In keeping with the ever-growing size of cruise ships sailing from Dubai, TUI Cruises has confirmed that it too is upgrading its tonnage in the region from Mein Schiff 6 to the newer and larger Mein Schiff 2.
Mein Schiff 2 was delivered in 2019 and is around 12,000 gross tons larger than Mein Schiff 6, which is currently homeporting in Dubai for the 2022/23 cruise season.
She carries 100 more passengers and offers 12 restaurants and bistros, 15 bars and lounges, 2 pools, 4 Jacuzzis, a gym, spa, theatre, casino, and more.
Mein Schiff 2 will replace Mein Schiff 6 for the 2023/24 winter cruise season in Dubai. The ship will arrive in the Arabian Gulf on October 28th, after a 15-night repositioning voyage from Antalya, Turkey.
The first cruise of the season will be a 7-night roundtrip from Dubai departing October 19th, 2023. She’ll sail 17 of these 7, 8 and 9-night itineraries in the Arabian Gulf until March 11th, 2024, when she’ll retrace her repositioning cruise to Antalya.
The majority of Mein Schiff 2’s roundtrip Dubai cruises will be 7-night itineraries visiting Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat, and Khassab, while her 8 night cruises will also include port calls at Sir Bani Yas Island, a cruise island destination off the coast of the UAE.
The 9-night itinerary departing Dubai on Christmas Day features all of these ports, with an extra night in port in Dubai at the end of the cruise, so that guests can watch the famous Burj Khalifa fireworks.
TUI Cruises is a German cruise line and predominantly targets its German home market with fly-cruise packages. It has been homeporting annually in Dubai for more than ten years, but Mein Schiff 2 will be the largest ship its ever deployed to the region.
The itineraries on offer are a great way for German cruise tourists to experience the diversity of the Arabian Gulf, from the gleaming modernity of Dubai and cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi to the historic feel of Muscat, sleepy seaside relaxation of Khasab and the Caribbean feel of Sir Bani Yas Island.
In Muscat, passengers can admire the colorful Sultan’s palace and the Jelali and Merani forts, stroll through the markets and narrow alleys and browse in the bustling souks, or head out into the desert to explore the oases and the medieval Nakhl Fort.
Khasab is an eclectic and off-the-beaten-path port with pristine seas and jagged peaks set amid the mountains of the Musandam Peninsula near the Strait of Hormuz. Here, guests can explore the small port or take a dhow cruise along the Strait of Hormuz or a humpback dolphin watching excursion on the bay.
Doha, Qatar’s capital and largest city is fronted by a broad sea-front corniche and offers the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art, home to the largest collection of Islamic artifacts in the world and the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, housing everything from cars to stamps and ancient treasures.
Sir Bani Yas Island is unique for its dedicated cruise beach, but the island is also home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, which takes up half the island, and because it’s a natural island that’s been inhabited for millennia, there are over 40 archaeological sites. Activities on the island include game safaris, snorkelling, kayaking and history hikes.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, the same country in which Dubai is located, but while Dubai is the party and shopping hub of the region, Abu Dhabi has a more cultural flair, home to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and soon to open Guggenheim.