Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is repositioning four of its five ships to Hamburg as the cruise line pushes the #StayAtHome global message fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic. The fleet of ships would normally be sailing the seven seas, but are now heading for the waters of its home port.
The expedition ship HANSEATIC nature was the first to return to the Germany city on 20 April. Its sister ship, the international HANSEATIC inspiration, and the two luxury ships, 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 2 May and will remain there for the time being until they can start operating their schedules again. BREMEN will remain off Auckland, New Zealand.
The two expedition ships, HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration, will go to Blohm+Voss for repair work. EUROPA 2 will head to its berth in Altona and EUROPA will moor up at O’Swaldkai. The last of the guests onboard the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet all returned home safe and well on 21 March. The cruise operator brought a total of around 1,000 guests home early from all over the world, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Charter flights had to be organised as scheduled flights had been cancelled.
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, 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. This posed a logistical challenge due to the suspension of flights and the travel restrictions in place currently. Therefore, we took matters into our own hands for the return transport and transformed the journey of our HANSEATIC nature into a “crew cruise”. So we are bringing our crew back to their families safe and well,” said Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
Crew members remaining on the ships are using the time to carry out maintenance and repair works where necessary, including louder works that are unable to be conducted when passengers are aboard. Training sessions, meetings and inspections are also underway onboard.
Walk the Cruise – walking on board to Hamburg in 27 days
To keep fit, the crew on HANSEATIC nature have 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, while the HANSEATIC nature is sailing, until it reaches its home port in Hamburg, Germany – a total of 7,600 nautical miles (14,084 kilometres).
For this reason, every day, on Deck 9 the 138 crew members are each walking or jogging 28 laps of 135 metres. That totals 3.8 kilometres. They are keeping count on a list and at the end of the 27-day cruise, this should take them to 14,084 kilometres – or around 7,600 nautical miles.