Royal Caribbean is selling one of its oldest vessels to Thomson Cruises. In spring 2017, the 1,832-passenger Legend of the Seas will be transfered to the UK cruise line and will be sailing as TUI Discovery 2. No financial details for the deal have been disclosed yet.
The 69,130 GT ship entered service for Royal Caribbean in 1995. The final sailing of Legend of the Seas for the US company will start on March 13, 2017.
Thomson Cruises previously acquired Splendour of the Seas which has been renamed TUI Discovery ahead of entering service in summer 2016 following a refurbishment.
All crew and officers working on Legend of there Seas remain with the line and will be transferred to other ships worldwide after the vessel leaves Royal Caribbean International fleet.
The member of the TUI Group executive board and responsible for its northern region, David Burling, said:
“We continue to grow and invest in our own hotel and cruise portfolio. The introduction of ‘Tui Discovery 2’ in May 2017 will accelerate our transformation programme for Thomson Cruises.
“We are moving quickly to renew our fleet. With this ship, Thomson Cruises will be able to capitalise on strong growing demand. It is also our goal to enhance earnings opportunities in the future.“
With the Mein Schiff 7 and Mein Schiff 8 delivery for TUI Cruises, Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 will be acquired for Thomson Cruises fleet in 2018 and 2019, signalling 4 ships in 4 years for the UK cruise brand.
Nick Longman, TUI UK and Ireland managing director said:
“We’re looking forward to welcoming ‘TUI Discovery 2’ to our growing fleet in 2017 as we bring to life our modernisation strategy to benefit UK cruise customers.
“This ship will offer something for everyone, helping to attract a broad and new customer base.
“At the same time, we will ensure our cruise holidays maintain their friendly intimate feel, delivered by the friendliest crew at sea, not forgetting the focus we place on sailing to unique destinations that Thomson Cruises are well known for.”
TUI Group currently features a fleet of 13 cruise ships via its subsidiaries Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Thomson Cruises and TUI Cruises. According to Royal Caribbean:
“This transaction will result in an immaterial gain which will be recognised upon delivery of the ship”.
Richard Fain, Company chairman and CEO said:
"Since its inaugural sailing, Legend of the Seas has created many wonderful memories for hundreds of thousands of guests, and we expect this successful history to continue as she transitions to Thomson Cruises.
"While she will be missed, her transition supports our objective of moderate capacity growth."
Information on the cancelled Legend of the Seas cruises (Australia, repositioning, Mediterranean) and on other Royal Caribbean itinerary changes is available at CruiseShipSchedule.com