On Thursday, March 1, 2012, the next construction stage of the EUROPA 2 began with the keel laying at STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The first block of the ship was lifted into the dry dock. Sebastian Ahrens, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, each placed a coin in the block. The coins were welded into the block and will accompany the ship on all future cruises. The first ship block has a length of 11.8 metres, is 8.6 metres high and weighs 400 tons.
Concurrently with the start of construction in the dry dock, the suites of the ship are being manufactured in the shipyard’s cabin factory. At the beginning of July, the EUROPA 2 will take to the water for the very first time so that work on the interior can be initiated at the outfitting pier. A total of 835 shipyard workers are involved in the construction of the new ship. Until the delivery in the spring of 2013 the shipyard workers will dedicate over 2.5 million hours of labour to the project.
The EUROPA 2, the sister ship of the existing EUROPA will be positioned in the luxury segment as a lifestyle-oriented, casual alternative and is due to be commissioned in the spring of 2013. With eleven decks and 251 suites, the EUROPA 2 will offer a maximum capacity of 516 passengers and more space per passenger than any other cruise ship. The all suite ship has suites with balconies, with a minimum size of 28 square metres. Eight restaurants as well as six bars offer culinary diversity, and a large spa and fitness area taking into account the trend towards well-being on voyages.
Source: hl-cruises, March 6, 2012