Christening ceremony for the MS RheinGalaxie in Düsseldorf

KD's New Flagship enriches the region's tourism infrastructure
April 22, 2022 will go down as an important date in the history of Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt GmbH (KD). This was the date of the ship christening ceremony for the MS RheinGalaxie, KD’s new flagship – all much later than planned. The luxury liner was originally scheduled to launch in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties in operations associated with this led to delays in the construction process. “This meant that the anticipation for this magnificent event boat lasted much longer,” said Chairman of the KD Board Dr Achim Schloemer at the christening ceremony, which was attended by nearly 350 invited guests from the worlds of politics, business, tourism and the Düsseldorf community. The guests and many onlookers on the banks of the Rhine eagerly awaited the highlight of the day, the ship’s christening. This was preceded by the ecumenical blessing of the ship, the crew and the future guests on board by city dean Frank Heidkamp from Düsseldorf Catholic Community Association and by Superintendent Heinrich Fucks from the Protestant Church District of Düsseldorf.

Premiere as ship godmother

The ship’s godmother was Dr Heike Döll-König, long-standing Managing Director of Tourismus NRW. She stood in for TV presenter Bettina Böttinger, who unfortunately had to pull out at short notice from the event she had been long looking forward to. Heike Döll-König mastered her first assignment as a ship’s godmother with flying colours. With a firm voice she gave the christening speech: “I hereby name you RheinGalaxie. I wish you and your crew all the best and always a hand’s breadth of water under the keel.” Then she really let rip, sending the champagne bottle smashing into the ship’s hull at precisely 11:42 a.m. Immediately afterwards, the crew unveiled the name “RheinGalaxie” on the bow. The ship’s horn sounded as confirmation of the successful christening.

Frank Heidkamp, Dr. Heike Döll-König, Dr. Achim Schloemer, Heinrich Fuchs, Josef Hinkel, Mirko Fichte

A real gem of a gift to the state capital

For godmother Heike Döll-König, the christening ceremony was, in her own words, “a magical moment and a special experience.” The tourism expert emphasised the importance of the event ship MS RheinGalaxie as a huge enrichment for the tourism infrastructure. “People far beyond the region’s borders will be envious of us having this ship. It is wonderful to be able to advertise that such a fantastic ship will connect our beautiful towns on the Rhine in the future.”

Its home port is Düsseldorf. “We are delighted to give the city the great gift of the RheinGalaxie. We believe that the state capital deserves an event ship of this calibre,” said Achim Schloemer. The mayor of Düsseldorf Josef Hinkel was of the same opinion. “The ship is a real gem that will give the people of Düsseldorf a lot of pleasure. People enjoy taking cruises on the Rhine. They also want to celebrate in a pleasant and sophisticated atmosphere,” said the entrepreneur, who is also a big fan of Carnival in his hometown of Düsseldorf.

"We believe that the state capital deserves an event ship of this calibre,” said Achim Schloemer

"The hottest event venue on the Rhine”

These words were music to Achim Schloemer’s ears. Köln-Düsseldorfer hopes, says the Chairman of the Board, that the MS RheinGalaxie will become the “hottest event venue on the Rhine. We can hold our own alongside any event venue on land.” Th e KD Chairman sees huge growth potential in the charter and event business. “KD has gained a lot of experience in this area over the past 20 years. Now we are venturing into the market with a dedicated event boat and thus safeguarding the future of our company,” underlined Schloemer.

At the same time, KD is a pioneer when it comes to sustainability. Th e MS RheinGalaxie is one of few inland navigation vessels to have the most state-of-the-art engines currently on the market. These comply with the Euro 5 rules and feature a diesel particulate fi lter and an SCR system. KD has been committed to the expansion of environmentally friendly shore power facilities for some years. Just recently, in cooperation with RheinWerke (a subsidiary of Düsseldorf Stadtwerke, the city utilities company, and Rhein Energie Köln) and Netzgesellschaft Düsseldorf (a subsidiary of Stadtwerke Düssel dorf), four fl oating jetties operated by KD were electrifi ed and put into operation in the state capital. Of course, the MS RheinGalaxie is equipped with two Powerlock connections for drawing shore power. Th is means that the ship can be supplied entirely by shore power when moored at Burgplatz

Maiden voyage with invited guests

Maiden voayage

Guests and onlookers watching the ceremony

Crew of MS RheinGalaxie

Dr. Achim Schloemer with godmother Dr. Heike-Döll König and mayor Josef Hinkel

“The MS RheinGalaxie is one of few inland navigation vessels to have the most state-of-the-art engines currently on the market.”

Milestone in KD history

The traditional company Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt GmbH has raised the bar with its spectacular new ships many times in the past. Eleven years after christening the MS RheinFantasie, KD is literally reaching for the stars with the MS RheinGalaxie. The event ship is 85 metres long and 14 metres wide. It offers space for up to 1,000 guests. Construction costs totalled 14.5 million euros. The multifunctional ship features cutting-edge technology and high-quality equipment. “We have invested more than half a million euros in light and sound alone,” Achim Schloemer explains. Like its predecessors, the event liner with the fine-sounding name is a one-off. The ship is characterised by the straight axe bow, making it clearly stand out from similar passenger ships with a curved bow.


Fully equipped theatre stage on the main deck

Sky Lounge

Spectacular views from the “Star Rock”

The guests at the christening ceremony were able to see the comfort, innovative design, unique sense of space and outstanding extras for themselves during the ship's 90-minute maiden voyage along Düsseldorf ’s old town. They were just as impressed as the visitors who explored the MS RheinGalaxie a few days later on the “introductory round trips”. The ship will mainly be operated in the Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn area. With its fully equipped theatre stage positioned to the side, a huge open deck with open-air dance floor and covered DJ booth, the ship is perfect for spectacular events, company functions, conferences, parties and pleasure cruises. The absolute highlight is the open-air deck of approximately 1,200 square metres in size featuring staggered levels. There is also a glass “Skywalk” and an additional viewing platform called the “Star Rock”.

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