MS Hamburg - ship portrait and evaluation

MS Hamburg - ship portrait and evaluation

The MS Hamburg the Bremer Plantours cruises After its completion, it was first used in 1997 by Hapag-Lloyd cruises under the name of C.Columbus The ship, which is only 2012 meters long, has been operating under the since 144 Plantours-Flag. It replaced the one previously used and showing its age Vistamar.

MS Hamubrg - Plantours Kreuzfahrten company logo

MS Hamubrg - Plantours Kreuzfahrten company logo

Small but nice

The Bremen ship tour operator apostrophizes MS HAMBURG with Hanseatic reluctance as "comfortable but casual" - "stylish but lively" - "German-speaking, but cosmopolitan". Simply put: MS HAMBURG is "The cruise ship for the discerning".



You will find dresser accommodations spread over five decks in 197 cabins and eight suites. All the attributes that make modern and large cruise ships today are missing on the MS HAMBURG. For example, passengers have to forego breathtaking water slides, climbing walls, go-kart tracks or theaters that can seat 900 people entirely. And they obviously do not perceive that as a defect.

MS HAMBURG - In the port of Bridgetown / Barbados

MS HAMBURG - In the port of Bridgetown / Barbados

Since the takeover in May 2012 and June 2017, MS HAMBURG has completed a total of 161 voyages. More than 58.000 passengers traveled on the ship, which thanks to its dimensions goes to destinations that large ships remain closed. The ship's special destinations include the Amazon, the Arctic, Antarctica, Greenland, Cuba, the Great Lakes of North America, Northern Europe and many others. A special feature: Six on-board Zodiacs enable landings in inaccessible regions.

MS HAMBURG - Zodiacs are waiting to be deployed
MS HAMBURG - You drive the Zodiacs


The first impression

MS HAMBURG appeals at first sight. The ship looks well proportioned. The cabins and the few suites extend over five decks. Deck 6, the sun deck, is also the top passenger deck. The on-board Zodiacs are stored above this.

In view of the small dimensions of the ship, the public spaces appear sufficiently large to the visitor. The equipment and the decorations of the rooms are practical and tasteful. The ship is generally entered on the 3rd deck. The reception, the concierge area available to all guests, the on-board travel agency and the main restaurant Alsterblick are centrally located there. A lift connects the decks in the front and rear of the ship.

MS HAMBURG - reception
MS HAMBURG - Concierge
MS HAMBURG - Restaurant Alsterblick - The maitre d 'lends a hand


The first thing we are interested in on our tours of the ship is the cabins. The deck plans show a total of 1 cabins and 5 suites on decks 197 to 8. Two of the suites in the bow area have balconies.


ms hamburg deck plan


Deck plan © Plantours Cruises

Almost a third of the cabins are inward. The outside cabins have portholes or windows. The cabin plan may no longer correspond to the zeitgeist with regard to today's new ships, but that is the way the facts are.


MS HAMBURG - two-bed inside cabin 444

MS HAMBURG - two-bed inside cabin 444

The guest rooms are divided into 15 classes depending on location and equipment. Some cabins are designed as single cabins. In addition, several cabins were designed for three and four people respectively. Folding beds are used in these cabin variants.

MS HAMBURG - single cabin 443 with restricted view
MS HAMBURG - single cabin 443 with restricted view
MS HAMBURG - single cabin 443 with restricted view - bathroom

All cabins have color TV sets for three on-board video channels, four TV and two radio channels (all depending on availability) and one channel for the bow camera. Air conditioning, a shower room with toilet, hairdryer and bathrobe are just as much a part of the furnishings as a minibar and safe.

MS HAMBURG - two-bed cabin - outside
MS HAMBURG - two-bed cabin 408 - outside
MS HAMBURG - two-bed cabin 408 - outside

The cabins, even the single cabins, have sufficient dimensions. The furniture looks valuable. There is enough cupboard space and additional storage space. The bathrooms of the 17 cabins visited are uniform. Depending on the deck, they differ in the choice of color. This also applies to the carpets. The guest can infer the respective deck from the choice of color of the carpets.

MS HAMBURG - two-bed outside cabin with portholes - cabin 404

MS HAMBURG - two-bed outside cabin with portholes - cabin 404

For guests with restricted mobility, two cabins are available for the disabled.


Food and drink on board


Mainly is in the aft Alsterblick restaurant dined on the third deck. The dining room is spacious and solidly designed. The kitchen area is one deck below. The service staff use the escalators running between the two levels.

MS HAMBURG - Restaurant Alsterblick
MS HAMBURG - Restaurant Alsterblick
MS HAMBURG - Restaurant Alsterblick
MS HAMBURG - Restaurant Alsterblick - Escalator to the galley

With the Palm garden becomes a friendly-looking one for the guests on the sun deck Buffet restaurant required. If the region and the weather permit, meals can also be eaten outdoors on the sun deck. The buffet seems appropriate for the size of this restaurant.

MS HAMBURG - Palmgarten buffet restaurant
MS HAMBURG - Palmgarten buffet restaurant
MS HAMBURG - grill station in the Palmgarten buffet restaurant
MS HAMBURG - Palmgarten buffet restaurant
MS HAMBURG - outside areas of the buffet restaurant
MS HAMBURG - Outside seats of the buffet restaurant on starboard


The meals

breakfast and Lunch are served in the Alsterblick or in the palm garden.

