#NewCruiseVisitor – Belfast Harbour which expects 115,000 cruise-goers by end of season, welcomed a first time visitor this morning, the new Mein Schiff 4 which operates in the premium –German cruise market for TUI Cruises, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Mein Schiff 4 made the short overnight passage to Belfast from Greenock on the Clyde as part of an 11-day round trip cruise from Hamburg. She docked on the south bank downriver of the iconic H&W dockyards and neighbouring Titanic Quarter which has proved global visitor attraction appeal. Last year, Belfast Harbour achieved a record total of 114,000 cruise passengers.
The $625m newbuild of 99,500 tonnes was completed in late 2014 and is the second of series built in Finland. In fast she was completed only two days after the STX Finland Oy’s yard in Turku was taken over by German-owners to form the Meyer Turku yard in south-west Finland. She began her career carrying out several cruises last month to Baltic and Scandinavian capitals.
Since the introduction of the 15 deck cruiseship catering for the German-speaking market, Mein Schiff 4 (clearly translating to ‘My Ship 4’) has boosted TUI’s fleet passenger total to 6,342 berths.
She has a capacity for 2,506 passengers accommodated in 1,253 cabins in which 90% are outside and 82% feature cabins. Of those equipped with cabins, they are up to24 m² in size. In all, the newcomer offers 23 categories, which demonstrates a wide choice in the cruise industry.
Among her facilities are 11 restaurants and bistros, 11 bars and lounges. Among her recreational options, there’s a basketball course and sea views which can be seen from saunas.
She also boasts a first for the cruise industry, a 25m long swimming pool located on Deck 12. Elsewhere, is an indoor pool with a whirlpool when the weather is less favourable.
This evening Mein Schiff sets sail on a southbound course for Dun Laoghaire Harbour as previously reported on Afloat.ie where the new cruiseship is to anchor tomorrow offshore and bring passengers ashore by tender craft.
TUI Cruises was formed in 2008 in a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Ltd. The final sister in the newer ‘Mein Schiff’ series is due for delivery in 2019.