On the evening of 11 October 2019, the naming ceremony for the HANSEATIC inspiration, the second of three new Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ expedition ships, was held in the port of Hamburg. Godmother Laura Dekker, the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handed, released the mechanism for the traditional champagne bottle from a pontoon placed in the water for the occasion. Around 230 invited guests watched the naming ceremony of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ bi-lingual expedition ship from the Elbe River. The HANSEATIC inspiration was transformed into a ceremonial stage as eleven high-powered projectors put on a twelve-minute multimedia show on the outside of the ship that took the audience on a virtual cruise through the destinations its expeditions will visit. Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar hosted the event. The new expedition class, made up of the HANSEATIC nature, HANSEATIC inspiration and HANSEATIC spirit, is being financed by an investment from the parent TUI Group.
At 21.30 hrs (9:30PM), all Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ guests found themselves on the water. Rather than remaining on the HANSEATIC inspiration, they boarded rubber boats and launches. For one evening, the Elbe and the ship became the extraordinary setting for a naming ceremony perfectly in keeping with expedition cruises.
Guests were treated to a multimedia show that took them on a virtual cruise to the most remote corners of the world, leaving the bustling city behind to visit the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Amazon. Icy landscapes, whales, penguins, green jungle oases, colourful birds and many other landscapes and creatures were projected onto the outside of the ship, leaving the audience feeling like true explorers.
The 3D mapping – 140 m (459 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) high – which was designed and programmed specially for the event, was projected through the dark Hamburg sky onto the side of the ship by eleven high-powered projectors from the south side of the Elbe. Musical accompaniment was provided by Oonagh, the German pop star and two-time Echo winner, as well as Terje Isunget, the Norwegian musician known for his unique instruments made from ice.
“Today’s naming ceremony has given our guests a taste of the expedition cruises which they can experience on the HANSEATIC inspiration from now on. The second ship in our new expedition class is a further milestone in our company’s history. With these three new ships, we are positioning ourselves in the exclusive 5-star expedition segment – as already demonstrated by the HANSEATIC nature”, said Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
“Naming the HANSEATIC inspiration against the wonderful night-time backdrop of the port of Hamburg was a very special moment for me. I’m sure that this expedition ship will more than live up to her name and take her guests on many inspiring cruises to show them the wonders of nature up-close,” said Laura Dekker.
Captain Ulf Wolter and his crew will leave Hamburg on Saturday, 12 October, and arrive in Antwerp on Monday, 14 October. The HANSEATIC inspiration will begin her maiden voyage the same day. The 15-day route will take the 139 m (456 ft) long and 22 m (72 ft) wide ship to Tenerife with stops in La Coruna, Lisbon, Casablanca and Madeira, among others. The HANSEATIC inspiration offers 5-star service. Around 175 crew members look after a maximum of 230 guests – or just 199 guests on Antarctic cruises and circumnavigations of Spitsbergen. The ship is fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology. From July 2020, the entire Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet will stop using heavy fuel oil and will use low-pollutant marine gas oil fuel on all routes.
The new expedition class with three structurally-identical ships is being financed by an investment from the parent TUI Group. The entire Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet is therefore the property of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and the TUI Group. The investment highlights the strategy of the global TUI Group, which is focused on its cruise business. The Group is investing in its cruise portfolio and is expanding, modernising and rejuvenating the fleet. Further new ships will be added to the overall fleet in the coming years.