In some places, a 10th anniversary is celebrated with gifts of aluminum or tin. TUI Cruises is doing it with steel.
The Hamburg-based cruiseline – a 50-percent joint venture by Royal Caribbean and the Anglo-German tourism company TUI AG, which lays claim to being the world’s biggest – is marking its first decade this month by revealing that the seventh ship in its fleet will be delivered in 2023.
“I’m looking forward to the next 10 years of TUI Cruises – we have big plans,” says TUI Cruises CEO Wybcke Meier. “Of course, we also want to celebrate this with our guests” so they too look forward to TUI’s future.
In the near term, a new version of its Mein Schiff 2 is already being built in Finland’s Meyer Turku shipyard, slated to enter service next year.
And there’s more. Last month, TUI christened the all-new Mein Schiff 1, replacing the original of that name after it was transferred to sister line Marella Cruises. When TUI Cruises launched business with that vessel, it had been sailing as the Celebrity Galaxy. It was followed by Mein Schiff 2, the former Celebrity Mercury, before the company began planning and ordering newbuilds, adding four more ships to the fleet.
The freshly christened flagship of the fleet is longer and roomier than its older namesake and includes all of the “well-being” elements – and more – that the cruiseline has used in marketing to the German-speaking world.
“The impressive new 50-meter wide steel-and-glass window structure that makes up the new Diamond at the aft of the ship just above the propellers is a good example how we combine architectural design with our engineering skills supported by sophisticated computer models,” says the shipbuilder’s CEO Jan Meyer. “Innovations, strengthening our Turku team and our 200 million euro investments in Finland well in advance are our way to compete with our mostly government owned and supported competitors.”
Marketing its European and Caribbean itineraries to couples and families with themes of well being, relaxation and spaciousness, TUI noted that its first open-air fitness area was built on Mein Schiff 1’s deck 15 and includes a climbing wall and a graded and lighted jogging track for nighttime trots. The area is covered for all-weather activity.
Besides an expanded food-and-beverage offering of 12 restaurants and 15 bars and lounges, a “creative kitchen” presents guests with tastings and workshops to stretch their culinary minds.
TUI’s perfectly practical naming convention – Mein Schiff (“My Ship”) 1, 2, 3, etc., can make things a little confusing. It started with the line’s first cruise ship when it was chosen from among 30,000 suggestions sent to a naming contest TUI held to come up with something original.
And like RCL, TUI Cruises is dedicated to the environment. Its newbuilds include innovative technology that reduces sulphur emissions by up to 99 percent and particulates by 60 percent.
TUI says its purposefully growing fleet has covering about 1.8 million miles while carrying more than 2 million guests to some 200 ports during its first decade.