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Mein Schiff 6 is named in a resonating sound and light salute

(Photo: Andreas Vallbracht/Hamburg Tourismus GmbH)
Mein Schiff 6 and Elbphilharmonie awash in lights
With the theme 'Mein Schiff becomes music,' TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff 6 was transformed into a resonating body during a huge naming ceremony beside Hamburg's new Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

The godmother was Iveta Apkalna, head organist of the Elbphilharmonie.

The event was attended by more than 1,950 passengers who bought tickets for the christening and subsequent maiden voyage to Kiel. In addition, thousands of spectators watched the ceremony from ashore.

Wybcke Meier, ceo of TUI Cruises, said the new Elbphilharmonie provides extraordinary experiences, just as TUI Cruises strives to do.

'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,' Meier said.

Mein Schiff 6 departed from the Cruise Center Altona at 9 p.m., sailing upstream toward the Elbphilharmonie. There, the ship and the concert hall welcomed each other with performances by two shanty choirs. This was followed by the world premiere of a musical piece inspired by the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 1, composed for the event.

Drawing on the idea of a sound sculpture, the composition featured various groups of instruments to highlight the musical diversity of Elbphilharmonie and its role as an ambassador of Hamburg.

The performers on board Mein Schiff 6 included an opera singer, a DJ, a rock guitar player, a laser harp player and a string quartet. The music was accompanied by a light show visually outlining the unity of cruise ship and concert hall.

Even the christening act itself struck a musical note as Iveta Apkalna used a baton to signal for a bottle of champagne to be cracked against the bow. At 10:45 p.m. fireworks concluded the ceremony, sending off Mein Schiff 6 as it left Hamburg, bound for Kiel.