TUI AG (TUI1.DE)
and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL)
announced today they will launch a new joint venture serving the German cruise market. The new company, TUI Cruises, will begin service with one ship, in early 2009, and grow quickly with two newbuilds planned for 2011 and 2012. Sales and marketing will commence earlier in Spring 2008. Both partners will hold a 50 percent interest in the joint venture, which is subject to regulatory and board approvals before completion.
The first ship to operate under the TUI Cruises brand
will undergo renovations before entering service. Once deployed, it will not only enhance the German cruise market, but also meet the sophisticated needs of German-speaking customers seeking a contemporary/premium cruise experience. The onboard product will be custom-tailored to German tastes, and encompass food, entertainment and amenities. German will be the language used onboard as well.