According to Cruise Industry News, the first large cruise ship is back in service as TUI's Mein Schiff 2 left on its first "Blue Cruise" (round-trip) from Hamburg, Germany with 1,200 guests on board.
The TUI Cruises ship will not visit any ports but will sail near Norway (Afloat tracked an anchorage call off Kristiansand) for scenic cruising for three nights before returning to Germany (ETA of 20.30hrs tonight).
Capacity on the ship has been aggressively trimmed, with the vessel able to hold some 2,900 guests it will operate now with just 1,200 aboard following numerous new health and safety protocols.
TUI Cruises CEO Wybcke Meier was onhand for the departure and Sebastian Ebel, responsible member of the Executive Board of TUI Group, was also onsite in Hamburg on Friday.
TUI will add a second ship, the Mein Schiff 1 into service in August. The brand is a joint venture between TUI Group and Royal Caribbean.
AIDA, Carnival Corporation's German brand, will follow with a planned start up in August with a trio of ships sailing from various German ports.
In 2011 the then Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company revived the cruiseship sector to visit the port, however the harbour in recent years transferred to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
Due to Covid-19, DLRCoCo can only expect so far just 2 cruiseship calls this summer following 20 cancellations out of an original record of 22 scheduled this season.