A unity of sound and light

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg launches “Mein Schiff 6” cruise liner

A musical genius goes maritime: Iveta Apkalna, head organist of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, launched the cruise liner “Mein Schiff 6” on behalf of the spectacular new concert hall. During the ceremony an June 1, the fourth new addition to the Hamburg based TUI Cruises’ feel-good fleet was moored just beside the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s new landmark.

Joined by six cruise officers in uniform, Iveta Apkalna spoke the crucial words “I hereby give you the name of Mein Schiff 6” at last night’s launching ceremony, which could be heard not only on the ship but also on the Plaza, the Elbphilharmonie’s public viewing platform. Using a baton, Ms Apkalna then gave the signal for the bottle of champagne to be broken against the ship’s bow. Visibly moved, she remarked: “For me as an organist, stage performances are part of everyday life. However, launching a cruise liner on behalf of the Elbphilharmonie has been a unique experience that I will surely remember for a long time. Today, I am representing the Elbphilharmonie. For me it is the world’s most important concert hall – a truly unique cathedral of music.”

Cruise liner as a resonating body

The Mein Schiff 6 left the cruise terminal of Hamburg-Altona at 9 pm last night and then made its way up the River Elbe to the Elbphilharmonie to prepare for the launching ceremony. In keeping with the tagline “Mein Schiff wird Musik”, the event’s music programme was kicked off, during which the ship was transformed into a resonating body. First, the Mein Schiff 6 and the Elbphilharmonie welcomed each other with performances by two shanty choirs. This was followed by the world premiere of a music piece inspired by the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, which was specifically composed for the event. Drawing on the idea of a sound sculpture, the composition featured various different groups of instruments to highlight the Elbphilharmonie’s extraordinary musical diversity and its role as ambassador. The performing artists on board the ship included an opera singer, a DJ, a rock guitar player, a laser harp player as well as a string quartet.

And yet the event was not only a feast for the ears, but also for the eyes as the music programme was supported by an impressive light show visualising the unity of cruise ship and concert hall. Once the champagne bottle shattered, the Elbphilharmonie bathed the Mein Schiff 6 in blue light, and at 10:45 pm a grand fireworks display was set off in the sky above the River Elbe. The cruise liner then departed on its maiden voyage. Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises, explained: “The Elbphilharmonie provides extraordinary experiences, and at TUI Cruises we strive to do the same. For us it was important to design an event that reflects these shared values. So even with the Elbe between them, the Elbphilharmonie and the Mein Schiff 6 became one.” For more information on TUI Cruises, please visit www.tuicruises.com.

This year’s launching ceremony for TUI Cruises’ fourth new vessel was mainly dedicated to the fans of TUI Cruises’ feel-good fleet. More than 1,950 passengers booked tickets for the exclusive launching event, which included the subsequent maiden voyage from Hamburg to Kiel.

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