TUI Cruises, which is a joint venture between the German tour operating company TUI and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd (RCCL), which is the world’s second largest cruise shipping company, says it has ordered two ships at Meyer Turku Shipyard in Finland.
“TUI Cruises GmbH and Meyer Turku Oy signed an agreement for two cruise ships. This order further strengthens the order book of the shipyard, which contains now a high work load until the year 2020,” said Meyer Turku in a statement.
To be called Mein Schiff 7 and Mein Schiff 8, they will be the fifth and sixth unit in a class of 99,300 gt ships TUI Cruises has contracted from the yard. They will be delivered in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Two of the ships have already been delivered, while the two first vessels of TUI Cruises came from RCCL’s Celebrity Cruises unit.
“TUI Cruises has firmly established itself in the German-speaking market, with occupancy of our fleet totaling more than 100% last year,” said Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises. “This year, demand has also been excellent so far – with bookings currently being taken for five ships. A further expansion provides a great opportunity to strengthen our position with one of the most modern fleets in the German market.
“We are very happy and proud to continue our successful partnership with TUI Cruises by adding two new cruise ships to this advanced fleet of ships built by the yard in Turku. We are also working on further improving the ships again”, said Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. “For Turku shipyard this order is of great importance. We have now a solid platform to operate the shipyard at an output of 30% above the 2015 level until 2020. We have now the long term view and stability to plan investments and further recruitments – i.e. to work on our competitiveness in the long run.”
The Meyer family, who also owns a cruise ship building company in Papenburg in Germany acquired the Turku yard from STX Europe, part of the South Korean STCX Offshore & Shipbuilding group, last year. The Finnish company was facing a shortage of orders and financial difficulties at that time.
These are now behind it because in addition to the TUI Cruises order portfolio, it is building a 49,000 gt fast ropax ferry to Tallink, the Estonian ferry group, and two 180,000 gt cruise liners for the Carnival group.