The Afternoon tea or -coffee The ship's guests enjoy cake in the palm garden or in the lounge.

Most guests use the Alsterblick restaurant for dinner. Eat in a meeting with a fixed seating arrangement. A captain's dinner takes place at the beginning of every cruise. In the palm garden, dinner is served as “easy dining” in the form of a buffet.

The tradition of the Midnight snack is cared for, and one is used all day Sausage station kept open for a snack in between.

The Coffee and tea station is open all day. Those returning from excursions are welcomed on board with cold refreshments.


Bar & Lounge

With a maximum capacity of 400 passengers, the range of such locations is inevitably limited. The center of in-flight entertainment is the HAMBURG lounge. It is located aft on the 4th deck above the Alsterblick restaurant. A stage, the dance floor, lounge furniture and a bar at the stern of the ship make up the show lounge. However, it only has one level. Arriving early ensures the seats with the best view at events.

MS HAMBURG - bar in the lounge area

On deck 5 behind the on-board boutique and the HAMBURG arcades is the Wine bar. It seems big enough to us and it looks cozy.

MS HAMBURG - The wine bar
MS HAMBURG - The bar in the wine tavern
MS HAMBURG - The wine bar

The menu and bar menus offer a rich selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. One thing seems important to us: The price level of the drinks is nowhere near as high as we have had to accept in recent years, especially on US cruise ships. Some price examples: 18 cl of house brand wine costs € 3,50, a glass (30 cl) of König Pilsener debits the on-board account with € 3,50 and a cappuccino or latte macchiato costs € 2,00. The 10% service surcharge is already included in the prices.


Sport, wellness & on-board hospital

On a ship of this size, the valued guest cannot expect miracles in terms of the sports and wellness areas. The sports offer is limited to a small one Gym on the sundeck (port side) and an open, heatable freshwater pool.


The gym equipment is state of the art. Other sports on offer: morning exercise, darts and shuffleboard. Yoga or Pilates courses are also offered on selected trips.

MS HAMBURG - Shuffleboard field on the sun deck

MS HAMBURG - Shuffleboard field on the sun deck

A limited number of bicycles are available for shore leave. The rental fee is 10 euros per person and shore leave.

MS HAMBURG - sun deck
MS HAMBURG - sun deck
MS HAMBURG - sun deck - pool area
MS HAMBURG - stage in the pool area

The Sundeck extends from the central pool to the stern. Another area is also provided aft on the 5th deck.

That too Spa offer is understandably limited. The beauty care refers to a hairdresser and cosmetic salon, massages and the on-board, free sauna. These services are offered on deck 1, the lowest guest deck.

MS HAMBURG - cosmetic salon

MS HAMBURG - cosmetic salon

Incidentally, in our opinion, the spa prices differ pleasantly from those charged on popular German and international cruise ships.  

The on-board hospital on deck 1 offers assistance in the event of illness. 



The center of in-flight entertainment is the HAMBURG-lounge. A travel agency specializing in cruises describes the show and entertainment program as a “balanced mix of entertainment and information”. The entertainment on offer actually varies between animation programs and evening entertainment by the on-board artists. But also appearances by celebrities, bingo, mixing cocktails, ice-carving, proofreading about the travel destinations, wine presentations and more fill the day of the crusaders.

MS HAMBURG - Cruise Director Schulze-Isfort gets the guests in the mood
MS HAMBURG - video presentation in the lounge

Bookworms will find a small, nicely furnished library on the 5th deck aft in front of the photo gallery to port. Opposite to starboard is the email center. It also serves as a playing area for cards.

MS HAMBURG - library

MS HAMBURG - library

The boutique and the HAMBURG-Arkaden offer fashion, cosmetics and alcoholic beverages as well as everyday items.

MS HAMBURG - Boutique

MS HAMBURG - Boutique

Information about the MS HAMBURG




Length 144 m; Width 21,5 m; Draft 5,15 m


14.903 GT

Passenger decks

6 decks


4 Wärtsilä diesel engines,


19,5 knots


MTW Wismar, Germany

Adapted for Plantours

 2012 - before takeover


197 and 8 suites


approx. 400 with double occupancy


170 people



home port

Nassau / Bahamas

Board language


Currency on board


Current position MS Hamburg

Conclusion and evaluation of the MS HAMBURG

In its five-year commitment to Plantours Cruises, the MS HAMBURG offered a manageable number of guests cruises with an expedition character. The ship is suitable for trips on the world's oceans as well as for selected river trips. The size of the ship makes it possible to navigate not only the mighty Amazon but also smaller rivers such as the Thames under Tower Bridge or the Spanish Guadalquivir. The Great Lakes of North America are also controlled via the St. Lawrence River.


MS HAMBURG - In the port of Bridgetown / Barbados

The ship lacks glamor and glory. In this area the large cruise ships of the national and international providers are far superior to him. Instead, the MS HAMBURG looks rock solid. Apparently that is what the guests of the Bremen provider expect. The 50% repeat rate speaks for itself, and the passengers get a lot of value for their money.

The author of these lines generally appreciates medium and large international ships. As far as the MS HAMBURG is concerned, if the route is correct, he can certainly imagine a trip on board the MS HAMBURG.

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