The port of Hamburg hosted yet another spectacular cruise ship event Thursday with the launch of TUI Cruises’ “Mein Schiff 6” named by the Elbphilharmonie’s head organist Iveta Apkalna on behalf of the new concert hall.
Two shanty choirs sang, followed by a world premiere of music inspired by the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and composed for the event as a welcoming greeting. The composition featured various groups of instruments to highlight the Elbphilharmonie’s extraordinary musical diversity and its role as an ambassador. The performing artists aboard the ship included an opera singer, a DJ, a rock guitar player, a laser harp player as well as a string quartet. Using a baton, Apkalna gave the signal for the bottle of champagne to be broken against the ship’s bow. Visibly moved, she remarked: “For me as an organist, stage performances are part of everyday life. However, launching a cruise liner on behalf of the Elbphilharmonie has been a unique experience that I will surely remember for a long time.”
TUI Cruises’ latest liner docked right outside the Elbphilharmonie with nearly 2,000 guests aboard. A spectacular light show visualising the unity of cruise ship and concert hall was also staged. Once the champagne bottle shattered, the Elbphilharmonie bathed the “Mein Schiff 6” in blue light, and at 10:45 pm a grand fireworks display lit up the sky over the Elbe river. Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises, said: “The Elbphilharmonie provides extraordinary experiences, and at TUI Cruises we strive to do the same. For us it was important to design an event that reflects these shared values. So even with the Elbe between them, the Elbphilharmonie and the ‘Mein Schiff 6’ became one.”
“Mein Schiff 6” to accommodate over 2,500 passengers
“Mein Schiff 6” is around 300 metres in length and 36 metres in width. The ship has 15 decks with 1,267 cabins and space for 2,534 passengers. The launch of “Mein Schiff 6” marks a goal of six ships in TUI Cruises’ fleet. Meier added: “When ‘Mein Schiff’ 1 and ‘Mein Schiff 2’ arrive over the next two years and replace our older ladies, we will have the most modern and environment-friendly cruise ship fleet in the world.”
Hamburg as a cruise capital – Hamburg Cruise Days festival in September
Hamburg is the world’s top destination for maritime entertainment and cruise events, and the port is frequently transformed into a giant stage for the cruise industry. Following the port anniversary celebrations in early May, the launch of “Mein Schiff 6” was the second highlight of this summer’s packed calendar of events. The arrival of the Norwegian Jade (2,466 passengers) on June 4 and the Independence of the Sea (3,634 passengers) on July 12 will see more and more large-scale cruise ships entering the port of Hamburg for the first time. Another luxury vessel, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Wind will also call at Hamburg on September 10.
The Hamburg Cruise Days from September 8-10, 2017 will once again transform the port into an arena for the cruise industry and fans. Then, a record ten cruise liners are scheduled to take part in Europe’s biggest public cruise festival.