Mein Schiff

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MV Galaxy in 2006
Name: 1996—2008: Galaxy
2008—2009: Celebrity Galaxy
2009-present: Mein Schiff[1]
Owner: 1996—2009: Celebrity Cruises[2][3]
Operator: 1996—2009: Celebrity Cruises
2009-present: TUI Cruises
Port of registry: 1996—2002: Monrovia, 22x20px Liberia[2]
2002—2008: Nassau,  Bahamas[4]
2008—2009: Valletta,  Malta[2]
Builder: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany
Cost: $320 million[4]
Yard number: 638[2]
Laid down: 25 May 1995[5]
Launched: May 1996[5]
Acquired: 10 October 1996[5]
In service: 21 December 1996[2]
Identification: IMO number: 9106297[2]
Call sign 9HJH9
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Century class cruise ship
Tonnage: 76,522 GT (gross tonnage)[3]
Displacement: 6,500 metric tons deadweight (DWT)[2][3]
Length: 259.70 m (852 ft 0 in)[2]
Beam: 32.20 m (105 ft 8 in)[2]
Draught: 7.70 m (25 ft 3 in)[2]
Decks: 10 (passenger accessible)[4]
Installed power:MAN B&W 9L48/60 diesels
2×MAN B&W 6L48/60 diesels
combined 29250 kW[2]
Propulsion: Twin propellers[4]
Capacity: 1870 passengers (lower berths)
2681 passengers (all berths)[4]
Crew: 909[4]

MV Mein Schiff is a Century class cruise ship owned and operated by TUI Cruises. She was built in 1996 at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany as MV Galaxy for Celebrity Cruises,[2] and renamed Celebrity Galaxy in 2008. In May 2009 she transferred to the fleet of TUI Cruises, a joint venture between Celebrity Cruises' owner Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and TUI AG.[6] The ship was renamed MV Mein Schiff (English: my ship) on 15 May 2009.[1][7]

The Mein Schiff, when still named Galaxy, was the setting of BBC television's docu-soap The Cruise, which made Jane McDonald famous.[8]

Concept and construction

In March 1993 Celebrity Cruises had placed an order with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany for a new ship that was eventually delivered as MV Century. The contract also included an option for two additional vessels of the same design. Celebrity Cruises decided to utilize the option for additional vessels, but changes to the overall design were made to the subsequent ships compared to the Century. Therefore the second ship, MV Galaxy, was given a 15.4 metres (50 ft 6 in) longer hull compared to the Century, and the galley and pantry areas were completely redesigned.[5]

The keel of the Galaxy was laid on 25 May 1995, she was launched from drydock in May 1996 and delivered to Celebrity Cruises on 10 October 1996. Following a promotional visit to Southampton, the ship sailed across the Atlantic Ocean without passengers. Further promotional visits in Boston, Philadelphia and Port Canaveral followed, after which the ship sailed to Port Everglades to begin her commercial career with Celebrity Cruises.[5]

Service history

Galaxy entered service with Celebrity Cruises on 21 December 1996 on a week-long cruise from Port Everglades to the Caribbean. Alongside her near-sistership Century she operated week-long alternating western and eastern Caribbean cruises. During the 1997 northern hemisphere summer season the Galaxy relocated to the west coast of North America to operate week-long cruises to Alaska from Vancouver, Canada.[5] This pattern was repeated from 1997 up until 2000.[9]

For the 2001 summer season the Galaxy was replaced by the brand-new Template:GTS in the Alaskan service, and as a result the Galaxy was relocated into European waters, cruising the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. On 2 June 2001, while departing Amsterdam in the Netherlands for a two-week cruise the Galaxy touched bottom on an outskirt of Forteiland at IJmuiden[9] due to heavy northwesterly squalls,[citation needed] resulting in major damage to the port side propeller.[9] The ship returned to the Port of Amsterdam for inspection and disembarkation of the passengers.[citation needed] The cruise had to be cancelled as the Galaxy went into drydock at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, Germany. There it was discovered that all four blades of the port side propeller would have to be replaced; however the ship only carried two spare blades onboard. To solve the problem two extra propeller blades carried onboard Galaxy's sister ship MV Mercury were flown from the Caribbean to Hamburg and installed on the Galaxy. Following repairs the ship re-entered service on 16 June 2001.[9]

