So I’m breaking my rule about not posting while I’m on holiday, because this seems to be a significant development.
TUI announced today that Mein Schiff 1 and 2 will be passed to Thomson Cruises. Here’s the full quote:
In the framework of exercising our purchase option it was agreed that Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 will be moved to Thomson Cruises in the next few years in order to continue the modernisation of the UK cruise operations.
(I’m not clear what the ‘purchase option’ mentioned above refers to. It could be for the latest Mein Schiff new build, or it could be the completion of purchase of the first two ships from Royal Caribbean.)
Mein Schiff 1 & 2 were previously Galaxy and Mercury, sailing for Celebrity Cruises. They’re hardly new – coming up to 20 years old, in fact – but they were well-regarded. We cruised on Galaxy twice, and enjoyed both cruises. With the arrival of Splendor of the Seas in the next year or so, the Thomson fleet will soon look very different from previously. I think this is another major step forward for Thomson, and further reduces their links with and dependence on, Louis Line (or Louis Cruises), the owner of several, if not all, of the existing Thomson fleet.
The only remaining question is: will TUI renumber the remaining Mein Schiffs?