TUI’S Mein Schiff 2 has become the first large cruise ship to set sail, departing from Hamburg on Saturday 25 July with 1,200 passengers on board.
The TUI ship – a joint venture between TUI Group and Royal Caribbean International – will not make any port visits, instead sailing a scenic cruising route off the coast of Norway for three nights before returning to Germany.
Mein Schiff 2 is the first large cruise ship to sail since the COVID-19 pandemic led to a complete pause on sailings by cruise lines around the world. Though designed to accommodate 2,900 guests, the ship is operating with a much smaller capacity of just 1,200 guests, with a host of new health and safety protocols.
A second ship, the Mein Schiff 1, will re-enter service in August. In further positive news for cruise fans desperate to return to the seas, AIDA, Carnival Corporation’s German brand, will also go ahead with a planned restart in August, with three ships set to cruise from German ports.