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Cruise Ship Information

MS Bremen, is a cruise ship operated by Hapag Lloyd since 1993. She was built as Frontier Spirit at the Mitsubishi Shipyard, Kobe, Japan, in 1990. During a storm in the Southern Atlantic in March 2001, a rogue wave caused heavy damage, even breaking a window on the bridge. It left the ship adrift for two hours without propulsion. A previously uncharted island in the Antarctic was discovered by Bremen in 2003, and was named Bremen Island in 2004. Bremen was also featured in the TV show Killer Waves.

In 2006 she successfully ran the Northwest Passage, helped by satellite images telling where sea ice was.

Atmosphere on board

In June 2010, Bremen underwent a two-week refit which included:

All cabins are now equipped with new furniture, fabrics, carpets and new bathrooms. New DVD players were also added to all cabins, including modern flat-panel display screens

In addition to the cabins, the Bremen Club received new, lighter furnishings


WiFi access was added to all public areas and cabins


A cooking unit was added on the Lido Deck, allowing guests to enjoy al fresco dining


Family with Kids/Teens

Expedition cruising in general is simply not for children or young teens. Bremen isn't built with kids in mind, and doesn't offer much for anyone too young to have an interest in science, nature and general learning.


Past Passenger Programs

Most of the public rooms are grouped together on Deck 5 around the Braemar Room, a long lounge with comfortable armchairs and sofas that is the ideal place for a quiet read or cup of coffee. You can borrow books from the lovely library, decorated in restful shades of rust and teal, which is next to the lounge and where there are also comfortable chairs and small tables. The card room next door has a similar colour theme, as does the adjacent midship Internet room. You can buy packages for the Internet, as well as Wi-Fi access to use with your own laptop in the hotspots around the Braemar Room. Hotspots include the Morning Light Pub and library, as well as the Internet room. Packages cost from £5 for 20 minutes to £50 for 300 minutes, with £10 and £25 packages in between. As with all cruise ships, the Internet service fluctuates and is particularly slow at peak times (evenings and sea days).


The Arts & Crafts Room on Deck 3, previously the gym, is now used for some lectures but mostly for the enrichment programme's craft sessions. It has a large screen as well as comfortable chairs.


The Boutique Shop, selling clothes, jewellery, perfume and gifts, is also on Deck 5 near the photo gallery and reception. The smaller Port Shop, for toiletries, sweets and other essentials, is on Deck 7 near the Fitness Centre.


Editor's Note: Smoking is banned in all indoor areas on Braemar. Smoking is only permitted on cabin balconies and in certain outdoor deck areas.

Fitness And Spa

Purovel Spa & Sport Bremen features a Finnish sauna, steam bath, snow basin, relaxation room and three treatment rooms for massages and aesthetic treatments. Our vitality classes include yoga (ashtanga, kripalu, hatha and kundalini), tai chi chuan, qi gong, pilates mix, hawaiian flying, back to balance and CoYoTa (a mix of core training, yoga and tai chi).


Purovel Spa & Sport provides the Alpine-inspired solution to healthy living within a stylish and contemporary environment, featuring a gym with high-tech Precor exercise machines, a Finnish sauna, a steam bath and a snow basin – a truly Alpine solution to revitalise your body after you exercise. The relaxation room provides a tranquil and harmonious space to find your equilibrium. Let yourself be pampered in one of three treatment rooms with a facial or reinvigorating massage using organic Swiss essential oils. An LPG lipomassage will make your skin look smooth and fresh. Purovel Sport also offers vitality classes such as yoga and pilates, given by qualified instructors. Note that wellness treatments are at additional charge.


Food & Dining

The one and only restaurant onboard Bremen is a simple and elegant dining venue, though somewhat understated by cruise ship standards. Draped in neutral colors, the atmosphere never distracts from the meal and conversation at hand, and the room's dark wood accents and simple linens produce a conservative and very dignified experience. The restaurant is large enough to accommodate all passengers in a single seating, eliminating the need for multiple seating times at dinner. Open seating is observed during breakfast and lunch.


