Hapag-Lloyd Cruises seems to be preparing for the long-haul. The fleet of the Hamburg-based cruise company is now heading for the waters of its home port. The expedition ship, the Hanseatic Nature, will be the first to return and is expected to arrive in Hamburg, Germany, on April 20. Its sister ship, the international Hanseatic Inspiration, and the two luxury ships, the Europa and the international Europa 2, are also now on their way back to Hamburg. All three are expected to arrive in the port on May 2 and will remain there for the time being until they can start operating their schedules again. The Bremen will remain off Auckland, New Zealand.
The two expedition ships, the Hanseatic Nature and the Hanseatic Inspiration, will go to Blohm+Voss for repair work. The Europa will moor up at the O’Swaldkai and the Europa 2 will head to its berth in Altona. The last of the guests onboard Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet all returned home on March 21; the cruise operator brought a total of around 1,000 guests home early from all over the world, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Charter flights had to be organized, as scheduled flights had been cancelled.
The Hanseatic Nature, which is currently in the North Atlantic on course for Hamburg, has already picked up crew members from its sister ships in Bridgetown, Barbados, the Hanseatic Inspiration and Europa, bringing them back to Hamburg. “We wanted to give as many crew members as we could the opportunity to return home as soon as possible,” Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, said in an official release.
To keep fit, the crew on the Hanseatic Nature has started a project called “Walk the Cruise.” The idea is for the crew to cover the entire distance of the ship’s journey on foot, until it reaches its home port in Hamburg, Germany—a total of 7,600 nautical miles. Every day, on Deck 9, the 138 crew members are each walking or jogging 28 laps of 135 meters—a total of 2.4 miles. They are keeping count on a list and at the end of the 27-day cruise, this should take them to around 7,600 nautical miles.