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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ageless Ships - Part 7 - Hapag-Lloyd Europa

When Hapag-Ll0yd introduced the Europa of 1981, the ship incorporated the characteristics of a classic liner, combined with modern luxury and style. Delivered just before balcony staterooms became popular, the ship had very sleek lines, but still portrayed the traditional cruise ship profile.

During here career the ship had a number of color schemes. The Europa's classic design looks sporty and sleek with a white hull and sophisticated and elegant with her dark blue hull. Either way she is still an attractive ship.

Originally build for Hapag-Lloyd in 1981 the Europa sailed on world wide itineraries until 1999. Hapag-Lloyd has expecting delivery of their new Europa which incorporated balconies and all of the amenities that luxury clientele demanded.

The Europa of 1981 was sold to Star Cruises in 1999 and operated initially as the SuperStar Europe and later SuperStar Aries.

She was sold in 2004 to Spanish operator Pullmantur and renamed the Holiday Dream. Pullmantur was eventually acquired by Royal Caribbean and the Holiday Dream was transferred to a new Royal Caribbean French subsidiary - CDF Croisieres. The Holiday Dream was renamed the Bleu de France.

In late 2011, the Bleu de France was sold to the UK's Saga Holidays. Just this week she emerged from a refit which included adding balconies to the ship. The Europa has now been renamed Saga Sapphire. Her funnel color shown left is not the color she is now sporting. Her new funnel color is various shades of blue with a squiggly design.

The latest refit along with her stylish lines will preserve this great ship for the years to come.

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