TUI Cruises has placed an order with STX Finland for the construction of a 97,000gt cruise ship to be delivered in spring 2014, with an option for a second. The 2,500-passenger vessel will have a length of 295m by 36m, with 1,250 cabins, most of which will have balconies. The newbuild will have a crew of 1,000 and, according to STX, ‘represents the next generation of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cruise ships’. This order will come as a relief to the Turku yard, which has not had a cruise order on its books since Allure of the Seas was delivered last November.
The new ship will be the third ship in TUI’s fleet, joining the smaller 1,886-passenger, 76,522gt sisters, Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2, formerly Celebrity Galaxy (1996) and Celebrity Mercury (1997) respectively, of Royal Caribbean subsidiary Celebrity Cruises. Established in May 2009, TUI Cruises is a joint venture between Royal Caribbean and German travel giant TUI AG.