TUI and longstanding partner Royal Caribbean Cruises are expanding their TUI Cruises joint venture with the takeover of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to speed up growth in the luxury holidays market.
TUI Cruises, created back in 2008, will acquire the luxury cruises operator, which has been valued at €1.2 billion, from TUI Group in a move freeing up the German group’s balance sheet. TUI explained that the transaction is in line with its previously stated objective to deliver additional profitable growth at a lower level of capital intensity.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will be integrated into TUI Cruises and expanded to attract new customer segments for luxury, expedition and premium cruises. The merger will create "a leading European cruise company" with a current combined fleet of twelve ships.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, seen as the leading provider of luxury and expedition cruises in German-speaking markets, currently has a fleet of two luxury ships within the five star plus category and three expedition cruise ships. A further expedition cruise ship has been ordered and will be added to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' fleet in 2021 to replace MS Bremen. In light of the transaction it is possible that the luxury and expedition fleet will grow in the coming years.