For the 2002 and 2003 summer seasons the Galaxy was based in Baltimore, making 10- and 11-day cruises to the Caribbean.[9]

In February 2008 the Galaxy was renamed Celebrity Galaxy to comply with Celebrity Cruises' new naming scheme.[2][10]

Transfer to TUI Cruises

In April 2008 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, announced that the Celebrity Galaxy would cease service with Celebrity in March 2009 and subsequently be transferred to the fleet of TUI Cruises, a joint subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises and TUI AG aimed at the German cruise market.[6] Following withdrawal from Celebrity Cruises' service, the ship sailed to the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany where she received a 50 million refit to upgrade her facilities and refit her cabins to make her better suited for the needs of the German market. Additional cabins were also fitted on existing outside cabins. Following the 38-day refit the ship was renamed Mein Schiff in Hamburg on 15 May 2009, and she entered service with TUI Cruises on a Baltic Sea cruise starting from Kiel on 23 May 2009.[1][7][11]


The primary dining area on board the Mein Schiff is the two deck Orion restaurant, located in the aft area of the ship. It can host 1,088 diners on a single seating, and is decorated in the art deco style utilized on ocean liners from the 1930s onwards.[5][12] Other dining options on the ship include the Oasis Buffet, which serves three meals a day and ice cream between lunch and dinner.[12] There is also a casual dining "boulevard" featuring sandwiches, pizza, and hamburgers.[citation needed] Room service is available 24 hours a day on board. The menu is limited for much of the day, but during lunch and dinner hours suite passengers can order a full menu.[12]

The primary entertainment venue is the Theater, which offers two nightly shows. There is also a dedicated cinema with 200 seats that also doubles as a lecture room.[12] The Fortunes casino features gambling, ranging from five-cent slot machines to blackjack tables.[5] The Mein Schiff's duty-free shops sell jewelry, perfumes, and liquor. A merchandise shop offers inexpensive jewelry, watches, and formal wear.[citation needed] There are multiple discos and clubs, including the Rendezvous Lounge, a Lounge,a cigar bar, and the Nightclub.[12]

Activities are provided daily, with fewer options available while the ship is in port. The activities staff offers bingo, computer classes, among other things.[citation needed] There are three pools - two saltwater pools outside, and a freshwater pool under a greenhouse-like roof. Near the saltwater pools are five hot tubs. A gymnasium, with cardiovascular equipment, is available.[12] The Japanese-style AquaSpai, operated by Steiner, has its own rock garden and offers many personal services, from massages to thalassotherapy.[5][12]

An extensive collection of art is on display onboard the Mein Schiff, personally compiled by Christina Chandris.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Niemelä, Teijo (2009-02-11). "TUI Cruises to name first vessel Mein Schiff". Cruise Business Online. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Asklander, Micke. "M/S Galaxy (1996)". Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Galaxy". Seatrade Communications Limited. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Ward, Douglas (2006). Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Singapore: Berlitz. pp. 323–324. ISBN 981-246-739-4. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Plowman, Peter (2006). The Chandris Liners and Celebrity Cruises. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 215–218. ISBN 1 877058 47 5. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Galaxy to Become First Ship in New TUI Cruises Fleet". Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. press release. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "TUI Cruises commissions Lloyd Werft with conversion of Galaxy". Cruise Business Review. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2008. 
  8. [1]
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Plowman (2006). pp. 231-235
  10. Ward, Douglas (2008). Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Singapore: Berlitz. p. 8. ISBN 978-981-268-240-6. 
  11. "Imtech Deutschland in TUI Cruises contract". Cruise Business Review. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Ward (2008). pp. 282-283

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