Expansion plans gain momentum: Mein Schiff 6 handed over in Turku, Finland

Six days ahead of schedule, TUI Cruises took delivery of its newest cruise ship, Mein Schiff 6, from Finnish shipbuilder Meyer Turku in early May. The official handing-over ceremony with invited guests marks TUI Group‘s start into a month that will see the achievement of numerous milestones in the Cruises segment. Before the naming ceremony for Mein Schiff 6 in Hamburg on 1 June, the Group’s growth agenda will see the launch of a the TUI Discovery 2 ship in the British market for Thomson Cruises and the steel cutting ceremony for a new expedition ship for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Mein Schiff 6 has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the German travel market. It was almost fully booked far ahead of its launch. There is still a large potential for the European cruise market: In the US, around 5% of the population take cruise holidays. In Europe, despite good growth the market is still lagging behind the US, so it is predicted that the cruise sector will be a growth market for the next few years to come.

In designing TUI Cruises’ fourth new build, the focus has again been on environmental protection. “Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Mein Schiff 6 is one of the world’s most energy-efficient ships. The exhaust gas treatment system minimises the ship’s emissions. This makes our youngest fleet member one of the most environmentally friendly ships in her category,” said Wybcke Meier, CEO TUI Cruises, commenting on the new fleet member.

Tourism Committee visits new Mein Schiff 6

During its fact-finding mission to Finland and Norway, the German Bundestag’s Committee on Tourism visited TUI’s new Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship and the Meyer shipyard in Turku. The German MPs also attended the delivery ceremony, and they were all particularly impressed by the versatility of this new addition to the TUI Cruises fleet. More than two million Germans holidayed on a cruise ship last year. In fact, cruise business is booming in Germany as the fastest-growing segment of the country’s tourism industry. That’s one of the reasons why the German MPs were keen to find out more about it.

They talked to Wybcke Meier about guest expectations of modern cruise holidays. Cruise tourists are also driving growth in the German and European shipbuilding industries, as is clearly evident at the Meyer shipyard in Finland, where the order books are full and business is developing very positively. Construction work has already begun on the new Mein Schiff 1. The Bundestag guests were given insights into shipbuilding, and into the technologies that make modern ships both safe and eco-friendly. They also discussed the supply industry’s role, the continuous optimisation process – especially with regard to sustainability – and the sector’s future development outlook with the Managing Director of the Papenburger Meyer shipyard, Bernard Meyer.

Naming ceremony in Hamburg

Mein Schiff 6 and its around 1,000 crew members will initially head for Germany. The first German harbour will be the seaport of Kiel, followed by a number of pre-inaugural cruises with travel agency partners and first guests. On 1 June, Mein Schiff 6 will be named at an exceptional ceremony in Hamburg harbour in front of Elbphilharmonie. Her godmother will be Iveta Apkalna, the Latvian titular organist of the concert hall.