Hapag-Lloyd is one of the oldest shipping companies in the world and one of the two major German cruise line operators. The line operates at the top end of the luxury scale of cruise ships and has won many prizes and much praise from the cruising industry. The line operates four ships and is about to launch another. The ships tend to be more compact than the floating resorts that are now becoming popular in other cruise lines. Two of the ships are dedicated to pure cruising whilst the others are orientated toward adventures, such as visiting the ice packs at the poles, Greenland and sparsely populated South Pacific atolls. The company does not market itself much outside of the German speaking world but English speakers will be found on board. There are always the Americans but many Canadians and Brits join the Great Lakes and other cruises in North America.
As befits a line that aims to be at the top of the market, each ship is full service and all passenger accommodation is in outside suites, many having private verandas. Every suite is equipped with television and a fully stocked mini-bar. There is plenty of storage space with walk-in closets. Bathrooms are fitted out to the highest standards and fully stocked with luxury toiletries. There are no cabins especially designed for singles but the company always sets aside a number of them for single occupancy.
Each ship has several restaurants but the full passenger list can be accommodated for dining in the main dining room. Something that is unusual is that all drinks are included in the price of the cruise. There are no add-ons which can make other apparently cheaper cruises far more expensive when the final bill is totted up. Eating in restaurants other than the main dining room carries no booking or other fee either. This means that speciality Italian or Oriental food can be taken without the extra price tag applied as on many ships. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style with the opportunity to request special entrees for lunch. Dress code in the dining and other public rooms is collar and tie in the evenings with formal nights being balck tie occasions.
Each year the flagship Europa does a world cruise. Not many people take the whole cruise but the temptation is great to stay with the ship following the sun visiting exotic locations whilst living in the lap of luxury.