MS Europa, and now MS Europa 2, both of which are operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, have been awarded the coveted 5 star plus rating in the 2014 edition of the ‘Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, published by Berlitz.
MS Europa 2 scored the highest rating, with 1,860 points out of 2,000, which is the highest ever score in the 29 year history of the guide, while MS Europa scored 1,851 points. As a result, they were placed first and second in the category top ten small ships, with up to 750 passengers.
MS Hanseatic, improved its score to 1,765 out of a possible 2,000 points, giving it a 5 star rating, and is featured in the top ten list of boutique ships with up to 250 passengers, for the first time. MS Bremen also improved its score to 1,555 out of 2,000, and was awarded the 4 star rating.
Author Douglas Ward and his team score ships on a range of points, including menus and restaurant quality, service crew, fixtures and fittings, entertainment and the overall cruise experience. They tested a total of 285 cruise ships around the world, and I met and chatted to Douglas Ward onboard MS Europa 2 earlier this year.