Insignia to become Columbus 2

//Insignia to become Columbus 2

insignia.jpgOceania Cruises is about to launch its newest ship, Marina, and another 1,250-passenger vessel, Riviera, is under construction in Italy. But it seems like the company’s fleet of boutique ships is not going to be expanding as fast as was once thought.
It was announced today that the arrival of Riviera next year will coincide with the departure of Insignia (above), one of the three ships currently in the fleet. The 698-passenger vessel, whose identical sisters Regatta and Nautica will remain with Oceania, is to be chartered to German cruise operator Hapag-Lloyd for two years
The charter is only part of a major expansion planned by Hapag-Lloyd, who have also announced they have ordered a brand new vessel which will be built at St Nazaire in France as a sister for their ultra-luxury flagship, Europa.
H-L currently have four ships; as well as the 408-passenger Europa, which consistently achieves the highest ratings in Douglas Ward’s Berlitz Guide, there are two expedition ships, Bremen and Hanseatic, and the premium vessel Columbus, which carries 420 passengers.
Insignia is to become Columbus 2 which will sail seven and 12-day cruises in the Mediterranean and northern Europe during the summer, and a world voyage the following winter.
Construction of the 516-passenger Europa 2 will begin in September and is expected to take about 18 months .
Although primarily targeted at the German, Austrian and Swiss markets, and with German-speaking crew, H-L operate several “international” cruises each year, with lectures (and menus) in English.
Managing Director Sebastian Ahrens said: “We have identified potential for growth in both market segments, and we would like to make use of it. Beyond this, both ships adequately enhance our portfolio, enabling us to serve new target groups. The Columbus 2 offers more diversity and comfort to the existing Columbus, and the Europa 2 will be the logical evolution and modern interpretation of the standards we have set in the luxury segment of the international cruise market.”
Insignia will operate all its scheduled cruises for Oceania before transferring to Hapag-Lloyd for the two-year charter

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 10 January 2011|Cruise News|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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