TUI Group: Slow Cruise Recovery, But Bookings Accelerating

Reporting its first half 2022 results on Wednesday, TUI Group said it had all 16 of its cruise ships back in operation covering the TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleets.

“Compared to our other segments, Cruises recovery is expected to be slower with short-term bookings continue to represent a large share of overall bookings,” the company said.

“We see H2 2022 calendar year building steadily. Bookings are currently trending at higher rates for all three cruise brands, in comparison to prior years.” it added, in its earnings release.

The company reported a 52 percent occupancy rate for its TUI Cruises brand for the first half of 2022; 39 percent for Hapag-Lloyd; and 51 percent for Marella.

For TUI Cruises, January, in particular, was impacted by short-term Omicron-related amendments, resulting in the cancellation of itineraries and a temporary operational pause for part of the fleet. Four ships (out of seven) operated in January, five ships operated in February, returning to six ships from March as Omicron-related travel restrictions eased during the quarter. (Mein Schiff 5 already in use as a vaccination hub until February and Mein Schiff Herz in pre-planned lay-up until April).

Occupancy of the operated fleet in the second quarter was 51% as a result (Q2 2021: 34%). Q2 average daily rate of operated fleet was €138, up 55% versus prior year (Q2 2021: €89), with cruises operated in the Canaries, the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and United Arab Emirates during the second quarter, versus shorter average duration “Blue Cruises” operated in the prior year.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises saw the same short-term Omicron-related amendments, resulting in the cancellation of itineraries and temporary operational pause of two ships, with three (out of five) operated in January and February, returning to full fleet of five from March as Omicron-related restrictions eased during the quarter. Q2 average daily rate of operated fleet was €606, an increase of 61% on prior year (Q2 2021: €376), reflecting the resumption of worldwide itineraries versus European cruises in the prior year. Q2 occupancy of the operated fleet was 29% (Q2 2021 Q2: 29%), reflecting the previously discussed factors.

Similarly to Mein Schiff and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Marella operated a partial fleet throughout the second quarter, with just one ship (out of four) in operation in January, two in February and three in March as Omicron-related restrictions eased. Q2 average daily rate of was £156 and occupancy was 53%, versus a previous Q2 which saw operations suspended in line with UK government travel advice.

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