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CRUISE REVIEWS


hANSEATIC INSPIRATION Hapag-Lloyd Cruises


LOCATION: The 230-passenger Hanseatic Inspiration is built for expedition cruising, with an extra-tough hull that will allow the ship to venture deeper into the Antarctic ice than other expedition vessels. The coming winter will be spent in Antarctica before Inspiration heads north via Brazil and the Caribbean to the Canadian Arctic and Greenland for the summer. Future destinations include Cape Verde, southern Africa and, in September 2021, the Great Lakes.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS: With a design concept of ‘inspired by nature’, Inspiration is jaw-droppingly beautiful, from the undulating marble reception desk to the colours and textures throughout: natural stone, bleached wood and soft leather against a palette of ice-white, cream, soft greens and sky LlÕið n iÛiÀÞ ÃÌ>iÀÜill] > wÃÃÕÀi ëliÌà the wall vertically from top to bottom, j>}}i` liki ÀoVk] }loÜin} > wiÀÞ ÞilloÜ from within. The motif on the cream and blue carpets throughout resembles fractured ice.


THE FACTS: Hanseatic Inspiration is the second of three expedition ships being built by German line Hapag-Lloyd and the only one to be


designated ‘international’. This means all announcements, menus and signage are in English as well as German, with up to 15% of passengers on any sailing expected to be English speakers. The vessel combines the trappings of a luxury cruise ship – a large pool, a beautiful spa using only organic products, suites with a free- standing bath facing a wall of glass – with features of serious expedition Ãhi«Ã] noÌ li>ÃÌ £Ç iny>Ì>Lli <o`i>VÃ] two of which are battery powered. The futuristic Ocean Academy on deck eight has giant, interactive touchscreens and high-tech Leica microscopes, while the Inspiration Walk on deck six is a catwalk around the foredeck that offers the best spot for viewing marine mammals. There’s also a marina at the rear of deck three from which kayaks and stand-up paddleboards can be launched, and a heated mud room for storing boots and other outdoors gear. Any one of the 120 outward-facing cabins – 63 of which have private balconies – would be a sanctuary after a hard day’s exploring, with organic bathroom goodies, a Nespresso machine, a minibar stacked with free soft drinks, an expedition rucksack, a heated wall for drying soggy gear, walking poles,


a pair of £1,500 Leica binoculars and a welcome bottle of champagne. The ship has three restaurants, the indoor-outdoor Lido, serving buffet food for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the Hanseatic Restaurant; and smaller venue Nikkei, which serves up an imaginative Japanese-Peruvian fusion menu (try the sweet-potato tempura with dulce de leche dipping sauce).


94 ASPIRE NOVEMBER 2019


aspiretravelclub.co.uk


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