As for cuisine, passengers from the U.S. and U.K. need not be concerned about being force-fed schnitzel and kraut on a daily basis. Hapag-Lloyd's German traditions go only so far when it comes to Bremen's menu. The food is not Germanic per se, though many dishes do have a noticeable European flair. In general, the menu for any given meal is eclectic and includes plenty of mainstream favorites that should appeal to Americans, Britons and Aussies, as well as to the line's German base.


The chef also makes an attempt to infuse some port-inspired dishes into the culinary lineup. On a stop in New York, for example, the lunch menu included a New York Steak Sandwich. Granted, the open-faced creation didn't resemble anything we'd ever seen served in New York, but at least the folks in the kitchen made the effort. Aside from the New York "special," the menu offered plenty of variety, including cod and a respectable chicken cordon bleu. An apple soup, served chilled, was one of the more obvious European offerings.


Meals begin with a visit to a small salad bar and end with a buffet-style dessert spread. A special menu for vegan passengers, or for those with food allergies, can be arranged.


For more casual socializing and drinks, the Bremen Club on Deck 5 has an intimate bar area and periodically hosts musical entertainment.


In part to appeal to its desired international passenger base, the production shows are unique to Europa 2 and feature daring acrobatic and theatrical style performances. Europa 2's high-tech theater boasts a large LED wall extending two stories -- a novelty for a small vessel -- and big production shows designed exclusively for the ship. On our trip, four shows were themed around the elements of earth, fire, water and air, and each offered avant-garde acrobatics and dance.


During the day, the Meile Cooking School offers for-fee classes. (The charge, at about 80 euros, generally includes a meal and wine.) The ship has a small cinema, which shows flicks in 3D, and lecture theater; typically, on sea days, destination-related talks are given. The arts are a major focus on Europa 2, and, on our trip, enrichment-oriented opportunities ranged from a concert by the Philharmonic Soloists Munich to a reading by a German stage and movie actor that, alas, was only hosted in German.


At night, the range of bars and lounges offered much variety. A new concept bar is the Jazzclub, which hosts dancing and live jazz. In the Pianobar, located in the atrium, a pianist holds court. Sansibar, the ship's aft-facing indoor-outdoor lounge, is always a hotspot with live music or a DJ. When the weather's good, the all-glass doors separating the areas unfold to create one giant space. Herrenzimmer is the place for fine wines, spirits and cigars. There's also a pool bar, and the area can be converted to an alfresco dance venue at night.


While the ship sails on some of the most interesting itineraries in the industry, mixing smaller offbeat ports with the occasional marquee city, shore excursions are surprisingly run of the mill. They're offered to German- and English-speakers, though the latter has less variety.

Fellow Passengers

Regardless of the ship, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises attracts a well-heeled, predominantly German-speaking clientele. Regular passengers -- most passengers are repeaters -- travel all the ships of the line, choosing their sailing by itinerary, but each ship has its own niche. Columbus 2 attracts more families. Hanseatic appeals to active adults who want pampering on expeditions, while Bremen, which also is oriented to adventure-minded travelers, features a quality experience at a more moderate price point. Europa, its most traditional ship, tends to draw travelers who want a more classic luxury experience. And Europa 2, drawing on top-notch features found on Europa, is the cruise line's jazziest, most contemporary ship, featuring dynamic art collections and sophisticated enrichment and entertainment that range from a kitchen studio for cooking-related courses to a jazz club. Its appeal is primarily to younger, less traditional luxury-minded travelers, including families. Hapag-Lloyd has also dedicated Europa 2 as its "bilingual" ship, reaching a more international passenger base with enhanced materials and activities particularly geared to English-speaking passengers.


All tips are included in your price.

Our recommendation

Equipped with cruise ship standard facilities, the Cruise Europa has a capacity of 3000 passengers, selection of cabins and being 225 metres long and 31 metres wide it can hold up to 963 vehicles. On board you will find à la carte and self-service restaurants, a swimming pool, gym, casino, a disco, a supermarket, an entertaining piano bar, shops, internet point, a variety of video games for older passengers and a children’s playground and much more.