German ship gets warm welcome from Harbour Group CEO

POSTED: 11/24/11 8:29 AM

St. Maarten – “We are happy to have you in port. Your business is important to us.” Those were the words Chief Executive Officer of the Harbour Group of Companies Mark Mingo used to welcome the captain Kjell Holm and the crew of Mein Schiff 2 on Wednesday. The vessel which carried mostly German passengers has St. Maarten as part of a Caribbean itinerary that also includes La Romana in the Dominican Republic, Barbados and Tortola. The ship will arrive in the morning every other Wednesday and stay until 11:00 p.m.

The new vessel decided to come to the island because of a direct marketing effort that the Harbour Group undertook in 2002 on recommendation of then Tourism Commissioner Theodore Heyliger, who is now Deputy Prime Minister and Shareholder Representative for the Harbor. Heyliger also attended the plaque exchange to mark Wednesday’s inaugural call.

Mein Schiff 2, a modified Celebrity Cruise vessel that carries 2, 000 paseengers, is only the second ship in the TUI fleet. The ship has been modified to maximize public spaces and amenities and the casino has been replaced with a lounge area. A third brand new vessel will be delivered next year. Holm predicts that TUI’s relationship with St. Maarten will grow even further once that third vessel sails out of the shipyard next year.

Mein Schiff 2 is the second cruise ship to make an inaugural call to St. Maarten for the 2011/2012 high season. Celebrity Silhouette was the first, having done their inaugural call on November 14. They were back on Wednesday alongside Mein Schiff 2, Adventure of the Seas, Ruby Princess, Oasis of the Seas and Carnival Dream. The presence of the six ships means there were 20, 000 cruisers and over 10, 000 crew members that spent the day in St. Maarten.


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