Hapag-Lloyd took me away from it all on their newest luxury cruise ship Europa 2.
The ship is beautiful, elegant, hushed and upscale.
Works of art, and ornaments at every turn. Being of German origin you can imagine – the ship is run with precision and every detail is absolutely perfect.
We sailed from Southampton, an easy seamless check-in and an escort to my suite (as the cabins are called) meant I knew the way, and I wouldn’t get lost finding my way back to the lobby.
It took twenty minutes to fully unpack, although my supply of clothes for the next 4 days didn’t do the 4 wardrobes and 40 hangers justice! An hour after that I was enjoying French cuisine while I watched The Needles and Isle of Wight go by!
It was just 4 days to Lisbon, where I would disembark – and I had 3 full days at sea. This is classic luxury cruising – and the emphasis is on relaxation.
Why do days at sea seem to stretch out – long and languishing?
By the time I woke next morning, I was already relaxed and rested. The ship’s schedule gave me a timetable to enjoy – early morning deck walks, breakfast al fresco, some time in the gym, or a spa treatment. Then lunch, perhaps by the pool – a couple of chapters of my book. Later on dinner, with a choice of anything from sushi to pasta then a show and a nightcap!
No phones, no emails (unless of course you really have to!)
We had just one day ashore on our journey – at La Coruna, at the northern most of Spain. We set off on bicycles to tour the city! It was great fun, and quite safe pedalling on the cycle paths, the ocean views running parallel. We learned about the British and Sir Francis Drake who tried to take over the city, and failed.
We then cycled to the Tower of Hercules, and the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today built by them in 1AD. Then back to Europa 2, feeling great after some exercise and fresh air.
Our approach into Lisbon the next day was very exciting. We sailed along the Tagus River, watching all the riverside landmarks. The port has a magnificent geographical location and the pier and cruise terminal are walking distance to the historic city centre.
Oh what a bump back on to terrafirma to return home on Easyjet! The hustle and bustle of the airport was a far cry from the wonderful quiet and calm of Europa 2!