The new cruise ship from Meyer Werft began its first voyage without incident. The 240 meter long and 30 meter wide “Silver Ray” started early on Sunday morning around 2:30 a.m., an hour earlier than planned, with the approximately 40 kilometer long Emspassage from Papenburg to the North Sea. “Everything is going well and according to plan. We are well ahead of time in good conditions,” said Peter Hackmann, spokesman for Meyer Werft, on Sunday.

The ship was supposed to pass the Ems barrage around midday and then reach the Dutch port of Eemshaven. Despite subzero temperatures early in the morning, the ship transfer once again attracted numerous onlookers along the Ems.

“The nice thing about the ship is that it looks like a ship and not like a skyscraper,” said an older couple from Leer. Marco, a passionate ship watcher from Otterndorf, said he “set off extra early so as not to miss the ship because it is a beautiful ship.”

Because of the better maneuverability, the “Silver Ray” was driven backwards across the Ems towards the North Sea. Two tugs supported the maneuver. The command lay with the Emden Pilots’ Brotherhood. The Ems pilots have been responsible for the Ems transfers of Meyer Werft cruise ships for many years. The transfer was previously practiced in the simulator.

After passing the Ems barrier, the ship should be turned and then the tug’s special adapter devices should be released. After technical and nautical tests on the North Sea, “the ship then moves forward under its own power towards Eemshaven,” as Meyer spokesman Hackmann said.

The ship left the shipbuilding hall at the end of February. The sister ship, the “Silver Nova”, was delivered to the shipping company Silversea Cruises last summer. It has a hybrid drive system that uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as fuel cells and batteries. This should make emission-free operation possible in the port. On board the ship there are, among other things, eight restaurants, several bars and lounges, a casino and a fitness center. It can accommodate 728 passengers.

Due to the lull in orders as a result of the corona pandemic, Meyer Werft had to extend its orders in consultation with the shipping companies. Before Easter, Meyer Werft announced a new order from the shipping company Carnival Cruise Line. There had already been another one in February.

The order book of the traditional Emsland company now includes six cruise ships, a research ship and the steel construction for four offshore converter platforms. The company employs around 3,000 shipyard employees and secures orders for numerous suppliers and service providers in the region. According to a report, the company has to repay a loan of 550 million euros by November 2024.