TUI Cruises

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Review of TUI Cruises

TUI Cruises is a Joint venture cruise company between TUI AG (Germany), and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (American corporation). The company (based in Hamburg) was founded in 2008 and started operations in 2009. On April 22, 2018, the cruise line celebrated its 10th anniversary. As of 2018, fleet's capacity is 14,784 berths, serving over 0,5 million passengers annually. During the 10 years of service, the six Mein Schiffs handled around 2,2 million passengers, visited over 200 seaports and covered around 2,9 million km (1,8 million ml).

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In 2015-2016, TUI Group reported a turnover of EUR 17,8 billion (company's record) and operating result of EUR 1 billion.

  • The corporation's portfolio consisted of 14 vessels (TUI, Thomson and Hapag-Lloyd brands), several large tour operators, around 1600 travel agencies (including online portals), over 300 hotels (around 214,000 beds) and 6 airlines (over 150 aircraft).
  • The list of TUI-owned airlines includes Corsair International (France), TUI Airways (UK), TUI fly Belgium, TUI fly Deutschland, TUI fly Netherlands, and TUI fly Nordic (departures from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway).
  • In FY2016 (fiscal year 2016), TUI Group cruises had a 60% growth (over FY2015) in earnings, with EBITA of EUR 130 million (EUR 81 million in FY2015). The reported growth came from the corporation's two main markets - Germany and the UK.

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, EUR 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 UK / Marella 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 / Marella over the next few years in order to continue modernisation of UK cruise operations.

The Hannover travel group TUI AG (listed at London Stock Exchange) 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).

TUI Mein Schiff cruise ship

  • In May 2015, TUI AG Supervisory Board and the Board of RCCL / Royal Caribbean decided to convert into firm orders the purchase options for the newest Mein Schiff 7 and Mein Schiff 8 (later renamed to Schiff 1 and Schiff 2 / scheduled delivery in 2018 and 2019), as the German market is enjoying further growth. 
  • The new liners are be slightly larger than their predecessors, offering 2,860 lower berths each. Both vessels are built by Meyer Turku Finland just like all new TUI ships. The deal was 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.

Around 1500 employees are involved in the construction of each Mein Schiff vessel.

TUI Mein Schiff cruise ship

 

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