As the Cruise Lines International Association CLIA revealed in its outlook for the cruise sector, demand for expedition cruises remains strong. Cruises to the eternal ice or discovery cruises on the Amazon increasingly appeal to travellers’ adventurous spirit. “The potential in the expedition cruise segment exceeds supply more than threefold,” predicts Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. TUI Group’s shipping line therefore continues to enhance its pioneering role in this market: Two new luxury expedition cruise ships will set sail from 2019, appealing to even more customers in the luxury segment thanks to the comfort and lifestyle offered.
Start of construction for the new build
The first steel cut on 9 May 2017 marked the official start of construction of the first of two new builds to be operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The official start signal for the construction of HANSEATIC nature was given at the VARD shipyard in Tulcea, Romania. The new builds will contribute to the further development of the expedition segment and represent a modern interpretation, aiming to strengthen Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ leading position in this market, in particular at the international level. “The cruise business is one of the focus areas of TUI’s growth roadmap. Our investment in the two new ships for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises underpins our ambitions,” said Sebastian Ebel, member of TUI Group’s Executive Board in charge of Cruises.
Inspired by nature
HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration will feature cutting-edge technology and eco-engineering. They will accommodate up to 230 guests, or up to 199 guests on Antarctica cruises. With the highest ice class for passenger vessels, they will cruise in Polar waters in the Arctic and Antarctica but also in tropical destinations such as the Amazon or the South Seas. On-board zodiacs and e-zodiacs with eco-friendly electric drive systems allow for landings in remote expedition areas, without access to a port. They also feature a marina for water sports. Both in the naming and design of the ships, the focus was on providing authentic experiences of nature and a taste of exploration and adventure. The keel laying of HANSEATIC nature will take place in June 2017. The ship naming ceremony and the maiden voyage are scheduled for April 2019. The second new build, HANSEATIC inspiration, will launch six months later.
TUI Group currently pursues a growth roadmap for each of its three cruise lines. Apart from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the German cruise line TUI Cruises and the British cruise line Thomson Cruises will launch new ships in the market.