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Ahead of schedule and incorporating some “fine tunings and small surprises,” the sixth ship in TUI Cruises steadily expanding fleet was handed over to the cruiseline this week in ceremonies staged at its home base of Hamburg, Germany.

In keeping with TUI’s eminently practical naming protocol, the brand-new vessel will be formally dubbed Mein Schiff 6 (“My Ship 6”) in naming ceremonies set for June 1. Until then, No. 6 will be shown off in several cruises for the trade and invited guests.

Noting that this is the fourth newbuild his company has completed for TUI, Wybcke Meier, CEO of Finnish shipyard Meyer Turku, said, “We have again placed a strong emphasis on environmental protection.

“State-of-the-art technologies make Mein Schiff 6 one of the world’s most energy-efficient cruise ships. The exhaust after-treatment system significantly reduces the ship’s emissions. As a result, our latest newbuild is one of the most eco-friendly cruise liners in her class.”

TUI Cruises, a 50 percent joint venture with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., shares a guiding principle of continuous improvement as it expands.

“Every one to two years we develop a new ship type and then we further refine it in the following sister ships,” said Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer. “Shipbuilding is all about continuous improvements of the technology, ship design, production processes and the shipbuilding team.

“We have been working very closely with TUI Cruises on Mein Schiff 6, improving from the previous ships based on passenger feedback.”

Besides building in a 30 percent reduction in energy with a resulting drop in fuel for No. 6, Meyer Turku included an exhaust treatment system that lowers sulfur emissions by as much as 99 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 75 percent and particle emissions by about 60 percent.

Meier added that TUI will use the exhaust system not just in such special emission zones as the North Sea and the Baltic, but at all times worldwide, ”far more than we are legally required to and with this are setting benchmarks in the industry.”

Designed to accommodate 2,794 guests on 15 decks while providing them with TUI’s promise of “well-being and relaxation,” Mein Schiff 6 replicates restaurants that have been well-received on Mein Schiff 5 as well as:

  • An entertainment venue with a “hologram stage” for the presentation of “perfect visual illusions.”
  • A redesigned Abtanz Bar nightclub that doubles in daylight as a space for lectures or readings.
  • An “Escape Room” where – for a fee – guests can work together to solve mysteries.
  • Small structural and design modifications including sun awnings in the outdoor sports area as well as extra space for spectators.

After her shake-down cruises and christening, Mein Schiff 6 will serve itineraries in Northern Europe and the Baltic until early fall. Then she will leave Hamburg for New York and sail for ports in the U.S. and Canada before beginning service in Central America from mid-November.

Meyer Turku has already started work on longer, roomier replacements for the original Mein Schiff 1 and 2 called, for the sake of practicality, the New Mein Schiff 1 and 2.