Start of construction of the new LNG-powered cruise ship TUI

It’s been a productive week for German cruise line TUI Cruises, which operates the famous fleet of Mein Schiff ships.

Just a week after the business started for Mein Schiff 7steel was cut for the first of two 160,000 gross ton LNG-powered cruise ships.

The new builds will be completed by 2024 and 2026, when they will be the two largest cruise ships in TUI’s fleet. TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The company was founded in April 2008 and is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.

Next-generation eco-friendly cruise ship

TUI Cruises has reached a new milestone in the company’s history by cutting the first steel for the first of two LNG-powered cruise ships to Centro Servizi Navali in San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy.

The two 160,000 gross ton cruise ships will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, based on a prototype project developed by the shipyard.

The new concept will elevate the cruise line to compete with the most modern and environmentally friendly cruise fleets in the world.

Photo courtesy: TUI Cruises

While ships will initially run on liquefied natural gas, in the future ships will be able to run their engines on bio- or E-LNG, a biofuel derived from the processing of organic waste streams.

This would open the door for cruise ships to use their onboard waste streams to produce biofuel to power the ship.

Luigi Matarazzo, Managing Director of Fincantieri’s Merchant Ships Division: “With the project of this new class of ships for TUI Cruises, Fincantieri contributes to the ecological transformation of the cruise industry. We are studying the possibility of using biofuels, which will give further impetus to the decarbonisation of the sector.

The first of two new vessels will enter service in 2024, followed by the second vessel in 2026. With the addition of Mein Schiff 7which also entered the construction phase this week, the two new ships will bring the size of the fleet to nine cruise ships.

Photo courtesy: TUI Cruises

Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises: “We look forward to further developing the Mein Schiff concept with Fincantieri. We are confident that by offering even more variety, we will entice even more new cruisers to vacation with us on board in the future. At the same time, the passenger-to-space ratio will always remain generous, as will the proportion of cabins with balconies.

Both Mein Schiff 8 and Mein Schiff 9 would have room for around 4,000 guests and 1,100 crew.

TUI sets ambitious goals

While most of the cruise industry has set goals for sailing without emissions for 2050TUI sets the target 20 years earlier.

By 2030, the cruise line aims to be completely climate neutral. As a cruise line that already offers some of the most environmentally friendly cruise ships, the company intends to further build on that reputation.

“The investment in LNG-powered ships is an important step on the way to emission-free and climate-neutral cruising. LNG serves here as a transition technology. In perspective, we will use BIO LNG, which is produced either from biogenic sources or synthetically from renewable energy,” explains Wybcke Meier.

By introducing shore power for its ships, as well as a gasification system that turns all carbon-based waste – including food, sewage, paper, wood, plastics and oils – into a flammable gas, bio-oil and charcoal, the company hopes to exceed targets set by the cruise industry.

TUI also launched the construction of the 111,100 gross ton Mein Schiff 7 this week, which will enter service in 2024. This vessel will be able to run on green methanol. Mein Schiff 7 is a sister ship of Mein Schiff 1 and 2.

TUI Cruises