TUI Group said it was expecting continuous strong growth in cruises for the coming years, therefore the Executive Board has decided to increase the cruise line’s capacity.
For example, ‘Mein Schiff 2’, which was due to transfer to TUI’s UK subsidiary Marella Cruises, will now remain with TUI Cruises. Including the new ‘Mein Schiff 2’, due for delivery in 2019, TUI Cruises’ fleet will grow to seven ships.
At the same time, Marella Cruises will also continue to modernise its fleet, as TUI UK & Ireland will purchase the ‘SkySea Golden Era’ from Royal Caribbean Cruises following the demise of its joint venture Chinese operation.
TUI said that the investment equates to the initial plans for the acquisition of ‘Mein Schiff 2’. Following extensive renovation, ‘SkySea Golden Era’ will be re-launched as ‘Marella Explorer 2’ in 2019.
Sebastian Ebel, member of TUI Group’s Executive Board in charge of Cruises, said: “We will continue to invest in our cruise portfolio and expand, modernise and rejuvenate our fleet. With these decisions, we increase the offer at TUI Cruises and accelerate the expansion of this growth segment.“
Changes within TUI Cruises’ fleet earmarked for this summer will be implemented as scheduled – the new ‘Mein Schiff 1’ will be delivered in May, while the original ‘Mein Schiff 1’ will transfer to Marella Cruises’ fleet as ‘Marella Explorer’ as planned.
In 2019, the new ‘Mein Schiff 2’ will join the Mein Schiff fleet and in the same year, the Hamburg-based TUI subsidiary, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, will gain two new luxury expedition cruise ships, ‘Hanseatic nature’ and ‘Hanseatic inspiration’.
For 2023, TUI Group recently announced a further newbuilding – ‘Mein Schiff 7’, which will join TUI Cruises’ fleet.
These fleet addition will increase the size of the fleet operated by the Group worldwide to 18 cruise ships from the 15 currently operated by its subsidiaries – TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Marella Cruises.