My cruise aboard the MS Europa 2 – Part II


What: Traveling with MS Europa 2
Where: Greek Aegean Sea
Part II

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The luxury ship MS Europa 2 infront of the Greek island of Naxos, the third leg of my cruise. What I experienced during the first days on board, you will find here

Half of my childhood I spent on the sea. As a captain for a Hamburg shipping company, my father drove a reefer ship, so-called banana boats, on whose decks I learned to walk and later spent my school holidays on. Atlantic, Caribbean, Pacific – on the world’s oceans around the world. In the opinion of my old master, cruise ships did not count to the true sea voyage. “Floating hotels” was his succinct commentary. The more exciting I was on my first cruise on the MS Europa 2, a 225-meter-long passenger steamer of the luxury category with room for 500 passengers. Our course: from Rhodes to Athens, a five-day spa trip through the Greek Aegean. MyStylery’s diary in four chapters.

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Lounger with a view: From the aft deck I enjoy the sunrise

Day 3

The night was mega relaxed, though much too short, because after 48 miles at sea I did not want to miss the early arrival at Naxos coast. Naxos is the largest and greenest island in the Cyclades and is known for its castles and white beaches, which I explore in the afternoon on a 25 kilometer long bike tour. I am relieved that Tom, the bike guide, spares the 1004 meter high mountain Zas. The offered bike tours are by the way between three and five hours long. Price: from 40 Euro. The MS Europe 2 travel concierge offers tours starting at 29 Euros. If you like it more exclusive, book a helicopter trip for 400 Euros. Or discover the goal independently and on your own. Everything is possible.

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MyStylery on the way to discover Naxos’ old town

In Naxos I have fallen in love. While Santorini is flooded by the narrow streets of the tourist towns, one can experience Naxos’s silence and relaxation. As before, the island is an insider tip and little visited by cruise ships, since the big pots can not be put here. And the Greeks love their Naxos, where they spend their holidays with their families. Right enough!

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Taking a little nap on my suite balcony, accompanied by a glas of Champagne

Back on the boat my stressed feet ask for a time-out: I tail the Pilates-hour in the fitness area and relax on my private balcony. The only noise accompanying me is the rattling of the anchor chain, which is thinned to leak. And the popping of my bottle of champagne, which I now finally open and, with sea view, enjoy. It stops after one glass, because it goes immediately to the gin tasting, in which five gin sorts can be tasted. Now, Gin is not exactly one of my favorite drinks. A sample sip and lots of stories around the juniper schnapps, which is interestingly not in England, but in the Philippines worldwide the most consumed.

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The gin tasting is offered for free, in which five gin sorts can be tasted

Friends of the Caviar have marked the Thursday red in the calendar: Thursday is Caviar Night on MS Europa 2 and thus a reason for the only possible queue, which can form on the ship. On this evening, I am actually agreed in the sushi restaurant “Sakura”, but take a trip to the caviar buffet and treat myself at the same time also with some fresh oysters. Add to this a delicious California roll. What a wonderful, culinary mess! In the theater, the New York dance company “The Tap Factor” shines with a quilting performance with an infectious effect: the dance floor in the “Sansibar” is then rocked decently and DJ Pro-Mo plays my favorite song “Meet me half way” by the Black Eyed Peas, which he organized for me. Kind? Kind! Next Stop: Nauplia, 139 nautical miles away.

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Thursday evening, the Caviar-Night, there is rush due to the kilo-cans of caviar

Day 4

Do you actually get seasick, I am asked often. Answer: Yes, on small boats. On big ships, It takes storm force 9 for me to feel queasy. The MS Europa 2 has its stabilizers in rough seas, which reduce the rolling movement of the ship during lateral waves, which can be a real advantage in the months of July and August. For in the high summer strong north winds dominate here, which can make the Aegean crazy. At the beginning of June it is fortunately not a concern! Once again, I jump out of bed early and into the 15 meter long pool. A short round swim, at this time only used by one lonely swimmer.

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Breakfast in the bathrobe on my suite balcony:

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Tea, orange juice and fresh fruit, scrambled eggs with bacon (yummy!), croissants and Danish pastries. Sunshine and an amazing view on top

Just in time at nine I hear some knocking on my door, the room service comes and serves an opulent breakfast on my balcony. Delicious croissants, fresh orange juice, scrambled eggs with bacon and my beloved “Morgentau”-tea from Ronnefeldt. This is the taste of holiday! Unfortunately, I do not even get half of these delicacies, which may be quite good, because there is a fast zodiac tour on the program – motorized high-speed inflatable boats going through the bay and along the steep rocky coast of Nauplia. Afterwards, the boat goes to the mainland for my small country expedition through Nauplia town. By the way, the main cities of the Greek islands always carry the island name. I stroll through Nauplia’s old town and am amazed by the differentness of this island. Here one can feel the former Italian influences, not just in the architecture, which wraps the pretty house facades with their window shutters in colorful colors. More to come on MyStylery!

