TUI Cruises Welcomes First Newbuild

German cruise company TUI Cruises has welcomed its first newbuild ship earlier this week in Hamburg. Floating up to the bow of the new Mein Schiff 3 in a pearled balloon, singer Helene Fischer christened the vessel with the traditional bottle-breaking ceremony in front of 1,700 spectators and invited guests from the cruise, entertainment and sports sectors, who were also treated to an open-air concert and fireworks display outside the St Pauli fish market.


Constructed at a cost of EUR 360 million in Turku, Finland, Mein Schiff 3 has been designed for the German premium-class market. Her striking blue and white livery is capped by a 167-square meter, diamond-shaped glass facade at the stern of the ship and 82 percent of her 1,253 stylish cabins feature private balconies, including the duplex Himmel und Meer suites that boast a 29-square meter roof terrace. An internal Grobe Freiheit area houses the specialty restaurants and bars, including fine-dining restaurants Richards and the Surf & Turf steakhouse, with other highlights being a large spa and sports area incorporating a 25-meter long swimming pool, outdoor arena with a large LED screen, a 3-deck theatre and the Klanghaus, the first concert hall at sea.


The ship has already made several short preview cruises for invited guests and industry partners prior to the christening and departed Hamburg for her official maiden voyage on 13 June 2014, a 9-day itinerary to Palma de Mallorca in Spain with calls at Le Havre, Lexioes, Lisbon, La Coruna and Cadiz. Mein Schiff 3 will spend her inaugural summer sailing Western Mediterranean and Adriatic itineraries from Malta, where she will make TUI Cruises’ first calls at the Italian port of Brindisi. The ship then repositions to Gran Canaria in mid-November 2014, offering alternating weekly sailings to Spain and Portugal (calling at Madeira, Las Palmas, Tenerife and Fuerteventura) or Morocco (calling at Agadir, La Gomera and Lanzarote).


Mein Schiff 3 is an integral part of TUI Cruises’ expansion plans, growing the company’s capacity and allowing it to venture beyond Europe where the line is sending Mein Schiff 1 to Asia. Her sister ship, Mein Schiff 4, is currently under construction in Finland and scheduled to join the fleet in 2015.


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