The star of the evening was 262,5 metres long, 32 metres wide, weighs 76,998 gross registered tons and is the first ship of TUI Cruises. As part of a tremendous celebration “Mein Schiff“ was christened in Hamburg friday night, 15 May, at the St. Pauli fish market. National stars including Udo Lindenberg and Jan Delay attended the “Mein Schiff“ celebrations and bid the ship farewell when it left the port. The versatile performer Ina Müller had been given the special honour of christening the ship. At 9.15pm she dedicated a few words to the ship before smashing a bottle of champagne on the bow of “Mein Schiff“.

The christening event got underway at 8pm when the “Mein Schiff“ set out from the cruise terminal heading for the fish market. Numerous celebrities were on board, such as ARD TV newscaster Jan Hofer, Martin Kind, president of the Ger-man Bundesliga club Hannover 96, and the German actors Marion Kracht, Thomas Heinze, Kostja Ullmann and Michael Roll. Making up the entourage had been some 44 passenger and sailing craft as well as small motor boats. The guests on these accompanying craft were able to follow the ship’s christening from an exclusive position. These floating front seats afforded an individual setting with optimum views of the happening.

One of the emotional highlights of the christening celebrations at the fish market was the first performance of the ship´s anthem at 9pm. Unlike originally planned “Ocean of love”, composed by Frank Nimsgern, wasn´t performed by Anna Netrebko but by Aino Laos. At short notice Anna Netrebko was indisposed and couldn´t sing herself, but still wished “Mein Schiff” all the best at the Hamburg fish market. “With Aino Laos we´ve had one of the most established Pop- and Musical singer in Germany who has been working with Frank Nimsgern for years”, said Richard J. Vogel, CEO TUI Cruises. The singer even has a personal relation to the song – she not only wrote the lyrics for “Ocean of love” but for the entire Aqua-show.

Udo Lindenberg and Jan Delay, too, addressed the “Mein Schiff“ with their musical offering. In a duet – Udo on the ship and Jan on the stage at the fish market – they created a musical bridge between the “Mein Schiff“ and the shore.

And then at 9:20pm the “Mein Schiff“ set off on its maiden voyage to the sound of “In Hamburg ones says Tschüss“ – a musical tribute from all the guests on the fish market and supported by a children’s choir. “With our christening celebrations we wanted to highlight the variety offered by the “Mein Schiff“,” says Richard J. Vogel.

On the “Mein Schiff“ as well as in the fish market the party continued until late into the night. Ina Müller and Udo Lindenberg each performed an exclusive concert on board, whereas Jan Delay conjured up a great atmosphere with his concert at the fish market.