Tui Group has confirmed it is seeking partners to finance new Marella Cruises ships.
Speaking on a full-year financial results call this morning, Tui chief executive Fritz Joussen said the financing structure for its line Marella “will go off balance sheet”, similar to its strategy for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
Joussen insisted for Marella customers “nothing will change”.
“We will get partners – either existing or new – to finance new ships,” he clarified.
The group confirmed today it had made annual savings of €400 million euros (raised from the previous €300 million) and that action would be needed to release cash going forward.
"We have a clear strategy for Marella," said Joussen.
“Ships need to be in separate investment vehicles. We did that for Hapag-Lloyd and will do it for Marella as well.
“No agreement has been reached on Marella. It’s clear we want to do it but it is how.
“We are certain we will find a solution, but with whom is not clear.
“There is enough interest in the sidelines.”
Joussen added: “When the crisis is gone there will be an enormous scarcity of supply in the cruise business.
“Old supply has been scrapped, orders have been cancelled and so when the demand kicks in it will be so much bigger than supply.
“That will attract fresh money.”
Asked about selling off assets, Joussen said “non-core” hotels might be sold.
“We will not sell our club brands.
“For the assets which are very important for the group we will keep full control and marketing.
“The real estate model might be different – more in line with standard hotel operating models.”