11 December 2011

Mein Schiff 2 in Helsinki, 25 August 2011

Mein Schiff 2

IMO 9106302
Former names: Mercury, Celebrity Mercury
Built 1997, Meyer Werft Papenburg, Germany
Tonnage 77 713 GT
Length 259,70 m
Width 32,20 m
Draugth 7,70 m
1 870 passengers (lower beds), 2 681 passengers (all berths)
4 MAN diesels, combined 29 250 kW
2 propellers
3 bow thrusters
2 stern thruster
Speed 21,5 knots

Mein Schiff 2 is, as the name suggest, the second ship of TUI Cruises. She started life as the Mercury, and as such was the fifth newbuilt ship for Celebtiry Cruises. In 2008 Celebrity Cruises decided to adopt the common naming scheme of having the company name as a prefix to the name and hence the Mercury became Celebrity Mercury. With this small policy change Celebrity largely ruined their naming scheme that had been until that point - in my opinion anyway - the absolute coolest naming scheme of all time. How could you not like names like Meridian, Zenith, Mercury or Constellation? With the prefix the names suddenly become a lot less cool.

Anyways, the time as Celebrity Mercury proved to be a fairly short detour for the ship, as almost exactly three years after the name change she was transferred to the fleet of TUI Cruises, a joint venture between Royal Caribbean International and TUI aimed at the German market. TUI Cruises had begun operations in 2008 with the Mercury's sister ship Galaxy (not to be confused with the Tallink/Silja Line ship by the same name) which was named Mein Schiff. Corresponding with the arrival of the ex-Mercury the name of the first ship was maneded into Mein Schiff 1 and her sister now became the Mein Schiff 2.

The photographs below show the Mein Schiff 2 departing from Helsinki West Harbour on 25 August 2011 in somewhat windy weather. Photographed from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

The ship looks surprisingly good in the TUI Cruises livery. I was expecting the (original) Mein Schiff to look rubbish without the snazzy angular modernist Celebrity livery, but both Mein Schiffs look very good in these colours.
Windy day = sailboats. Also notice that you can still just see the outline of Celebrity Cruises' X funnel symbol behind TUI's smiley logo.
The day was generally overcast, but just as the Mein Schiff 2 was departing, a few rays of the evening sun broke through.
I admit this photo is nothing special, no sailboats or funky foreground objects... but I like it rather a lot never the less.
Oh, and speaking of TUI Cruises' livery working nicely with the exterior stylings of these ships, it remains to be seen what the newbuilding (I presume that she will be named Mein Schiff 3) to be delivered from STX Turku in 2014 will look like. The advance images show a lot less interesting-looking ship than the first two. Have a look for instance here.

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