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Tui Group plans luxury and expedition cruise expansion through Hapag-Lloyd brand

Hanseatic INSPIRATION, Hapag-Lloyd, cruise, ship, expedition, TUI
photo_camera Hanseatic INSPIRATION, Hapag-Lloyd

Tui Group and Royal Caribbean have revealed that Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will be folded into Tui Cruises as part of a €1.2 billion plan to expand in the luxury, expedition and premium sectors.

Hapag-Lloyd will be integrated into the Tui Cruises joint venture, established by Tui and Royal Caribbean in 2008. The move, according to a statement, will “allow Tui to participate in global cruise industry growth at a low level of capital expenditure”.

The merger of Tui Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd under the umbrella of the joint venture will create a European cruise company with a combined fleet of 12 ships. The statement added: “In light of the transaction it is possible that the luxury and expedition fleet will grow in the coming years.”

Hapag-Lloyd recently unveiled Hanseatic Inspiration, the second of three new-build expedition ships.

Once the deal is complete,  Tui Cruises will continue to cater to the “premium German-speaking segment and Hapag-Lloyd will continue to have an exclusive presence in the luxury and expedition ship segment”, the company stated.

Tui CEO Fritz Joussen said: “The ships’ identities, service, quality and customer experience will remain as individual and unique as they are today.

“We’re changing the ownership structure behind the brand to facilitate stronger, faster and capital-light growth. At the same time, we use the proceeds to drive TUI’s digital transformation.

“Products and brands such as MS Europa and MS Europa 2 have international potential and appeal. Going forward, this will enable us as shareholders to take a capital-light approach to financing the ships and international growth within a joint venture framework.

“Tui and Royal Caribbean Cruises have developed the joint venture company on the basis of a strong partnership over the past 10 years. The expansion decision is the next big step of growth for us – from a strategic and a commercial perspective.”

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