Best Small Cruise Ships: Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2
By Gary Walther
On the Europa 2 this past September, bound from Thessaloniki to Istanbul, The Hotel Detective found himself in a sea of superlatives.
The Europa 2 offers the highest passenger-space ratio of any cruise ship, a key index of luxury at sea. It has the highest cabin ceilings (12-14 feet) in the cruise industry, and the largest spa-fitness facility (10,764 sq. ft./1,000 sq. meters) for a ship its size (516 passengers). The art collection (890 pieces) is one of the largest at sea, and includes works by David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, and Damien Hurst. Europa 2 has the largest gin collection (37 varieties) at sea, surely the cheapest bar prices (E1,60 for a beer, E5-6 for a cocktail), and a most memorable room-service charge: none.