In late 2007, it was announced that Germany-based TUI Cruises would form through a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and German shipping and travel giant TUI AG (which also owns U.K.-based Thomson Cruises). Both parties hold a 50 percent stake in TUI Cruises.
The aim of the Hamburg-based line is to provide the German cruise market -- an already thriving sector (with Carnival-owned AIDA and the upscale Hapag-Lloyd cruise division, another line owned by TUI AG) -- with another option for couples and families. TUI Cruises says "guests can enjoy space, relaxation and personal service."
On May 15 2009, TUI Cruises launched its first ship, "Mein Schiff," at the Hamburg Fish Market. TUI Cruises held a contest to determine the ship's new name -- and more than 11,000 people sent in over 30,000 suggestions. The winner was Mein Schiff, which translates to "my ship" in German.
Mein Schiff will be familiar with some cruisers -- the ship was transferred to the line from Celebrity Cruises
where it sailed as Celebrity Galaxy.