TUI River Cruises launches its first ship, TUI Maya, after 18 months of delay

(4:00 p.m. BST) – TUI River Cruises has finally launched its first river vessel after an 18-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Godmother Catherine Hawkins christened TUI Maya, the first of three sister ships, in Mainz, Germany, with pyrotechnics and a champagne smash on Thursday.

Specially invited guests then embarked on an overnight sail to Boppard to explore the delights of the Rhine. Passenger crossings will begin on Monday (August 15).

Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Cruise TUI UK&I, said: “We are delighted to finally launch TUI River Cruises and have organized a fitting celebration for TUI River Cruises to sail in style.

“The team have worked tirelessly to bring this launch to fruition, and they’ve done a sensational job. The initial feedback we’ve had has been amazing and we’re now all thrilled to welcome our first customers this weekend.

“People were impressed by the sleek design and contemporary feel and surprised by the size of the ship.”

Catherine Hawkins, is a Barnsley University Examinations Officer, who was chosen by TUI from a list of 750 possible candidates.

“I feel so proud and honored,” she said. “What a privilege! I love to travel, explore new places and have new experiences, so I feel like a new door of exploration is about to open! I can’t wait to start sailing these rivers! »

A second ship, TUI Skyla, will be launched later this year. Both have been transformed with multi-million pound refurbishments to combine beautiful contemporary design with classic comfort. With two restaurants, two bars and deck areas designed to allow relaxation, well-being and more intense activities.

The first sail on the Mosel Valley route visiting German hotspots Frankfurt and Koblenz as well as lesser known destinations Trier, Piesport and Oberwesel in picture-perfect scenery steeped in history.

From October 31, guests will be able to enjoy four new themed cruises on the Rhine. And 11 festive routes visiting Germany’s renowned Christmas markets and major cities are offered during winter 2021 and winter 2022.

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