Posted on 01/10/2016

The year 2016 is a special one for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, celebrating its 125th anniversary. In 1891, Albert Ballin launched the first pleasure cruise on the Augusta Victoria and in doing so laid the foundation of what is now a major industry.
In the late 19th century, the first cruise was born of a purely pragmatic idea: the Augusta Victoria, the flagship of HAPAG (“Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft”), would spend its winters at anchor and out of use. Albert Ballin, the visionary and later general director of the shipping company, proposed sending the ship on a Mediterranean cruise during this season. On January 22, 1891, the Augusta Victoria departed from Cuxhaven, Germany on what proved to be a resoundingly successful two-month, round-trip cruise, with a 245-strong crew and 174 guests from Germany, Britain and the USA. Today, 125 years later, the cruise sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the travel and tourism industry. “This year we are very happy to be celebrating the significant anniversary of 125 years of passenger cruising and looking back with pride on the long history of our company,” says Karl Pojer, chief executive officer of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. “Albert Ballin had a ground-breaking idea. Today, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is a leading provider in the luxury and expedition segments in the German-speaking marketplace. To this day, we remain dedicated to the embodiment of this spirit of innovation and discovery when we design our cruises and seek out new paths. We are looking forward to a year of remembering our roots and celebrating this wonderful anniversary with lots of new ideas.”