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ms Europa - Saga Sapphire

The fifth vessel of Hapag Lloyd bearing the name Europa was specifically built for worldwide cruises at the erstwhile Bremer Vulcan shipyard as yard number 1001 and entered service in 1982. The interior of this seminal ship was designed by Wilfried Köhnemann and Joachim Buchwald - her understated elegance and spaciousness excelled all other ships of her time. Following a concept introduced with ferries like Finnjet, she was the first cruise ship divided vertically with the accomodations in the quieter forward areas and the public rooms aft. Europa pioneered prefabricated cabin modules; even today her standard cabins are amongst the largest found aboard passenger ships. The shape of her ice strengthened hull is related to container ships built by Bremer Vulcan at that time and the power plant bears a greater relationship to container vessels than a typical passenger ship of the era.

In 1992 ms Europa was damaged in a collision with the container ship Inchon Glory, no-one was insured. In 1999 she was sold to Star Cruises where she served as SuperStar Aries until 2004 when she was sold to Pullmantur. Renamed Holiday Dream she was based in Havana for most of the time until Pullmantur became part of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Group in 2007.
A description of ms Europa can e.g. be found in the January 1982 issue of The Naval Architect or in the book "Das Schiff - die neue Europa" by Wilfried Köhnemann and Udo Burk. A large model of her hull used for the towing tank tests is on display in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. A 1:100 scale model hull and plans of ms Europa are available at Steinhagen Modelltechnik.


In 2008 she was transfered to a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, CDF Croisières de France. Renamed Bleu de France she catered to the French cruise market.
In 2012 Bleu de France became Saga Sapphire of Saga Sapphire of Saga Holidays and underwent an extensive refit at Palermo - see also KNUD E. HANSEN A/S; video-blog on refurbishment @ YouTube. For more information on Saga Sapphire follow Saga Sapphire's Captain's Blog; more photos of this vessel be found at Simplon Postcards, see also this nice video with aerial views of Saga Sapphire: Saga Sapphire DRONE chase @ YouTube

Although Europa was one of my favourite ships I ever travelled with I hardly have any video material of my own. I am therefore gratefut for Mrs. Erika Preiss surrendering some video material from her late husband for publication on this webpage and for Saga Cruises allowing me to visit the ship.

click on a thumbnail image to select a video clip


WATCH VIDEO CLIP
GUEST CONTRIBUTION
ms Europa
arrives @ Kiel


WATCH VIDEO CLIP
Saga Sapphire
leaves Marseille


WATCH VIDEO CLIP
ms Europa
Leaves Piraeus


WATCH VIDEO CLIP
ms Europa
@ Piraeus


WATCH VIDEO CLIP
Saga Sapphire
The Dawing Room


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Saga Sapphire
On Deck


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Saga Sapphire
Interior Views


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Saga Sapphire
Indoor Pool


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Saga Sapphire
Pole to Pole Restaurant


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GUEST CONTRIBUTION
ms Europa
Galley


WATCH VIDEO CLIP
GUEST CONTRIBUTION
ms Europa
Great Belt Bridge


WATCH VIDEO CLIP
GUEST CONTRIBUTION
ms Europa
Engine Room

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