Mein Schiff 3 (photo: Oliver Asmussen)TUI Cruises has announced that CEO Richard Vogel has decided to leave the company after nine years to take on what the company called a top management assignment outside of TUI.

Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises, said: "I regret his decision. With his management strength and passion, he built TUI Cruises up to a dynamic and successful company, and for this I am very grateful."

Vogel commented that having built up a successful and profitable brand and now introduced its first new ship, it was a good time to change course.

A successor is expected to be named in the next few weeks.