POINTE BLANCHE:--- The first new cruise vessel on its inaugural call for the month of November, the Mein Schiff 4, was welcomed on Wednesday by Port Management and stakeholders to destination Sint Maarten. The vessel is the newest member of the fleet of TUI Cruises and is identical to her sister-ship the Mein Schiff 3.
The traditional plaque exchange and words of welcome were exchanged. Captain Jens Troier said he was grateful to be in Sint Maarten, and he thanked the port for its service and warm welcome. He added that Sint Maarten provided a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and concluded with a toast during the ceremony.
Port St. Maarten Acting Human Resources Manager Hector Peters, on behalf of the Government and Port St. Maarten, welcomed the Captain, his guests, and crew to the destination, and wished them an enjoyable stay.
Port St. Maarten had several German speaking persons working at its Information Desk providing essential information about things to do and where to visit the German cruise passengers who went out to explore the island on Wednesday for the day.
TUI Cruises, a German cruise line, is a joint venture of the German tourist firm, TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Port officials and stakeholders walked to the ship with the Dow Steel Pan leading the way as cruise passengers looked on and took pictures of the warm Caribbean welcome. Stakeholders included representatives from the Taxi Association, Accessible Ventures and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau among others.
The vessel was built by Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland. The vessel was floated out on 10 October 2014 and delivered to TUI Cruises on 8 May 2015. A Mein Schiff 5 is to be delivered in 2016, and 6 in 2017. Orders have also been placed for Mein Schiff 7 and 8 with deliveries in 2017 and 2018.
Mein Schiff 4 has a gross tonnage of 99,526; length 962 feet; beam 139 feet, and can carry 2,790 passengers and 1,030 crew.