Berlitz Cruising rates Europa 2 as best cruise ship

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new Europa 2 has been rated as the best cruise ship by the new edition of Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships, a guide book to be published in October, according to a report by The Telegraph.

It is the first time in 14 years that a new ship has been selected to take the top spot. Europa 2 takes the title from its sister ship, Europa. Both vessels are in the small ships category, with a capacity of 251 to 750 passengers, and were the only ships to have a 5-star Plus rating.

Europa 2’s accommodation is all in Veranda Suites, with balconies each measuring at least 75 square feet. All suites come equipped with a free mini bar, chargeable Wi-Fi Internet access and a tablet computer. The ship’s 251 suites come in seven categories, measuring from 301 to 1,066 square feet. The highest categories have whirlpools with an ocean view.

There are eight different restaurants to choose from, and wines and spirits are sold at prices that are cheaper than onshore.

The author of the guide, Douglas Ward, describes Europa 2 as ‘a stunningly spacious, top-notch informal ship for sophisticated cosmopolitan travellers and their families… the benchmark in contemporary cruising.

‘The choice of dining venues and types of cuisine are excellent and the service is attentive and friendly but unobtrusive. It all adds up to the very best informal cruise ship available today – unless you own a private motor yacht.’

Considered to be an authoritative cruise guide, the Berlitz publication is currently in its 29th year. The application for the Berlitz Cruise Ships 2014 edition has been released, while the paperback and ebook will be published on October 1.

At the rating, Cunard ships dominated the Large Resort Ship category, Seabourne dominated the Small and Boutique Ships categories and Silversea took five of the top 10 places in the Small Ships Category.