Europa 2

By Gary Walther Day 13: Saturday, Komodo Island The life of a komodo dragon is nasty–they’re quite happy to eat each other–and brutish: They’re solitary and bad tempered, tending to hiss loudly when near each other. Their life can also be short, as the female returns to the nest–a mound

By Gary Walther Day 9: Tuesday, At Sea En Route to Komodo Island, Indonesia At half past noon the Europa 2 slides past Cape York, the northernmost point of the Australian mainland and swings to port to enter the Torres Strait, which separates Australia and New Guinea and is flecked

By Gary Walther Day 5: Friday, March 29, Hamilton Island One of the great pleasures of cruising is pulling back the curtain each morning to discover how the world has changed overnight. This morning I am greeted by a long line of low-slung islands, most thickly rain-forested. They are like

By Gary Walther Day 1: Monday, March 25, Sydney It’s been overcast and intermittently rainy, perfect weather for holing up on the Europa 2 and recovering from the very long flight: New York-Munich-Doha-Sydney. At one point I had to look at my watch to know what day it was. My

By Gary Walther Every morning there they are, standing straight, almost at attention, like pillars at the end of the cabin corridor on Deck 10 (the Penthouse Deck). And there again at 3 and at 9. Sarah Lehnhoff and Kolja Quintanar, the two butlers responsible for the 14-butler-serviced cabins on

By Gary Walther Is it the journey or the destination? The getting there or the being there that counts? This question has long been a litmus test of one’s travel psyche, and for years the judgment has been that the person who journeys is the real traveler. THD once counted

By Gary Walther DAY ONE: The Hotel Detective is sailing on a sea of superlatives, The Europa 2, a 500-passenger ship belonging to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. According to the 2016 Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships, considered the Bible of cruise guides. Europa 2 is the best ship in the world, “the

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