The first newbuilding for the TUI/Royal Caribbean joint venture TUI Cruises was floated out at the STX shipyard in Turku, Finland on 8 November 2013. Together with her sister, due for delivery in 2015, Mein Schiff 3 (pictured) will be the largest ship in the TUI fleet, with a gross tonnage of around 99,000.

The new ship will enter service in June 2014 and be based initially in Malta, sailing alternate east and west weekly itineraries from Valletta, her port of registry. Mein Schiff 3’s initial cruise was cancelled and another shortened because TUI Cruises felt that more time was needed for training hotel staff on the new ship. Her 1,253 cabins will accommodate 2,506 passengers on a lower berth basis, served by around 1,000 crew. Her 11 restaurants will include several extra-charge venues.

• Meanwhile Mein Schiff 2 was dry-docked in Cadiz between 1 and 7 November 2013 for maintenance.

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