as Swedish and Finnish Lapland in the process. The Norwegian coast will also be visited for the first time in winter to intensively marvel at the Northern Lights.
Discovering extraordinary regions, intensive experiences of the world and fascinating insights from well-versed experts - the proven expedition concept from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is also used on cruises for young discoverers. Varied and entertaining, the crew and a renowned expert offer an exciting programme for those aged 10 to 17 years old, giving the entire family an expeditionary experience they will never forget. (Minimum: 5 young explorers)*
The programme has been specially designed for teenagers in order to encourage the curiosity of young explorers. Be it with a spot of navigation on board, Zodiac rides**, activities ashore or looking through a microscope, learning oceanography, geology and geography will become a fun activity for children of a similar age. An experienced academic expert and numerous crew members - from the captain to the navigation officer to the ship's cook - will work to ensure age-appropriate learning. Every day, the many discoveries and experiences will develop into a real adventure.
Earn your sea legs
"Landlubbers" will be made into little "mariners" on board - visit the captain on the bridge and take part in question-and-answer sessions with the officers for exciting insights into seafaring - from reading nautical and bathymetric charts to navigating and using the radar and sonar.
Broaden your horizons
See the raw materials of the sea with your own eyes. For example, research ore that is millions of years old under the microscope as you study geological marine deposits. Studying microfossils under the microscope also provides compelling insights into the history of the oceans.
Enjoy XXL holiday fun
Roll the cameras for the cinema evening - just for kids. With popcorn, of course. Order a pizza with the works during the pizza evening. And if you're a talented scout, you might have a chance at winning the rally through the ship. Full of variety! As holidays should be.
*If the minimum number of young explorers is not reached, the cancellation will follow four weeks prior to departure.
**Not permitted on the part of the authority on cruise NAT2313 (Alaska Inside Passage) and NAT2406 (Polar Light Adventure in Norway)