The expedition ship would follow Hanseatic Nature and Hanseatic Inspiration, both scheduled for 2019 delivery from Fincantieri's Vard. This 16,100gt series has capacity for 230 passengers and a high ice-class rating.
Strong cruise segment growth
TUI Group announced the decision in reporting strong growth in its cruise segment and narrowed losses for the group overall during the first half of 2018.
'Forecasts for cruising are excellent. German and European holidaymakers are beginning to embrace this way to travel,' TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen in presenting the results on board the new Mein Schiff 1 in Hamburg Wednesday.
'Due to demographic change, traditional target groups are growing. At the same time, sea voyages are becoming increasingly popular among families and younger people. The convergence of these two very promising trends will further accelerate growth over the next five to 10 years. And we are only at the beginning of this trend,' Joussen said.
Additional new vessels will be delivered to TUI Group’s cruise subsidiaries in 2018, 2019 and 2023 to further expand their market position. Following the boards' green light, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will soon begin the planning and negotiation process for the third Hanseatic-class ship.
'This market is growing strongly. Thanks to its experience, competence and high quality standards, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers great potential to attract new international customer groups and deliver stronger growth in the expedition cruise segment,' Joussen said.
Group turnover up 7%, losses narrowed
In the first half (October through March), TUI Group increased its turnover by 7.2% to €6.81bn, up from €6.35bn. Losses were narrowed to €200.2m, down from the €308.6m loss in the first half of 2017.
EBITA loss was improved by 29.8% to a loss of €192.3m, including several one-off effects and compared to the prior year EBITA loss of €274.1m.
In the group's cruise division, first half EBITA was positive, and showed a 23.2% gain, to €92.4m, up from €75m.
Cruise brands' average per diems, occupancy
TUI Cruises grew its average rate per passenger day to €148, up €1, while occupancy was 98.9%, compared to 99.7%. At Marella Cruises, the average per diem was £136, up from £127, while occupancy was steady at 99.6%. And at Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, average per diem increased €5, to €600, and occupancy rose to 76.4% from 73.8%.