TUI, Carnival scrap joint cruise venture

TUI has ditched plans for a joint venture with cruise firm Carnival. The tour operator said that: “the extremely difficult environment with regards to competitive law”.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two businesses were planning to launch a new TUI Cruises brand, with the first TUI Cruises 3,000-bed ship to be delivered in 2010.

Carnival said it will continue to “organically” expand its presence in Germany by building ships and operating trans-Atlantic routes.

Full statement

TUI AG and Carnival Corporation today announced that they will withdraw their anti-trust filing with the relevant authorities for a joint venture to develop a new cruise brand.


TUI and Carnival had planned a joint venture and had filed this with the relevant authorities. Reason for the withdrawal is the extremely difficult environment with regards to competitive law making it impossible to close the transaction in Carnival’s current business year. Failure to do so would create adverse tax consequences for the companies and would have a severe impact on the economies of the transaction. TUI and Carnival have, therefore, decided not to implement the joint venture in the proposed form.

TUI AG will stick to its plans to expand its own cruise activities. This will now happen mainly within the framework of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises today operates four cruise liners and is one of the leading operators of premium and luxury cruises in the German speaking market. The fleet includes the MS Europa, the only ship in the world rated with ‘5-Stars Plus’ by the Berlitz Cruise Guide. In the British market, TUI’s subsidiary, TUI Travel, also operates five cruise liners under the Thomson Cruises brand as well as two ships under the Island Cruises brand.