Hamburg, 9 May 2023

15 years of TUI Cruises - Company anniversary under the banner of sustainability

On course for climate-neutral cruises

  • Company-wide strategy bundles measures and sets concrete targets for sustainability at all levels
  • First ocean cruise company in the world with SBTi-validated emissions reduction targets

This year TUI Cruises celebrates a small anniversary: the joint venture between TUI AG and the US cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. celebrated 15 successful years on the seas. From the very beginning, environmental protection and resource conservation have been a natural part of the work of the Mein Schiff crew on board as well as the employees ashore. Now, in its anniversary year, the Hamburg-based cruise company continues to move forward: with a new sustainability strategy and an ambitious climate protection plan for its two brands Mein Schiff and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Together with the TUI Group, TUI Cruises has successfully had its emissions reduction targets for climate protection independently verified. Based on the latest climate science and the Paris Climate Agreement, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validates emission reduction targets from companies worldwide. The independent initiative is supported by the environmental organization WWF and the UN Global Compact, among others. By 2030, TUI Group's cruise businesses will reduce their absolute CO2 emissions by more than a quarter (27.5%) compared to 2019. This not only makes them the first in their industry to have their reduction plan endorsed by the SBTi. No other ocean cruise company in the world is currently committing to such an absolute, strictly controlled climate protection target. 

Here, the main levers for the ambitious decarbonization program are the use of low-emission fuels (e-fuels) such as green methanol and sustainable bio-fuels, the consistent use of green shore power in ports, and ambitious energy efficiency measures on board the fleets.

The new, ambitious sustainability strategy combines the experience of 15 years of work for more sustainable cruising with a clear vision for a climate-neutral future.  Developed by a cross-company team, led by Lucienne Damm, Head of Sustainability, the strategy sets out exactly what specific actions will be taken to achieve the sustainability goals. Following the recently published TUI Group Sustainability Agenda, the TUI Cruises sustainability strategy is based on the three pillars Planet, People, Progress and defines the fields of action for the future: climate protection through fuel transformation and energy efficiency, as well as a circular business model and protection of ecosystems (Planet); destination responsibility through shore excursions with a low environmental footprint and a sustainably focused supply chain along the entire value chain, as well as raising awareness of sustainable products among customers and employees (People); plus sustainable business transformation through re-design of products, promotion of innovation and digitalization, and the further integration of sustainability into the company's core processes (Progress).

Sustainability as a corporate tradition

The fact that all employees ashore, like the crews on board, are informed and involved has a long tradition in the company. Environmental officers were already on board the first ships of the Mein Schiff fleet, entrusted with the task of implementing the environmental standards of the headquarters on board and continuously looking for opportunities for improvement. The combined experience of the ships' environmental officers and TUI Cruises' sustainability experts in Hamburg flowed into the cruise company's first own new build, Mein Schiff 3, whose keel-laying will be the tenth anniversary next month. With state-of-the-art exhaust gas cleaning, recycling and energy efficiency measures, it has become the model for the cruise company's newbuild and retrofit projects to date: the ongoing search for groundbreaking innovations in order to become more sustainable with every shipyard visit and with every new vessel.

Environmental protection also has a long tradition at Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. History was made during the construction of the EUROPA 2, which was one of the first cruise ships to be equipped with a shore power connection back in 2013. In the expedition newbuilds of the Hanseatic series, investments were made in environmental technologies as standard, such as catalytic converters and shore power connections. 

Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises: "For us, this anniversary year is one full of anniversaries. Not only are we celebrating our fifteenth anniversary as a company. Ten years have also passed since we laid the keel of Mein Schiff 3. With the ongoing sustainability work on all our newbuilds and conversions since then, we have created the youngest and cleanest fleet on the German cruise market. We are steadily pursuing this path with our commitment to concrete reduction targets, which have been confirmed by the independent SBTi. Construction has just begun on Mein Schiff 7, the first ship in our feel-good fleet that will be able to run on green methanol and thus, in perspective, almost CO2-neutral. It will embark on its maiden voyage next spring, exactly ten years after Mein Schiff 3. We are keeping our sights firmly set on being able to offer our first climate-neutral cruises in 2030."

About TUI Cruises

TUI Cruises GmbH is one of the leading cruise operators in German-speaking countries. The joint venture between TUI AG and the US cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. employs around 750 people in Hamburg and Berlin. A fleet of seven ships sails for the Mein Schiff brand. Since the end of 2020, the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises brand has also been part of TUI Cruises GmbH with a fleet of currently five ships. The Mein Schiff fleet offers contemporary holidays at sea in the premium segment (Mein Schiff 1 to Mein Schiff 6 and Mein Schiff Herz / bed capacity: 17,800). Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is one of the leading cruise brands in the German-speaking world in the luxury and expedition segment with a 130-year history. TUI Cruises operates one of the most modern and environmentally and climate-friendly fleets in the world. In the course of sustainable growth, three more new ships are planned until 2026.