The youngest ship in the fleet of TUI Cruises - “Mein Schiff 1” - has arrived in Kiel on her first visit. Kiel is the first German passenger seaport in which the new vessel has introduced herself, just a few days after she was handed over to her owners following completion in Turku, Finland.
The new cruise ship, which is of more than 111,500 GT and 315 m long, arrived in the Kiel Fiord early on Thursday morning, April 27th, and was welcomed with a water fountain tribute from one of the port’s tugs and escorted to her berth.
Crowds of onlookers lined the banks of the fiord and came to the Ostseekai Cruise Terminal to catch a glimpse of the brand new “Mein Schiff 1”. At an onboard reception, Kiel City President Hans-Werner Tovar and port head Dr Dirk Claus welcomed the ship and presented the traditional maiden visit plaque to TUI Cruises CEO Wybcke Meier and ship captain Kjell Holm.
“Kiel is proud to be the first German port
to welcome TUI Cruises’ superb newbuilding”, said City President Tovar. “We are delighted that Kiel has been selected as the base port for the northern European cruises of “Mein Schiff 1”.
The new “Mein Schiff 1” is first undertaking several short ‘taster’ trips before returning to the Kiel Fiord and the Ostseekai Terminal, where she can be seen again on April 29th and May 4th.
“The fact that the first trips undertaken by this new ship start in Kiel and also that her maiden voyage has ended here is an expression of the trust which exists between the shipping company and the port”, declared Dirk Claus. “We offer the new ship and her passengers the very best of service and the highest flexibility,” he added.
The ‘taster’ trips are from and to Kiel and take in Oslo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen before the ship is named in Hamburg on May 11th. The maiden voyage which is ending in Kiel then takes the “Mein Schiff 1”on to Norway. In the course of the season to come, the new ship will undertake twelve cruises from Kiel. The destinations on those cruises are not only the Norwegian fiords but also the big cities on the Baltic.
Dirk Claus said: “Because of its geographical location and its terminal structure, Kiel is the ideal port to start and end a cruise. Our quay facilities allow the best possible baggage and supply handling”.
The “Mein Schiff 1” can be seen on 17th June during the Kieler Woche sailing regatta, which is the high point of this year’s season. Along with the “Mein Schiff 1” the “Mein Schiff 4” will also be based in Kiel during this year’s summer season.
The two TUI ships together will undertake a total of 26 cruises from the Kiel Fiord up to the end of August. TUI Cruises is one of the port’s oldest customers and has been calling at Kiel regularly since 2009.