first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >With a 44% increase in cruise ships visiting Basel between 2011 and 2014, this Swiss city is proving to be popular gateway to Switzerland (and Europe) for many travellers and cruise enthusiasts.Strategically located on the borders of France and Germany, Basel welcomed 97 ships in 2014, a 15.5% increase from the year before. Switzerland Tourism forecasts this number to steadily rise in the coming years as more river cruises are introduced into the market and more travellers embark on the different experiences on offer along the River Rhine.Director of Switzerland Tourism Australia and New Zealand, Mark Wettstein, says Australian cruise-goers seem to love river cruising in Europe with the ICCA recording a massive 65.6% growth from 2013 to 2014 alone.“We believe cruise-goers not only appreciate the sheer variety of things to see, do and experience around a continent as diverse as Europe, but they also appreciate the opportunities for pre- and post-cruise itineraries that further enhance their overall European holiday experience,” says Wettstein. “And this is especially true for travellers starting or ending their cruise in Basel.“Increasingly, travellers are recognising the appeal of the Swiss Travel Pass and the access it provides to different experiences around the country thanks to the unlimited use of public transportation, free museum entries and discounted mountain railway rides. The convenience and value they receive from this one Pass is exceptional and savvy travellers often choose not to miss out.“Our records show that Aussie overnights in Basel itself increased by 16% from 2013 to 2014 and we are expecting this growth to continue as interest in river cruising along the Rhine, Basel and Switzerland in general grows.”To accommodate the increase in demand, a series of 3- to 5-star hotels are being built with some opening from the end of this year. So far, 6 hotels will be opening over the next two years including the 5-star 260-room Mövenpick, which is due to be completed in 2018.Wettstein also notes that apart from being a cruise hub, Basel is also growing in popularity among Australians who appreciate modern art, culture and architecture with many itineraries including tours that highlight the city’s artistic personality.Travellers interested in a taste of Basel’s artistic offering have the opportunity to check out the Basel Chamber Orchestra featuring Sol Gabetta from 22-29 November around Australia (22-23 November in Melbourne; 25 November in Brisbane; 27 November in Canberra; and 29 November in Sydney).Basel is a part of many European cruise itineraries offered by Globus, Scenic, APT, Viking Cruises, Avalon Waterways, Tauck River Cruising and many others.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterHapag-Lloyd Cruises’ brand new expedition ship, HANSEATIC nature, will enter service on Sunday 5 May 2019 for its inaugural cruise from Hamburg. The first of three identical 120 cabin and suite sister-ships, HANSEATIC nature is a state-of-the-art, five-star small ship that can accommodate up to 230 guests (or 199 on Antarctic cruises and circumnavigations of Spitsbergen).HANSEATIC nature | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaThe PC6 ice class features two extendible balconies, the “Nature Walk” deck at the ship’s bow, 17 on-board Zodiacs and E-Zodiacs with eco-friendly electric drive systems, onboard kayaks and a marina.HANSEATIC nature – Nature Walk | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaHANSEATIC nature’s cabins and suites range from Panoramic Cabins at 21 square-metres to Grand Suites at 71 square metres. There are exclusively outside cabins, almost all of which have their own balcony, or French balcony.HANSEATIC nature | Balcony Cabin – Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaHANSEATIC nature – Grand Suite Bedroom| Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaHANSEATIC nature – Grand Suite Living room | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaGuests can discover fascinating information about the environment of global expedition destinations not only on land but also onboard in innovative centres of knowledge. Experts will give daily presentations in the HanseAtrium, a separate multi-functional lounge with advanced technology and large LED screens on the walls and below the ceiling.HANSEATIC nature – Observation Lounge | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaOn Deck 8, the heart of the Ocean Academy, is the study wall, a 6 × 1.8-metre touchscreen wall. Here guests can conduct individual studies and research to deepen their knowledge of the natural wonders they encounter on shore excursions and Zodiac rides. Content is displayed in the form of articles, videos and biographies. The Ocean Academy also has four Study Seats.HANSEATIC nature – Ocean Academy (rendering) | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaThe Hamptons speciality restaurant has 44 seats and promises culinary diversity, serving various North American specialities from the East Coast. The expedition ship has two more restaurants: the HANSEATIC Restaurant with 178 seats and the Lido Restaurant with 184 seats, a barbecue and a show kitchen.HANSEATIC nature – Hamptons Restaurant | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaThere are spacious wellness and fitness areas and a large pool area with a counter-current system.HANSEATIC nature features cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology. All three new ships are fitted with an SCR catalytic converter, which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by almost 95%. The ships also have PROMAS rudders with special propellers and a hull designed to reduce fuel consumption and, therefore, to lower emissions. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has implemented a range of environmental protection measures, some of which go beyond the legal requirements, such as not using heavy oil in areas that require particular protection and using low-pollutant marine gas oil on around 70% of its expedition cruises. From July 2020, marine gas oil will be used on all routes for the entire expedition fleet. All new ships are equipped for cold ironing.HANSEATIC nature – Ocean Spa | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaOther than cruises to the Arctic and expeditions to the Antarctic, the HANSEATIC nature will also offer warmer water cruises to destinations such as the Amazon, the South Seas, Chile’s Fjords, the Azores and Cape Verde.HANSEATIC nature – Grand Suite bathroom | Photo credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaSister-ships HANSEATIC inspiration and HANSEATIC spirit will commence operation in October 2019 and May 2021 respectively. The new expedition class is being financed by an investment from the parent TUI Group. All cruises will be conducted in both German and English.HANSEATIC nature – Pool Deck | Photo Credit: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises / Christian WyrwaHANSEATIC nature’s maiden cruise from Hamburg to Bergen will visit the Hebrides, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands.For more photos, see LATTE’s Facebook page.More at back to the enewsletterlast_img read more