Although on the comfort scale MS Bremen — one of two expedition-style ships from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' fleet — ranks a notch below her sister, MS Hanseatic, the differences are relatively minor: MS Bremen maintains a crew of 100 versus MS Hanseatic's 125, but also carries 20 fewer passengers with a maximum capacity of 155. In addition, MS Bremen has a helicopter deck and a more casual, outdoor-oriented dining space, along with smaller but nonetheless well-equipped cabins and suites. German-operated, MS Bremen radiates efficiency, providing exceptional service while roaming the globe from Greenland to the South Pacific and other exotic regions. She has an ice-strengthened hull to cut through pack ice and ice floes, and her shallow draft and small size allow her to reach and anchor off remote bays, negotiate rivers, and call at out-of-the-way ports, where most shore landings are made by Zodiacs or small tender boats. The amenities won't wow but are sufficient for an expedition ship, and include a smallish heated swimming pool filled with seawater, a sauna and fitness area, and two lounges with stocked bars and ocean views.
What We Love
Onboard Experts: Voyages are educational as well as enjoyable: Scholars in various fields such as history, wildlife, geology, botany, ethnology, and volcanology — depending on the destination — present onboard lectures and guide Zodiac landings.
Zodiacs with Electric Motors: These small inflatable expedition boats enable passengers to set foot on otherwise inaccessible remote regions. Whereas cruise lines have traditionally used diesel-run engines, which can pollute the environment and cause smelly fumes, Hapag-Lloyd has started rolling out eco-friendly electric motors — a way to cut down on fuel consumption and reduce the company's carbon footprint.
Best Known For
A Maritime First: During the course of her far-flung travels, MS Bremen recorded an impressive discovery: In 2003, she encountered a previously uncharted channel leading to an island in the Antarctic, now respectively known as "Bremen Channel" and "Bremen Island.”
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Who It's Best For
Comfort-Seeking Adventurers: This ship would suit any traveler who wants to combine adventurous destinations with four-star comforts and service. And if you can speak and understand German, it's a big plus.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
German Is the Primary Onboard Language: Unlike on MS Hanseatic, the crew on Bremen is not fully bilingual, and announcements and lectures are not normally presented in English on most sailings. The staff will try to provide English-language materials for Americans, Brits, and Australians, but otherwise be prepared to enlist the company of the many English-speaking Germans passengers on board.
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MS Bremen at a Glance
- Line: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
- Number of Passengers: 155
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 1990
- Refurbish Date: 2012