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.
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.