PORT ST. MAARTEN – On Wednesday morning, the Captain of the German cruise vessel Mein Schiff 3 Ioannis Anastasiou, exchanged plaques with Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications Hon. Irania Arrindell and Port St. Maarten officials during a welcome ceremony onboard the vessel.
Minister Arrindell welcomed the captain, passengers and crew to Port St. Maarten and added that she looked forward to many more visits to the island for the season. “I would like to toast to the Captain, his passengers and crew, and a hearty welcome to Sint Maarten,” Minister Hon. Irania Arrindell said on Wednesday at the ceremony.
Captain of Mein Schiff 3 Ioannis Anastasiou, thanked the Minister, Port St. Maarten officials, ship’s agent and others present for the warm welcome on behalf of his passengers and crew.
The Captain added that this was the first cruise season for the vessel and he was looking forward to it being a successful one.
Mein Schiff 3 homeports out of Barbados and La Romana, Dominican Republic and carries out a two week cruise.
This is the fourth new cruise ship within the past two weeks to include St. Maarten in their cruise itinerary for the 2015-2016 cruise season. Port and Government officials recently welcomed Britannia of P&O Cruises, Anthem of the Seas of Royal Caribbean Lines, and Magellan of Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
Mein Schiff 3 belongs to TUI Cruises, a German cruise line. It was built by STX Finland and was delivered in May 2014. The vessel was built for 360 million Euro. Mein Schiff 4 is to be delivered in 2015; 5 in 2016, and 6 in 2017. Orders have also been placed for Mein Schiff 7 and 8 with deliveries in 2017 and 2018.
Catering to the German market is one of Port St. Maarten’s marketing strategies which has been promoted over the years while attending cruise conferences and speaking with the cruise lines.
The recent inaugural call of Britannia which caters to the British market, is another cruise vessel that Port St. Maarten has attracted which is part of the port’s strategy to cater and develop the European market in the area of cruise tourism.
Mein Schiff 3 has a gross tonnage of 99,526; length 962 feet; beam 117 feet; and has 1,253 state rooms and 2,500 lower beds along with a crew of 1,000.
TUI Cruises, is a joint venture of the German tourist firm, TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises.
PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R: Port St. Maarten official Ichel Moeslikan, Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Hon. Irania Arrindell, Captain of Mein Schiff 3 Ioannis Anastasiou.