Carnival Corp. has announced that it has signed a letter of intent to operate two German cruise brands -- its existing AIDA Cruises, and a new line to be called TUI Cruises -- via a new joint venture with the world's largest tour operator, TUI AG.
Though both lines are being developed for and marketed to German-speaking passengers, the TUI brand will target a different segment of the market than AIDA, which is aimed at younger, more active travelers, according to a Carnival Corp. statement. AIDA may be unfamiliar to North America-based cruise travelers, but is actually a German affiliate of Carnival Corp.'s Italy-based and internationally recognized Costa Cruises.
Details about the first TUI ship are limited; so far we know that it will carry approximately 3,000 passengers and will be delivered in the spring of 2010. AIDA currently operates a four-ship fleet; four additional ships are under construction at Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard and are set to launch between 2007 and 2010.
The new joint venture company will be managed under the direction of Costa Cruises' Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi; its president will be AIDA Cruises' President Michael Thamm.