TUI Cruises and Royal Caribbean Group had reason to celebrate today as Mein Schiff Relax, the first of two InTUItion class cruise ships, floated out at the Monfalcone shipyard in Italy.
The launch marks a new era for TUI Cruises, a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Group, as they take delivery of this innovative, dual-fuel-powered vessel from Fincantieri, which promises to set new standards in near-zero emission cruising.
Float-Out Ceremony for Mein Schiff Relax
TUI Cruises’ decision to name their new vessel Mein Schiff Relax instead of following their traditional numbered naming convention represents a strategic shift in branding and marketing for the cruise line. And for good reason, Mein Schiff Relax is an entirely new concept for the German cruise line.
The float-out ceremony was marked by traditional maritime festivities, with Elena Sperti, an employee of the shipyard, in attendance as the godmother. The float-out ceremony is an important milestone in the construction of a cruise ship, marking the transition from construction in a dry dock to being afloat in water.
The float-out also serves a technical function, as it is the first time that engineers will be able to see if the vessel is structurally sound.
New Era For TUI Cruises
Weighing approximately 160,000 gross tons, Mein Schiff Relax represents the backbone of TUI Cruises’ future fleet, and showcasing the cruise line’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Mein Schiff Relax has been designed with energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact in mind. The ship can operate using LNG (Liquified Natural Gas), the cleanest marine fuel currently available, and is also capable of burning low-emission fuels like bio- or e-LNG.
The ship can operate nearly emission-free while in port and has a marine gasifier onboard that nearly eliminates waste from the vessel. A marine gasifier is a type of technology used on ships to convert solid or liquid fuels into a gaseous form, that in turn can be used for powering the ship’s engines or generating electricity.
The process involves the gasification of waste materials, such as food waste, but also oily rags, and common household waste, through a thermochemical process that converts waste into carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide.
State-of-the-Art Amenities Onboard Mein Schiff Relax
Guests sailing onboard Mein Schiff Relax will have a total of 16 passenger decks to use. Compared to the older Mein Schiff cruise ships, Mein Schiff Relax offers an array of novel amenities and features, including a theater extending from decks 3 to 5, a new atrium with panoramic windows, various themed restaurants and bars, and a wellness area on deck 15.
Deck 17, named Aqua, will be a hub for sports and relaxation, featuring the indoor sports area Arena, a fitness studio, and kids’ areas. Deck 17 also hosts the main pool deck with a unique shadow roof, bars, bistros, luxury seating and lounging options, and a 25-meter pool.
Decks 18 and 19 are designed as serene relaxation areas, with Deck 19 housing the Mistral Deck complete with a barrel sauna and sports facilities.
It will be a little while before Mein Schiff Relax sets sail on her first cruise. TUI Cruises put the first cruises up for sale on October 17, with the maiden voyage setting sail on March 16.
Itineraries include various 7 to 10-day Mediterranean cruises from Palma de Mallorca. These cruises will explore France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, with extended stays in Palma de Mallorca for two-day overnights.
TUI Cruises’ InTUItion class
The construction of Mein Schiff Relax, the first ship in TUI Cruises’ InTUItion class, began in June 2022. Originally, the vessel was scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2024, but this was postponed to the beginning of 2025 due to global supply chain shortages.
Construction on the sister ship of Mein Schiff Relax, currently designated as Mein Schiff 9, also began in June 2022. Similar to her sister, Mein Schiff 9‘s construction and delivery were affected by the pandemic. The delivery date is currently set for the second quarter of 2026