TUI Cruises exercises newbuild option at STX Finland

tui shipNOVEMBER 5, 2012 — Germany's TUI Cruises has exercised an option for a second cruise ship from STX Finland. The announcement was made as first steel was cut at the Turku Shipyard for the Mein Schiff 3, set for delivery in spring 2014. Production of the second ship will start in summer 2013 and it is scheduled for delivery in spring 2015.

The sister ship is expected to be delivered from STX Finland Oy's Turku shipyard in May 2015. The impact on employment is estimated at 5,500 person-years of employment.

Finland's state owned export credit agency is the guarantor for the newbuilding's post-delivery buyer credit which is to be financed through Citibank and Finnish Export Credit Ltd.

The guarantee granted by Finnvera covers 95 per cent of the approximately EUR 360 million buyer credit. The loan period is 12 years from the delivery of the vessel. The beneficiary under Finnvera's guarantee is the credit arranger, Citibank, with Finnvera's subsidiary Finnish Export Credit Ltd providing financing for the credit.

"In connection with shipbuilding contracts, the buyer practically always requires that long-term post-delivery export credit financing is committed before the contract is signed. Finnish companies' competitiveness in capital goods exports is supported by a scheme where Finnvera grants the export credit guarantee and Finnish Export Credit Ltd provides financing for  the export credit granted to the buyer by the bank," explains Topi Vesteri, Finnvera's Executive Vice President.

Both Mein Schiff 3 and the newly announced sister ship will be 99,300 grt, about 294 m long and 36 m wide. Each will have 1,250 staterooms, serve 2,500 passengers and have a crew of 1,000 persons. The cruise ships will have many environmentally friendly features, with a particular emphasis on energy efficiency (see earlier story).

"We are extremely pleased that TUI Cruises confirmed the order of the sister ship for magnificent Mein Schiff 3 cruise ship. We have today reached this milestone of production start of the first ship after a well performed and intensive basic design phase. After this production start, manning on this project will increase significantly during the coming months to reach the maximum level before summer next year," says Jari Anttila, EVP and COO of STX Finland.

"After being just four years in the business and after successfully putting two ships on the market - Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 - we are proud to proceed with building our first new ship and that way continue the growth of our fleet," says Richard J. Vogel, CEO of TUI Cruises. "We have been extremely busy with the planning over the past two years, but now things are really starting to move."

TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

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