News in Brief

New cruise ships and more flights

TUI Cruises, Nicko Cruises, airlines Corendon and Germania, and tour operator Bentour are in the news this week.

TUI Cruises’ fourth vessel, Mein Schiff 4, has been officially christened by German swimming star Franziska von Almsick in a high-profile ceremony in Kiel, and will launch cruises this summer. CEO Wybcke Meier declared: “It’s not only the most expensive but also the most attractive ship in our fleet.” With the new vessel and the year-round operation of Mein Schiff 3, TUI Cruises will increase capacity by 47% this year. But Meier stressed: “This has been nearly completely absorbed by the market. 91% of the capacity has been booked as of end-May.”

Insolvent German river cruises firm Nicko Cruises will stay afloat until the end of the 2015 season in October, operating 22 of its 32 vessels. Various scheduled cruises from June 17 onwards will be combined in order to ensure financially viable services for the coming weeks. However, customers will benefit as they will either receive upgrades or longer cruises, according to the company.

Turkish leisure carrier Corendon Airlines is expanding flights from Germany to Antalya with additional flights in August and September. The flights, totalling 24,000 extra seats, are from Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Munich, as well as from Zurich, on Saturdays and Sundays. Overall, Corendon, with a fleet of 13 planes, will operate 30 weekly flights from Germany and Zurich to Antalya this summer.

Berlin-based charter airline Germania will double weekly flights to Palma from 22 to 46 in summer 2016. The independent carrier will operate mostly from regional airports to Majorca, including Bremen (13 flights), Dresden and Friedrichshafen (both daily), Düsseldorf, Erfurt, Kassel, Münster/Osnabrück and Rostock. In addition, Germania, which already flies to Tel Aviv, will add a second route to Israel in winter 2015/16 with twice-weekly flights from Düsseldorf to Eilat.

Turkey holidays specialist Bentour Reisen is expanding its winter programme with the addition of packages in Bodrum and Mamaris, as well as golfing holidays in Belek, Izmir and northern Cyprus.