New-Build Holds ‘Lucky Coin’ Ceremony as Launch Nears

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The placement of lucky coins, a time-honored maritime tradition for new sea-going vessels, was held aboard TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 7, a 2,900-guest ship nearing the end of construction at a Finnish shipyard.

Ship Captain Omar Caruana joined members of the crew and shipyard employees for the Lucky Coin Ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland on April 30, 2024. According to tradition, 10 lucky coins are placed in a box, which is then welded to the ship’s deck 15. It means there is a “nest egg” on the ship and she is ready to sail.

Captain Caruana has been working at the shipyard in Turku, Finland, since February, as finishing touches and final preparations are made to the 111,500-gross ton vessel. 

I will remember this moment for the rest of my life,Captain Omar Caruana said during the coin ceremony.

Mein Schiff 7, the seventh in the TUI Cruises’ fleet, was floated out of her construction bay in December 2023, and work on the interior design of the ship began. TUI Cruises is a joint venture of the TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Mein Schiff 7 Lucky Coin Ceremony
Mein Schiff 7 Lucky Coin Ceremony

The ship is due to enter service in June 2024, and will soon begin a series of sea trials, when major operational systems such as propulsion, navigation, and safety will be evaluated. Meanwhile, start-up crew members will soon move into their cabins as construction comes to a close.

The ship was built with several environment-friendly systems. It is designed to use lower-emission marine diesel with a sulfur content of just 0.1%. Built with catalytic converters, the vessel was constructed to achieve nitrogen oxide emissions roughly 75% lower than traditional fuels. 

In addition, Mein Schiff 7 can run on methanol, prospectively green methanol, which is considered a climate-friendly fuel when it is produced from renewable energies. The use of green methanol would make the ship’s propulsion almost CO2-neutral. 

In light of the ship’s environmental sustainability systems, the cruise line chose the Mein Schiff fleet’s environmental officer, Fenia Kalachani, to serve as godmother of the new vessel.

Ship to Be Christened in At-Sea Ceremony

TUI Cruises earlier revealed that June 22, 2024, will be the christening date for Mein Schiff 7. The ceremony will be held at sea as part of a 2-day christening cruise, with Kalachani christening and naming the ship. 

The cruise will depart Kiel, Germany, on June 21, 2024, and sail in the Danish South Sea, also known as the South Sea Islands, an archipelago off southeast Denmark. Following the onboard naming ceremony, the ship will return to Kiel on June 23, 2024, the capital city of Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein state, where the annual Kiel Week festival will be underway.

TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff 7
TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 7 (Photo Credit: TUI Cruises)

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Kiel Week is a major sailing regatta, with competitions, live music, food, and other entertainment. Guests will be able to enjoy the event after debarking the ship.

Mein Schiff 7‘s inaugural season will feature voyages in the Baltic region, and the Norwegian Fjords and Arctic Circle, calling at ports such as Stavanger, Eidfjord, Molde, North Cape, and Longyearbyen on Spitzbergen. A special 5-day themed cruise is set for departure on September 22, 2024, focused on German hip-hop music and sailing from Warnemünde to Hamburg.

The new vessel will offer mostly ocean-view cabins, 12 restaurants and 17 lounges, a gym, sports courts and a climbing wall, a full spa, and an outdoor pool.

TUI Cruises has two more ships under construction. The 160,000-gross ton Mein Schiff Relax and Mein Schiff 9 are being built at a Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. Both are powered by LNG (liquified natural gas), and the ships are slated to launch in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

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