TUI Cruises will expand its fleet to have nine vessels in 2026

It will destine two new boats to the German market to compete with Aida Cruises

TUI Group wants to boost its cruise business, which grows most along with its hotels, with an expansion plan for its fleet that will allow its TUI Cruises brand to reach the nine ships by 2026 from the six current cruises in service, according to plans unveiled by the German giant.

The largest tourist group in the world operates in the maritime segment with the brands TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Aida and has focused on the first to boost its cruise business. TUI Cruises has yet to receive a new ship in 2019 –which will replace one of its current ships– and another one in 2023. It has also asked for new ones to the Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which will be delivered in 2024 and 2026, within the framework of the expansion of the ‘join venture’ of TUI and Royal Caribbean Cruises to 50%. As a result, the ‘Mein Schiff’ fleet will grow to nine ships in 2026.

TUI Cruises is significantly developing its position in the German cruise market where its rival AIDA Cruises, the brand of Carnival Coporation, which has a market share of 45%. Currently, TUI Cruises itineraries are focused on the Mediterranean (32%) and in its winter program highlights Canarias (17%) as a reference in its offer.

In Germany will position TUI Cruises these two new vessels that will be identical with a size of 161,000 gross registered tons (GRT) and powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), which allows to reduce by 30% the fuel consumption in boats of comparable size . The two boats will be the largest built in Italy.

DIRECTS TWO NEW BOATS IN ITALY

“The decision to execute the two new additional fleet constructions planned for the commissioning of liquefied natural gas in low emissions in 2024 and 2026 is a logical continuation of our environmental strategy”, explains the CEO of TUI Cruises, Wybcke Meier . Until 2022 the plans of the brand set their offer in more than 41,910 cabins, which will be expanded with the two new boats.

As for its other brands, Hapag Lloyd-Cruises, which has three ships (‘MS Europe’), specializing in luxury cruises and expeditions, especially in German-speaking markets, has three deliveries of new ships pending in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and, in parallel, this year they will dry one of their boats. As for Marella Cruises, positioned in the United Kingdom, with six ships will leave on land one in 2019.

Adding all the brands, the cruises already contribute 25% to the gross operating result (Ebitda) of the group from the 10% that it supposed in 2014. By 2019, according to the group’s data, its sales on cruises already reflect an occupation of 21% .