Due to strong demand, TUI Cruises has scheduled a second “anticipation voyage” of its new-build Mein Schiff 7, which is nearing completion at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. The 2,900-guest ship recently aced her sea trials and is being prepped for launch.

TUI Cruises, a joint venture of the TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., had originally planned to offer one preview voyage, from June 16 through June 21, 2024, sailing roundtrip from Mein Schiff 7’s home port in Kiel, Germany, to Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark, and Oslo, Norway. The ship’s christening ceremony is set for June 22, 2024, and will be held at sea during a two-day cruise.

The newly announced second preview sailing will be held before those voyages, from June 12 to 14, 2024, sailing roundtrip from Kiel and with one port call in Copenhagen.

Mein Schiff 7 Sea Trials

Both preview cruises provide opportunities not only for guests to sample the ship but also for crew members to make sure all systems are operating up to par. However, as with any preview cruise, it is possible that not all services and amenities will be offered.

Mein Schiff 7, in late May, underwent a series of sea trials that tested the ship’s navigational, propulsion, safety, and other major operational systems. Specifically, speed, anchoring, lifeboat launching, and emergency stops were tested, while various maneuvers and stabilizer functions were evaluated.

TUI Cruises intends for the 111,500-gross ton Mein Schiff 7 to become a leader in environmental sustainability, with its ability to use lower-emission marine diesel with a sulfur content of just 0.1%. Equipped with catalytic converters, the ship will achieve a reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions of about 75% vs. traditional fuels. 

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Moreover, the infrastructure has been installed to accommodate methanol or green methanol propulsion, which the cruise line aims to use starting in 2026.

The line is still working on the technology to enable methanol-fueled, four-stroke engines, but anticipates that Mein Schiff 7 will be among the first cruise ships to use methanol. Eventually, all TUI Cruises’ ships could be fitted for the alternative fuel.

Methanol operation and thus a conversion is also an option for the future for the modern existing fleet. The Mein Schiff 7 plays a central role here in showing that this drive works in real ship operation. Based on these findings, we will decide on possible retrofitting,said Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises.

Following her christening cruise, the ship will begin a series of summer sailings in the Baltic, calling on various Scandinavian ports. Mein Schiff 7’s inaugural cruise, departing on June 23, 2024, will spend 14 days in Norway, with port calls at Stavanger, Nordfjordeid, Molde, Honningsvag, Longyearbyen, Trondheim, and Alesund.

Mein Schiff 7 Sea Trials

Starting in October, the ship will operate cruises between Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. A 7-day voyage departing on October 20, 2024, for example, calls at Gibraltar, UK; Cadiz, Spain; and Arrecife and Puerto del Rosario, Canary Islands, before concluding in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The ship features 12 dining venues, 10 bar/lounge areas, and a wide range of staterooms, including interior, ocean view, balcony, junior suites, suites, and solo cabins.

TUI Cruises has two more ships under construction. The 160,000-gross ton, LNG-powered Mein Schiff Relax and Mein Schiff 9 are being built at a Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. They are slated to launch in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

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