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 that caters for German market.

In its interim result statement, 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, 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.

According to TUI, Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 will both be moved to Thomson Cruises in order to continue modernisation of UK cruise operations.