Cruise ships: Flagships of the European shipbuilding industry

Tankers or container ships “made in Germany ”? That was long ago. The production of these types of ships has collapsed. Most of the remaining orders go to Asia. The fact that Germany still has an efficient shipbuilding industry is thanks to the orders for passenger ships. Cruise ships, each an investment of several hundred million euros, are the pearls of German and European engineering – also thanks to the three successfully growing cruise lines in the TUI Group:Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Thomson Cruises and TUI Cruises.

Shipyards undergoing structural changes

As recently as ten years ago, German shipyards produced tankers, container ships and freighters with a contract value of around six billion euros. This corresponded to a share of just under 50 percent. In the meantime, this segment has fallen to almost zero. The value of orders for passenger ships, however, has increased from a good 6 to over 14 billion euros since then. The boom in tourism investments has boosted the specialized shipbuilding industry and its suppliers. For the second year in succession, the number of employees in German shipyards rose in 2016 by 1.9 per cent to 15,900 direct employees. Overall, the shipbuilding industry provides around 92,000 people throughout Germany with qualified jobs.

TUI: Important partner of Meyer Werft

This successful structural change would be unthinkable without the awarding of orders by German cruise operators. See the long-standing partnership between TUI Cruises and Meyer: since 2014 Meyer has been involved in Turku, Finland. At the same time, TUI Cruises placed construction contracts for a total of four cruise ships worth billions of euros with Meyer’s Turku shipyard. The construction will run over a period of five years. This planning security was critical for the investment and the growth of the company from Papenburg.

On course: Launch date: 1st June

The partnership between Meyer and TUI Cruises is a success story in German cruise shipbuilding. The most visible sign: on 1st June the new Mein Schiff 6 will be officially launched in Hamburg. It will have accommodation on board for around 2,500 passengers. Key highlights of the fourth new vessel of TUI Cruises:

  • Innovations: Like its sister ship „Mein Schiff 5“, „Mein Schiff 6“ will offer a concert hall for almost 200 guests. State-of-the-art technology will make a sound experience possible which will be comparable to that in a large concert hall. And thanks to the so-called hologram stage, artists like Ute Lemper and Dieter Hallervorden can perform live in a 3-D illusion on the high seas. The shows were exclusively recorded in Berlin. The company „TUI Cruises Program“, based in the capital, is one of the largest employers on the free cultural scene.
  • Emission controls: the latest ships in the fleet consume 30 percent less energy compared to other cruise ships of comparable size. The proven exhaust gas purification system also helps to significantly reduce ship emissions. The sulphur emissions are reduced by up to 99 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by about 75 percent – the main beneficiaries of this are the ports being visited.
  • Ressource protection: The “Mein Schiff” fleet is equipped with the innovative wastewater treatment system AWP (Advanced Water Purification), with which all wastewater is purified far beyond legal requirements. In addition, TUI Cruises is breaking new ground in reducing waste. Latest example: together with the project partner “United Against Waste”, TUI Cruises recently analyzed the incidence of food waste on board Mein Schiff 4 in order to assess potential savings. The findings will be implemented from summer this year in the form of concrete measures aboard “Mein Schiff 4” and then extended to the entire fleet.

TUI Cruises emphasizes: in the cruise segment, sustainable growth is possible from an economic and ecological perspective. In addition, the regions surrounding the ports that are visited enjoy significant benefits. This applies in particular to emerging and developing countries.

Hand-over of “Mein Schiff 6” with political support

On 6th May, the Turku shipyard handed over “Mein Schiff 6” to TUI Cruises in the presence of several members of the Tourism Parliamentary Committee of the German Bundestag.

Markus Tressel MP, Wybcke Meier (CEO TUI Cruises), Matthias Lietz MP, Patrick Schachtebeck (German Embassy Helsinki), Barbara Lanzinger MP, Heike Brehmer MP, Marc Drögemöller (Senior Manager Public Policy, TUI), Sabine Dittmar MP, Tanja Knittler (German Embassy Helsinki), Stephan Dehé (Director of the Committee Secretariat) (l. to r.)

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Cruise tradition from Germany

In addition to TUI Cruises, the TUI Group also owns the British Thomson Cruises, currently with five ships, as well as the oldest cruise company in the world: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The four Hapag-Lloyd ships are successful in the luxury segment. Expedition trips to the Arctic or the Amazon – inaccessible to ocean giants – are just as much a part of it as exclusive performances by outstanding artists. For example, Circus Roncalli was the first European circus on two summer trips aboard MS Europa 2. In 2019, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will put two new expedition vessels into service – built and equipped in Europe.

Meinhard Geiken,
Regional Director of Metal-workers Trade Union – Coastal Section

Cruise ships secure thousands of jobs

»The construction of cruise ships is an important factor for German shipyards. About half the total order volume is handled by Meyer Werft and MV Werften. They thereby secure more than 5,500 jobs. In addition, their suppliers provide jobs for several thousand employees. The shipyards are important industrial cores in Northern Germany. We expect support from politics: in the age of digitization the focus must be on the employees. Securing financing and promoting innovation and green technologies are further tasks«

Jan Meyer,
CEO of Meyer Turku

Key customers like TUI Cruises generate growth

»The orders from TUI Cruises were the key to the successful re-launch of the shipyard in Turku. The close cooperation between the Meyer Werft shipyard, Meyer Turku and the Neptun shipyard strengthens all the shipyards technologically and allows us to take an important growth step. The size and flexibility for our customers is now a key factor in the global competition. We offer TUI Cruises the latest technology – at the same time, we benefit from the expertise of the shipping company«.