The first time Hanseatic Spirit visited The Netherlands was at the 7th of april in 2022, after the problems with the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic were largely over and cruising was able to be start-up again after a two-year hiatus. For me she was a milestone, as she was the 300th passengership I was able to add to the site.
Next to their one or two larger cruiseships, HAPAG-Lloyd took over the small German Hanseatic Tours in 1996. This company sailed with the 8300-ton expeditionship Hanseatic, which was a 184-passenger ship with an ice-strengthened hull capable of sailing in Arctic and Antarctic waters. In their own fleet, since 1993 they already had a smaller expedition-style cruiseship in service, the 6700-ton Bremen with a capacity of 155 passengers. This style suited them well as also their larger cruiseships had a more intimate style themselves.
When in the 2010's the expedition-style cruiselines started to invest heavily in their mostly aging fleets, also HAPAG-Lloyd understood that they had to modernize their expeditionfleet so in august of 2016 they ordered two new 15.600-ton cruiseships to replace both Hanseatic and Bremen. In honour of the Hanseatic name, the new ships would carry on her name. In 2018, Hanseatic left the fleet first, being replaced by the first new ship Hanseatic Nature a few months later in the spring of 2019. In the end of the same year, Hanseatic Inspiration followed and then Bremen left the fleet in the beginning of 2020. Meanwhile, at the 3rd of july in 2018, a thirth ship within the class, named the Expedition-class, was also ordered and she would become the Hanseatic Spirit.
Construction and general statistics
Just like her sisters, Hanseatic Spirit measures 15.651 tons and she has a lenght of 139 meters. The ship is 22,28 meters wide and her draft reaches 5,75 meters. Her maximum passenger capaity is 230, and they are catered for by 175 crewmembers on seven passengerdecks out of a total of nine. On Antarctic expeditions as well as voyages to Spitsbergen (Svalbard), the passengernumber will be decreased to 199. Classified as PC6, the ship is in the highest ice-class for passengership meaning that her hull is re-inforced to be able to sail in the worst ice-conditions. Her diesel-electric engines turn two propellers and she will be able to sail at a modest speed of around 16 knots. Her official homeport is Nassau at the Bahamas.
In june of 2019, the first steel for Hanseatic Spirit was cut at the VARD Tulcea Yards in Tulcea, Romania. Her keel was laid the following month and at the end of 2020, the ship was docked out and towed around the European continent to be completed at the VARD Yards in Langsten, Norway. At the 28th of june in 2021, the ship was handed over to HAPAG-Lloyd after a succesfull set of trials in the Northsea.
Equal to her two older sisters, the biggest difference between Hanseatic Spirit and the other ship within the class is that she will be an adult-only ship, catering only for passengers of 18-years and older. She was also built for an international cliëntele, just like Hanseatic Inspiration. Hanseatic Nature on the other hand is only marketed to German-speaking passengers.
She is a five-star ship, but is still named as semi-luxury due to her quite informal expedition-style. Equipped with retractable bridgewings, the ship is capable to sail through narrow locks for example within the Saint-Laurence river in Canada. Aboard there s also ice-detecting infra-red sensors so the lookouts in the crowsnest will not give too late of a warning to the bridge. Although sailin on diesel-electric engines, great care is given to make her environmentally friendly. Her lower servicespeed reduces fuel consumption and she has a specially designed Rolls-Royce rudder which is integrated with a propeller making her more manouvrable at low speeds and creating lower emissions while doing so. An SCR catalyc converter is installed to reduce harmfull emissions by 95% and the ship can make use of cold-ironing, meaning she can be plugged in to shorepower so the engines do not have to be running while docked in port.
Inside, the Finnish company NIT Design was responsible for the cabins and the German firm Oceanarchitects designed most public spaces. Colours used are very natural and light, giving the ship a modern but homy feel. For a small ship, with three restaurants she has quite a lot of variety aboard. Next to a more informal Lido restaurant and the main Hanseatic Restaurant, there also is Nikkei, which serves a combination of Japanese and South American dishes. Next to these restaurants, there are also two bars/ lounges named the Obeservation Lounge and the Hanse Atrium. Outside, it will be possible for passengers to stand on the bow to enrich the sailing experience.
The ship features a retractable marina at the stern, from where wateractivities cn be organized. For these, 17 electricly driven zodiacs are available, next to paddleboards, kayaks and snorkle equipment.
At the 27th of august in 2021, Hanseatic Spirit was named by veterinarian Ulrike Meinfelder during a ceremony close to the island of Heligoland, Germany. Meinfelder took the honour, only because the real godmother of the ship was unable to do so. Officially, the ships godmother is a grey seal with the name of Nemi and she is one of the seals taken are of by Meinfelder at the Friedrichskoog seal station. During the ceremony, that wel held at sea, the passengers surrounded the ship on the 17 available electric zodiacs and they were complimented by visitors and inhabitants of the island of Heligoland.
The first cruise of Hanseatic Spirit had departed Hamburg at the 26th of august, which was to be a 9-day roundtrip visiting Denmark and Sweden along the way. Afterwards, like her sisters the ship roams over the world's oceans not focussed on one area particular.