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The Ocean Liner Society's 2013 Cruise on board MS Hamburg

In May 2013, the London-based Ocean Liner Society will cruise on Plantours' MS Hamburg.

Clink Here To Enquire About the 2013 Ocean Liner Society Group Cruise or phone +44 (0)20 7723 2450

In 2010, the Ocean Liner Society chose Croisières de France and its 37,301-ton Bleu de France (delivered 1982 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ last Europa) for its annual group cruise. This cruise proved such a success that in 2012 the Society returned to Croisières de France in its 46,811-ton Horizon. In 2013, however, the Society will return to another former Hapag-Lloyd ship, this time the 15,067-ton MS Hamburg, which betwen 1997 and 2012 operated as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Columbus.

The 2013 cruise will take in a North Sea itinerary, departing Hamburg on Monday, 27th May for a five-day four-night cruise to Sylt, Borkum and Helgoland, and a transit of the Kiel Canal before arriving at Kiel on Friday morning, 30th May.

For more than two decades between 1991 and 2012, Plantours + Partner operated the 7,478-ton Vistamar, which had been rebuilt in 1989 from the Spanish ferry Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Indeed, several Society members have cruised in her. The MS Hamburg, which has replaced the Vistamar, carries 400 passengers compared to the 299 that could be accommodated in the earlier ship - twice the tonnage but only one-third more passengers, for a respectable passenger space ratio of almost 38 tons per passenger, compared to 25 on Vistamar.

The MS Hamburg was built by Mathias-Thiesen Werft (MTW) at Wismar, Germany, in 1997 as the Columbus, a ship whose design originated from a desire by Hapag-Lloyd to re-introduce cruising into the Great Lakes of North America. Indeed in her fifteen-year career with Hapag-Lloyd, the Columbus completed eleven seasons in the Great Lakes. She also undertook a world cruise every winter. After Hapag-Lloyd acquired a larger ship to replace the Columbus Bremen-based Plantours took her over, renaming her MS Hamburg at a ceremony in the old Hanseatic port of Hamburg in June 2012.

Plantours is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Venice-based Ligabue Group, which was founded  in 1919 by Anaceleto Ligabue, who began supplying food to the Società Veneziana di Navigazione a Vapore, a company whose fleet was absorbed into Italia and Lloyd Triestino in the 1930s. Today Ligabue is active in shipboard catering and river cruising, with a total of fourteen managed vessels, and also supplies catering services on  board the cruise ships Aegean Odyssey and FTI Berlin.

OLS group fares are valid for a minimum number of cabins, and there is an allocation of cabins available for singles. Bookings can be made through the OLS group agent The Cruise People Ltd in London.  Fares include passage, full board and port charges. A special drinks package is available for Euros 52 per person (very good value at only Euros 13 a day).

Daily Itinerary

Depart HAMBURG 16:30 hrs Monday 27th May 2013

LIST / SYLT (home of the famous Sansibar club) from 06:00 to 17:00 Tuesday

BORKUM from 08:00 to 19:00 Wednesday

HELGOLAND from 08:00 to 16:00 Thurssday


Arrive KIEL 08:00 hrs Friday 30th May 2013

Ocean Liner Society Group Fares – MS Hamburg 27th May 2013

(Fares are cruise-only and include port charges)

Five days (4 nights)

27-30 May 2013

Brochure Fare



OLS Fare

OLS Cabins






Cat 2 Double Inside  



Sold Out

Cat 5 Double Outside  



Sold Out

Cat 7 Double Outside  



Sold Out

Cat 9 Double Outside  



Sold Out


Cat 2a Single Inside



Sold Out

Cat 6a Single Outside



Sold Out

Fares are cruise only per person in double occupancy or single as indicated. Drinks package available for Euros 52 per per person. OLS Group fares include an allocation of single cabins. Extra cabins beyond our allocation will be subject to availability.

A deposit of 25% will confirm a reservation and penalties for cancellation by the passenger are as follows:

More than 90 days before departure: 10% of the fare amount

61-90 days before departure: 25% of the fare amount

30-60 days before departure: 50% of the fare amount

Fewer than 30 days before departure: 100% of the fare amount

Members of the general public can qualify to travel on this cruise by joining the Ocean Liner Society. Membership is £20 in the UK, £23 in Europe and £25 in the rest of the world. As well as the opportunity of joining OLS group cruises, this includes a subscription to their 48-page quarterly journal, Sea Lines. Further details can be found at

For further information and availability for this cruise please contact The Cruise People Ltd at 020 7723 2450, Freephone 0800 526 313 or e-mail

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Notes to editors:

1)For enquiries and reservations, please contact The Cruise People on 020 7723 2450 or at

2)The Cruise People specialise in niche cruise markets including ultra-luxury, small ship cruising, expedition voyages and freighter travel. For more information on their range of itineraries and vessels please contact Kevin Griffin at The Cruise People.

3)The Ocean Liner Society is a non-profit organisation whose members celebrate the passenger ship in its many forms. Members include employees of major shipping companies, authors, ship enthusiasts, inveterate travellers and armchair sailors. Their web site is .

4)For press enquiries and images please contact Kevin Griffin at 020 7723 2450 or

Enquiries & Reservations 020 7723 2450

Prepared / 24 November 2012

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Posted 24th November 2012