TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) have continued the expansion strategy for the TUI Cruises joint venture by ordering two more cruise ships.
Subject to financing, the order was firmed up on 12th July. All contracting parties agreed not to disclose the financial details.
The two identical ships will be built at the Monfalcone yard of Fincantieri and their commissioning is planned for 2024 and 2026. They will be of 161,000 gt and will be LNG fuelled.
“With the new class of ship, we are responding to the wishes of our guests and creating offerings that will also inspire new cruise passengers to spend a holiday on board with us. As with the other ships in the fleet, the passenger/space ratio remains generous,” said Wybcke Meier, TUI Cruises CEO. “Further details of the ships will be announced at a later date.”
Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO, added: “These will be the largest ships ever built in Italy. We at Fincantieri have once again demonstrated to offer to the market with the best equation of reliability and ability to innovate, pillars of the ‘Made in Italy’ products and which identify Fincantieri in the world shipbuilding scenario.
“The project allows us to add TUI Cruises as a new and outstanding brand to our customer portfolio. Furthermore, it is also a cutting-edge reference to our products from a technological point of view,” he said.
All the newbuilds are characterised by their energy efficiency and consume around 30% less fuel than ships of comparable size. They are also equipped with a combined exhaust after-treatment system consisting of a scrubber and catalytic converters, which reduces sulfur emissions by up to 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 75% and particulate emissions by up to 60%.
“The decision to run the two additional newbuilds of the fleet planned for commissioning in 2024 and 2026 on low-emission liquefied natural gas is a logical continuation of our environmental strategy,” explained Meier.
As a result of the new orders, the Mein Schiff fleet will grow to nine ships by 2026.