Keel laid for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ second, new expedition ship: HANSEATIC inspiration

The keel laying for the HANSEATIC inspiration held on 18 October 2017 has set in motion the next stage of construction for the second of the two new expedition ships for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

At the ceremony in the Romanian port of Tulcea and in keeping with shipbuilding tradition, the cruise line’s CEO, Karl J. Pojer laid a specially produced coin in the first steel block of what will become the ship’s hull. As with its sister ship, the HANSEATIC nature, the coin was welded into the block and will bring the new vessel good fortune on all future expeditions.

The keel laying of the HANSEATIC inspiration at the Vard shipyard in Romania will now be followed by more milestones, such as the float-out of the hull and the completion of the external construction work. Work on the interior fittings will then be performed at the outfitting pier in Norway and the passenger cabins will be completed. Once the trial voyages to test seaworthiness and equipment have been completed, the ship will be handed over to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in October 2019.

The launch and maiden voyage of the HANSEATIC inspiration are planned for October 2019. Already interested guests can see an overview of the two ships’ expeditions in a preview that was unveiled in August 2017. Final bookings will be taken from the end of January 2018, when the first official brochure is published.

The contract for the two expedition ships, which will be positioned in the five-star segment, was awarded to the Norwegian VARD Group, a subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri. The ship’s hull will be built in Tulcea, Romania, before being transported to the VARD Langsten shipyard in Norway for the interior fitting.

Both the HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology and will be able to accommodate up to 230 guests – and up to 199 guests on Antarctic cruises. They will also have the highest ice class for passenger ships – PC6 – so they will be used in the polar regions (the Arctic and Antarctic), as well as in warmer destinations such as the Amazon and the South Seas.

After many years, the Hamburg-based cruise operator will even return to the Great Lakes in North America with the HANSEATIC inspiration. With a retractable bridge wing, the special design of the HANSEATIC inspiration makes it possible for the ship to pass through narrow locks.

The 16 on-board Zodiacs, some of which will have eco-friendly electric drive systems, will make it possible to land in expedition areas that do not have ports, and there will be a marina for water sports.

(Hapag Lloyd Cruises)