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Down into the depths: The first tender boat is launched to take passengers on shore

Phew! With 32 degrees it is quite hot on Nauplia and I’m glad to escape the midday heat. Let’s go back to MS Europa 2, what many of the passengers do at lunch time. I’m ready for a relaxed snack. If you like freshly grilled, go to the grill station in the restaurant Yacht Club. I enjoy gilthead, followed by a portion of Mozart Praline ice cream. Mmmhhh! Now a lunch break would be a good idea. No time. Unfortunately. Because I have not seen so much on board yet. Neither the cooking school nor the playing field, the cinema or the golf simulator. Instinctively, I land in the boutique and submit the assortment to a quick check. Who has forgotten his cashmere sweater at home, finds one here for cool evenings on the deck guaranteed: Shop ’til you drop! 😉

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A little closer to the sky: the glass roof above the MS Europa 2 seawater-pool is opened at good weather

On my tour I hardly meet fellow travelers. Some relax on the decks, others may be on land. I never feel like being surrounded by a lot of people, which is certainly because the MS Europa 2 has the largest room offer per passenger on a cruise ship. If you are looking for loneliness on board, I recommend the aft deck of the spa area, which is hardly visited in this heat. Also on the other decks it goes relaxed, with a bit luck you find a place in the chic shell-cots of Dedon. Stewards serve refreshments, tea, coffee and iced tea variations are free on board.

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A culinary highlight is the freshly baked waffles with cherries and vanilla ice cream

A culinary highlight is the freshly baked waffles, which are served in the afternoon on the pool deck. Every day with a changing topping or the classic: cherries with vanilla ice cream. But since I soon “must” eat again, I enjoy half a portion! My farewell at the restaurant “Tarragon”, the French brasserie of MS Europa 2. At beef tartar and lamb fillets a small resumée of my trip. It was nice, though (too) brief. Because at night, we arrive at the port of Athens, the last leg of my small cruise.

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My farewell at the restaurant “Tarragon”, the French brasserie

MyStylery’s Conclusion:

A cruise can be much more than I initially thought. I like the relaxed atmosphere on board very much, as well as the contemplative life on board. Even though this is different from the sailings of my childhood, where I have often seen nothing but water for days. At some destinations I get first insights from the country and people, which can be deepened on a next trip. Concerning other destinations, I felt the length of stay was sufficient. Many impressions I take with me and am now looking forward to my stay in Athens. To mention the financial aspect: exclusivity has its price – with just under 5,000 Euros per person for a one-week trip.
I was so excited about my little cruise and was not disappointed. MS Europa 2 – I’ll be back. Until then I say ship, ahoy!  BvH

The MS Europa 2 in front of the Greek island of Naxos

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The tender boats – like here in front of Naxos – are running 20 minutes between MS Europa 2 and the mainland

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I explore the island of Naxos in the afternoon on a 25 kilometer long bike tour. Of course I wear a helmet

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Back on board I am greeted with a refreshing juice and a cool towel. What a service!

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Apropos drink: One of the popular champagne tasting is on the agenda. Price from 90 Euros

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The sudden fog has something magical and veils the passing islands

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Ready for dinner: Sushi and Sashimi at “Sakura”-Restaurant

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… The caviar night the same evening I can not miss …

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… Just as the beautiful sunset

Good to know:

Waste into the sea? No way! MS Europe 2 has a sewage treatment plant. Inorganic waste such as glass is shredded or plastics are compacted and disposed of on land. Waste packaging waste is chilled and paper burned directly on board.

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If you need more space than in the 35 square meters large veranda suites, book a suite of the other six categories. For example, the owner or penthouse suites. They are situated in the upper decks, offer up to 114 square meters (including porch) and include, if desired, a butler service

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Here’s a view into my bathroom, which is equipped with bathtube and shower

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Forgot your floss? Do not worry! Here’s everything you need

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The Zodiac fleet of MS Europa 2 – named after Hamburg’s districts

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On a Zodiac tour the wearing of the life jacket is mandatory

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Beautiful ship: The MS Europa 2 shooted from zodiac-perspective

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In the small, but fine gym, the many calories on board can be burned on Technogym equipment – again with a wonderful view to the turquoise water

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Shopping in the board boutique: Liebeskind, Escada, Hilfiger. Shop ’til you drop – but for customs reasons however only on sea days

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In the mood for a shuffleboard tournament under the Greek sun and view to the bay of Nauplia?

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The MS Europa 2 is popular with families with children: there is a kids- and teens club and family suites. The parents then enjoy their time off on the loungers

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The motto aboard the MS Europa 2: “Luxury in casual ambience”

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On the sun deck, Steward Mohamad serves cold refreshments – in the background, Dedon’s cozy daybeds

At the icecream buffet: Even if the impression is made, I have not only been eating on board the MS Europa 2 😉

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Please disinfect hands before entering onboard restaurants! Nowhere do bacteria germinate faster than on cruise ships

Cruise News:


Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has commissioned the construction of two luxury expedition ships in the five-star segment, the Hanseantic Nature and the Hanseatic Inspiration, which will be launched in 2019.

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Below the bridge – the command center of the ship – I observe the departure

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Reflections of the front ship in the bridge’s windows …

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… From there you can watch the berthing

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The porthole and I

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Two florists care for fresh flower arrangements on MS Europa 2

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Again round forms that remind you beeing on a ship …

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… also good to capture reflecting sunsets

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A small resumée of my trip by beef tartar …

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… and lamb fillets: It was nice, though (too) brief

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The tugboat tows the MS Europa 2 at night to the berth in Athens

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MyStylery ready for departure – disembarkation – as it is called in the language of the sailors

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αντίο – bye, bye, MS Europa 2

Contact MS Europa 2:

www.hl-cruises.de

I was invited to this cruise as part of a blogger trip by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

 

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