As we have explained to our readers on previous occasions, we normally report in these pages only the most important news concerning deep-sea passenger vessels. The reason for this is that we do not always have ready access to the information when it is timely and, in any event, most news of this type is given far better coverage in other journals available to those who find such matters of interest. We have a difficult enough time keeping up with marine news originating on the Great Lakes! We have a special situation this time around, however, for we have news of the construction of not one but two major cruise vessels and, as this is an extremely unusual circumstance these days, we felt that we should comment for the benefit of those members who are interested in such things.
The first of the new vessels will be built for Hapag-Lloyd A.G. as a replacement for its aging but beautiful EUROPA, the former KUNGSHOLM, which was built in 1953 and acquired from Swedish American Line in 1965. The new boat will also be named EUROPA and will be built by the Bremer Vulkan shipyard for delivery in 1981. With a length overall of approximately 640 feet, her Gross tonnage will be about 27,000. She will be powered by two slow-speed reversible diesels geared to a single fixed-pitch propeller, each engine putting out 15,460 h.p. for a trial speed of 22 knots. She will have a crew of 275 and will accommodate 600 passengers in five luxury suites, 30 single and 280 double cabins.
The new EUROPA will definitely be a ship of "contemporary design". She will have twin funnels athwartship, a transom stern, a severely cut-away bow, and a superstructure resembling a modern apartment building. Aesthetically, graceful she will not be, but at least she will be another cruise vessel in service and her construction indicates that the famous German operators have no intention of relinquishing their share of the cruise traffic.
A more recent announcement came from Home Lines Inc. which has indicated that it, also, will commission a new cruise boat in 1981, presumably as an addition to the services already maintained by its OCEANIC and DORIC. No word has been released concerning the name of the ship, but we must assume that she will be named HOMERIC. The vessel, to be 672 feet in length and 90 feet in the beam, will have a Gross tonnage of 30,000 and will be built by the La Sayne Sur Mer shipyard at Toulon, France. She will have eight decks, 14 public rooms, and 516 staterooms, 369 outside and 147 inside. It is said that accommodation will include 1005 lower beds and 150 sofa beds. The vessel is to be powered by Fiat diesels.
Now, those of you who have been paying attention to the above will have noticed something very extraordinary about all of this. Both EUROPA and HOMERIC (if we may take the liberty of calling her that) will he of approximately the same size, give or take 30 feet. But EUROPA will be built to carry a comfortable load of 600 passengers while, if our addition is correct, Home Lines is intending to pack some 1,150 passengers into a boat which also will boast 14 public rooms. There is not much doubt in our mind as to which boat we would sail in should we have the choice!
It is clear that EUROPA will be designed for the longer cruises, attracting a clientele demanding of the gracious life aboard ship. HOMERIC, on the other hand, has obviously been designed for yet another quickie service out of New York to the Caribbean, the kind of run on which it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the passengers from the stevedores. Would that the new Home Lines boat could be a throwback to her famous and beautiful namesake which was retired so unexpectedly some years back after having suffered fire damage.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.