TUI Cruises fleet
Review of TUI Cruises
TUI Cruises is a Joint venture cruise line of TUI AG (German Tourist company), and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (American cruise line operator). The company is based in Hamburg, Germany and started operations in 2009.
TUI Cruises started operations by acquiring Celebrity Galaxy, built by Meyer Werft and owned by Celebrity Cruises - another RCCL subsidiary. The cruise ship left the fleet of Celebrity on March 16, 2009. After buying Celebrity Galaxy, the vessel headed to Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany where she arrived on March 27, 2009 to received a 38-day, €50 million conversion. Galaxy upgraded her facilities to suit German-speaking market and was re-christened on May 15, 2009 in Hamburg, Germany to Mein Schiff (translated as "My Ship" from German). TUI planned to build a couple of 100,000 GT, 2,500-passenger cruise ships in 2011 and 2012.
- On May 27, 2010 it was revealed that another Century-class cruise ship, Celebrity Mercury, would join TUI fleet as Mein Schiff 2. Before the refit, Mein Schiff was renamed to Mein Schiff 1. The new ship entered service in February 2011 after an extensive refurbishment, including the addition of design elements, more verandas and expanded wellness area, found also on Mein Schiff 1.
- On September 27, 2011 TUI and STX Finland announced a contract to costruct a 97,000 GT ship named Mein Schiff 3, scheduled for delivery in 2014. The vessel is 968 ft (295 metres) long and approximately 118 ft (36 metres) wide, with 1,250 staterooms, most of which featuring balconies, and a capacity of 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew. The ship has several dining venues, a theater, a nightclub and a spa.
- The contract included an option for a second ship and on November 5, 2012 it was announced that TUI had ordered the second option for the sister to Mein Schiff and the ship will be named Mein Schiff 4. Mein Schiff 3 entered service on April 22, 2014.
- In March 2015, RCI (Royal Caribbean International) announced they had agreed to sell ms Splendour of the Seas to TUI Cruises company in the second quarter of 2016. TUI would lease the vessel to Thomson Cruises in order to replace ms Island Escape.
- TUI Group announced in May 2015, that as part of the modernization strategy of the group, Mein Schiff 1 and 2 would be transferred to Thomson Cruises company over the next few years in order to continue modernisation of UK cruise operations.
The Hannover travel group TUI AG, whose shares are main listed in London, keeps an upbeat outlook of cruise shipping activities. The company owns 100% of Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten and 50% of premium market TUI Cruises.
In its interim result statement in August 2015, the line said that TUI underlying EBITA had grown by EUR 11 million in the quarter, which reflected the full year profit of Mein Schiff 3 (operated since June 2014) and the launch of Mein Schiff 4 (June 2015).
In addition, the remarkable turnaround of Hapag-Lloyd and EUR 4 million benefit from refinancing of ms Europa 2 meant that TUI Cruises delivered an EUR 21 million increase in underlying EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization).
- In May 2015, TUI AG Supervisory Board and the Board of Royal Caribbean decided to convert into firm orders the purchase options for the newest Mein Schiff 7 and Mein Schiff 8 (scheduled for delivery in 2018 and 2019), as the German market is enjoying further growth.
- The new liners will be slightly larger than their predecessors, offering 2,860 lower berths each. Both vessels will be built by Meyer Turku just like all new TUI ships. The deal will be financed within TUI Cruises Joint Venture with no further contribution from TUI AG and Royal Caribbean, which owns the other half (50%) of TUI Cruises.
- The newest TUI Cruises ship, Mein Schiff 5, was launched on January 15, 2016 at Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. Ferdinand Strohmeier, Vice President Operations TUI Cruises, was present for the float out ceremony, following a 14-month construction period. Together with head of the shipyard, Dr. Jan Meyer, and other members of the project team of Mein Schiff 5, he opened the bulkheads to flood dry dock.
The newbuild will be towed to the outfitting pier close to the shipyard where its interior and exterior areas are to be fitted out over the following months. 1,500 employees are involved in the construction of Mein Schiff 5, and with 72% of the work complete, the yard is right on schedule.
The launch took place 6 months to the day ahead of ship's scheduled naming ceremony at Lübeck Bay near Travemünde, July 15.
After her naming ceremony, the maiden voyage of Mein Schiff 5 will take place July 16-24, round-trip from Kiel, Germany. The cruise will call at Tallinn, Saint Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. The vessel will spend summer operating varied cruises to the Baltic, Norway, northern and western Europe. The Caribbean is planned for the winter.
TUI Cruises Experience
TUI Cruises concept is for German-speaking vacationers who opt for premium cruise experience. The onboard product of the line is custom-tailored for the tastes of Germans and encompasses food, amenities and entertainment. German is the main language used onboard TUI Cruises ships.
- TUI Cruises is geared to German-speaking couples, families and older folks.
- Highlights on Mein Schiff include 13 bars and lounges, as well as a refurbished steak house and sushi restaurant.
- Passengers can relax as all dining is open seating and they don't have to book for dinner.
- Beer and wine with dinner are included in cruise fare.
- One very European touch is that each cabin features an espresso machine providing the kick-start to the day.
- The primary entertainment venue is the Theater, which offers two nightly shows. The cinema also doubles as a lecture room. There are also multiple clubs and discos.
- TUI Cruises ships offer a casino and gambling ranges from blackjack to 5-cent slot machines.
- Mein Schiff ’s duty-free shops offer liquor, jewelry, perfumes.
- Various activities are provided daily, such as bingo and computer classes, but fewer options are available when the ships are in port.
- There are outside saltwater pools and hot tubs, as well as freshwater pools located under greenhouse-like roofs.
- Other highlights include a 1,700-sq.metre Japanese-style Spa area operated by Steiner which boasts private spa suites, recliners for relaxation and a 2,200-sq.metre pool deck with private areas.