This company was formed at the first of january 1970, although they started working together since the slumb of the 1930's. It was a combination of the Hamburg Amerikanischer Paketfahrt Aktien Gesellschaft, or simply HAPAG, and the Norddeutscher Lloyd. These were the two companies that operated the transatlantic lines between Hamburg (HAPAG) and Bremen (Norddeutscher Lloyd) and Northern America. From the 1970's onwards, they mostly concentrated on containerized shipping and their containerships became familiar all over the world and some of them were rated amongst the biggest ones ever built. Although passengershipping was always very important for the German lines and the passengerships of these companies were often the fastest of the biggest in the world, after the 1970's it became overgrown by the freightdivision.
In 1980, a modern and big liner named Europa was added to the passengerfleet and this ship became very popular. It was the fourth time this name was used and a very well known name in liner history. The ship sailed for HAPAG-Lloyd untill 1999 when she was sold to Star Cruises as SuperStar Europe. Her replacement was a ship with the same name, but in the meantime more new ships were added to the fleet. The small and luxurious Bremen started her sailings in 1993 and it became obvious this was the direction HAPAG wanted to go. She is an expedition like vessel that can sail into ports not many other cruiseliners can go to. As mentioned, the fifth Europa came in 1999 and in between another ship was built and that was the c.Columbus
c.Columbus was built at the MTW Schiffswerft at Wismar, Germany as yardnumber 451. She is 145 meters long, 21,50 meters wide and her draft is 5,15 meters. Her tonnage is 15.067 and she can give 423 passengers a great cruise on eight decks.
This new ship floated out at the 30th of october 1996 and was named Columbus at the time. But when she was delivered to the company, this was altered to c.Columbus and so this became a new name for the line. Her delivery was at the 17th of june 1997 when she was babtized with her homeport being Hamburg at eleven in the morning. Just one and a half hour later she sailed on her guestcruise and her homeport was changed to Nassau when she set sail.
Her first cruise was from Bremen to the North Cape and started on the 29th of june. After that, she became the first cruiseship of the high seas that visited the ports of the Great Lakes of Northern America. She became a well-known ship all over the world and she comes virtually everywhere. Like her sisters, she does have a small and friendly atmosphere about her and in a timw when everyone wants to built the biggest ships that look very the same, HAPAG concentrates on these kinds of ship. It is one of the last surviving companies of the old liner-age and they do very well up to this point. Europa is mostly named the best cruiseship in the world, rated on food, accomodations and overall quality.
In 2011, HAPAG-Lloyd announced that they were going to built a new ship under the name of Europa 2. Next to this new ship, HAPAG-Lloyd chartered Insignia from Oceania Cruises from 2012 onwards and she recieved the name Columbus 2. The ship that sailed recently under the name c.Columbus is now replacing Vistamar for Plantours, under the name Hamburg.