Now three new expedition ships are to be built in Norway for the TUI-owned cruise company.
TUI Group is investing in another new-build for its Hamburg-based subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, having already signed up similar ships with the Vard shipyard in Norway.
The new expedition ship, to be named Hanseatic Spirit, will launch in the second quarter of 2021. It will be the fleet’s first ‘adults-only’ ship.
Two more expedition ships will be added to the fleet before this – Hanseatic Nature in spring 2019 and Hanseatic Inspiration in autumn 2019. They will be vying for customers in an increasingly crowded expedition cruise market.
The expedition ships, which TUI says will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology, are structurally identical and will be built by Vard, which is a subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri. No financial details have been released.
The vessels will have the highest ice class for passenger ships, PC6, which means they will be equipped for the Arctic and Antarctica as well as for tropical destinations such as the Amazon.
“Our expedition segment is already a success and offers potential for growth in the five-star segment that we want to harness with these three new ships,” said Karl Pojer, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises chief executive.
“With the new ships, we are launching a new expedition class and strengthening our leading position in this segment.”
He added: “By investing in the new Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ ships, TUI Group is underlining its strategy for this cruise segment and the importance of our luxury brand to the group portfolio.”