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Hapag-Lloyd

An iceberg off Antarctica. Photo by Catharine Norton.

An iceberg off Antarctica. Photo by Catharine Norton.

An iceberg is born as a roar, as a huge chunk of ice splits from a glacier and plunges into the sea.

But the iceberg’s story is far from over — these drifting islands of ice have much to tell us about our planet. An iceberg — which takes its name from the Dutch ijsberg — or mountain of ice — may lead a surprisingly long and rich life.

Depending on conditions like their size, water and air temperatures, icebergs may survive for days or even years. Eventually they break up and melt — often far from where they originated. Icebergs, in fact, can drift six miles a day or more.

Icebergs are found where glaciers — rivers of ice that flow slowly from mountaintop to sea — predominate: most commonly off the coasts of Antarctica, Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. When… Continue reading

Penguins are funny creatures, especially when out for a walk or a run. Photo by Catharine Norton

Penguins are funny creatures, especially when out for a walk or a run. Photo by Catharine Norton

Having just returned from an unforgettable Antarctica cruise aboard Hapag-Lloyd’s five-star expedition-style ship Hanseatic, I experienced first-hand the fact that penguins are very funny animals.

Penguins are ubiquitous in many parts of Antarctica and on the many islands of the Southern Ocean, including South Georgia, where we spent three amazing days gazing at penguins as far as the eye can see.

They walk funny, then talk funny (some of them sound just like braying donkeys), they even stand funny (especially the poor fellows who are molting and look totally morose because they can’t go in the water at that time).

And they’re particularly funny when they run, especially when the penguin chicks are chasing their parents for food.

It’s possible that this parent thinks it’s time junior went out on his own… Continue reading

Here’s an interesting way to spice up a cruise:

On Hapag-Lloyd’s five-star-plus ship Europa 2 — considered the finest ship afloat today — the passengers will get to decide most of the itinerary. This should appeal to many baby boomers’ sense of adventure.

The ship will set sail from Istanbul on May 14, 2016, and reach Piraeus, Greece, the port of Athens, 10 days later, but where it goes in-between will be decided by the passengers once the ship has set sail.

The Captain will offer some help by letting those aboard know where the sun will be shining brightest during those days. And lecturers on board will present the highlights of the potential destinations.

While the Europa 2 is a German ship, this “Surprise Cruise” is bilingual with English shore excursions. (You just don’t know where the shore excursions will be.) I sailed on the Europa 2… Continue reading

 

The MS Europa 2. Photo from Hapag-LLoyd.

The MS Europa 2. Photo from Hapag-LLoyd.

I’m onboard the Europa 2, Hapag-Lloyd’s new luxury cruise ship, sailing from Sicily to Sardinia in the western Mediterranean.

One of the afternoon offerings onboard is a meat seminar featuring Wolfgang Otto, one of three German brothers who recognized a need in Germany and decided to fill it: supplying Germany’s finest Michelin-rated restaurants with top-quality beef and pork.

Otto admitted to me and the other baby boomers onboard that just eight years ago he knew very little about meat, yet today his family’s company, Otto Gourmet, is regarded as the top beef and pork purveyor in Germany. Kobe cattle and Iberico pig are two of the products they distribute to both top restaurants and private customers.

For enlightenment on the subject, he and his brothers first turned to a Nebraska rancher, Dan Morgan, who taught them the finer points of how to… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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