TUI has launched its newest venture, TUI River Cruises, with what was described as a stylish christening ceremony complete with pyrotechnics and a champagne smash officially named TUI Cruises’ first ship, TUI Maya with newly appointed godmothers, Rosie Brooks and Catherine Hawkins, on Friday.
Guests then embarked on an overnight sailing to Boppard to explore the delights of the Rhine.
Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Cruise TUI UK & I said: “We are delighted to finally launch TUI River Cruises and had a fitting celebration to get TUI River Cruises sailing in style. The team have worked tirelessly to get to this launch, and they’ve done a sensational job. The initial feedback we’ve had has been incredible and we’re now all really excited to welcome our first customers this weekend.
“People have been impressed by the elegant design and contemporary feel and surprised by how spacious the ship is.
“It was also a pleasure to have our amazing godmothers onboard to officially christen TUI Maya. TUI launched a nationwide search for its godmothers last year and out of 750 applications found the perfect candidates in Rosie Brooks an illustrator from London and Catherine Hawkins, a college exam officer from Barnsley. Both Rosie and Catherine have a passion for exploration which made them top of the list and their desire to cruise truly came out making them the ideal godmothers.”
Godmother to TUI Maya, Catherine Hawkins said: “I still can’t believe I have been chosen to be a godmother for TUI River Cruises. I feel so proud and honoured – what a privilege! I love to travel, explore new places and embrace new experiences so I feel a new door of exploration is about to open! I can’t wait to get started cruising those rivers!”
Rosie Brooks, godmother to TUI Skyla said: “I am thrilled to become a river cruise godmother, it’s so exciting! After having been at home, dreaming of adventures, I can’t wait to get out and explore again. The chateaus and gateaux cruise looks phenomenal, I have been dreaming of it all throughout lockdown. I think that will be my next one. To be able to travel again will be incredible, I can’t wait to explore all the sights the rivers of Europe, it is going to be amazing!”
The ships have been transformed with multi-million pound make overs to combine beautiful contemporary design with classic comfort, according to a press release.
With two restaurants, two bars and deck areas designed to allow for relaxing, wellness and more strenuous activity, there’s something for every type of explorer.
First customer sailings set sail on 15 August on the Moselle Valley itinerary visiting German hotspots, Frankfurt, and Koblenz as well as lesser-known destinations, Trier, Piesport and Oberwesel taking in picture-perfect landscapes bursting with history.
Winter sailings are proving increasingly popular with customers as international travel resumes, allowing guests to get back to visiting new destinations. Setting sail from Oct. 31, customers can enjoy four new themed sailings on the Rhine.
TUI River Cruise customers can get into the festive spirit with the new itineraries visiting Germany’s Christmas markets and big-name cities, with 11 festive itineraries now on offer over winter 2021 and winter 2022.