HANOVER / HAMBURG – Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet will receive two new ships. With this move, TUI Group consistently continues its strategic transformation to a hotel and cruise group. The Group will further expand its own hotel and cruise portfolio. The world’s number one tourism group will invest in two newbuilds for its Hamburg-based subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The two new 5-star expedition vessels are scheduled for launch in the spring and autumn of 2019, respectively, following 20 months of construction. Including the two luxury cruise ships “Europa” and “Europa 2” as well as the expedition vessel “Bremen“ there will be five ships of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet fully owned by TUI Group. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Sebastian Ebel, member of the Executive Board of TUI Group in charge of Cruises: “The cruise business is one of the key elements of TUI’s growth strategy. Our ambitions are underpinned by our investment in the two new ships for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ luxury and expedition cruise segments serve as world-class benchmarks.”
Karl J. Pojer, CEO Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: “Hapag-Director Albert Ballin invented modern ocean cruises 125 years ago. We are perfectly positioned in the luxury market with our cruise ships “Europa” and “Europa 2”. In the anniversary year, we are charting the course for the future. We already operate successfully in our expedition segment, which offers growth potential for 5-star cruises. Our newbuilds will help us to further develop the expedition segment and offer a modern interpretation. They will also serve to strengthen our leading position in this market, in particular at the international level.”
The two ships will be built at the Norwegian Vard shipyard of Vard Holdings Limited, a shareholding of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard. The vessels will be equipped with state-of-the-art technological features and environmental technology. With PC6, the highest Polar Class designation for passenger ships, they will be able to cruise in polar regions in the Arctic and Antarctica, but also in warm water destinations such as the Amazon. On-board Zodiacs will allow landings in otherwise inaccessible expedition areas. The ships will also feature a water sports marina.
TUI Group currently operates a 14-strong cruise fleet with its subsidiaries Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and UK-based Thomson Cruises and the joint venture TUI Cruises.