TUI orders Mein Schiff 7 and 8; Thomson to receive Mein Schiff 1 and 2

By ,   July 2, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

TUI Cruises and Meyer Turku signed an agreement to build Mein Schiff 7 and Mein Schiff 8 in Turku. The order further strengthens shipyard's order book, which already contains a high work load until 2020.

According to Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises, the company had "firmly established itself in the German-speaking market", with occupancy of the fleet totaling over 100% last year. In 2015, demand had also been excellent with bookings being currently taken for five ships. Meier added that further expansion provided a great opportunity to strengthen their position with "one of the most modern fleets in the German market".

Mein Schiff 4 was delivered successfully from Meyer Turku on May 8, 2015. Mein Schiff 5 and 6 are scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The ships ordered yesterday are to be delivered in 2018 and 2019.

The UK-based brand in TUI AG group, Thomson Cruises, will receive Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 following the delivery of the two 99,300-ton newbuilds ordered yesterday will enter service. According to a statement by the line, the newbuilds planned for 2018 and 2019 would successively replace Mein Schiff 1 and 2. 

Both ships were built for Celebrity Cruises in the mid-1990s and went through substantial renovation before joining the based in Hamburg company that employs the vessels at the moment.

Next year, Thomson will receive Splendour of the Seas (built 1995) from Royal Caribbean to replace Island Escape (1982). The ship will be renamed Thomson Discovery, and will be managed and owned by TUI Cruises, which is 50% owned by TUI AG and 50% by RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd), the second largest cruise shipping group in the world, that also owns Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

TUI AG intends to replace the existing fleet of Thomson Cruises with larger, owned tonnage.