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Thousands watch in Kiel as new Mein Schiff 5 makes its Germany debut

Mein Schiff 5's arrival in Kiel a highlight of Kieler Woche regatta (Photo: Port of Kiel)
Newly delivered Mein Schiff 5 made its German debut, sailing into Kiel early Thursday morning to a tugboat water fountain welcome.

Thousands of visitors at the Kieler Woche sailing regatta watched from shore as the TUI Cruises vessel berthed at the Ostseekai Cruise Terminal.

At a shipboard reception, Kiel’s Robert Vollborn, first deputy city president of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital, and Dirk Claus, md, Port of Kiel, presented a maiden visit plaque to TUI Cruises ceo Wybcke Meier and Capt. Kjell Holm.

'Introducing Mein Schiff 5 at the Kieler Woche is a splendid gift to Kiel and the highlight of this year’s cruise shipping season,' Claus said.

From now until mid-July, the ship will visit five times—June 29, July 3, 6, 10 and 14—on short cruises before the July 16 maiden voyage.

The fact that Mein Schiff 5's maiden voyage begins in Kiel is 'another expression of the longstanding and trustworthy partnership that exists between the shipowner and the port,' Claus added.

Later in the season, the ship will embark four further cruises in Kiel. Together with Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 4, TUI will begin a total of 29 cruises from the port this year. On June 26, July 6 and Aug. 22, two TUI ships will be alongside.

TUI Cruises has been a regular visitor to Kiel since 2009.