Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Galaxy will become the first ship of TUI Cruises, a new cruise brand established through a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and TUI AG.

"Celebrity Galaxy has been a treasured member of our family of ships since her maiden voyage in December 1996, and the outstanding crew onboard will continue to offer the service with style Celebrity is known for right up until the shift to TUI Cruises," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "We look forward to transitioning those fine shipboard colleagues to the balance of the Celebrity fleet as we grow the brand with our new Solstice class."

"We are very pleased to have Celebrity Galaxy become the first ship in the new TUI Cruises fleet," said TUI Cruises CEO Richard J. Vogel. "We look forward to customizing the ship for our German customer base, growing our brand, and providing our guests with an incredible vacation experience."

TUI Cruises is designed for German-speaking guests seeking a contemporary/premium cruise experience. The onboard product will be custom-tailored to German tastes in food, entertainment and amenities.

Celebrity Galaxy will complete its scheduled sailings through the March 2, 2009, itinerary. It will enter service for TUI Cruises in May 2009 under a new name, and will sail in the Baltic in the summer season, and in the Caribbean in the winter.

Celebrity Galaxy joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in December 1996 and was built by Jos. L. Meyer GmbH & Co. of Papenburg, Germany. Celebrity invested $4-million in a series of upgrades on the ship this month, including new carpeting, upholstery and lighting in a variety of public spaces and staterooms. The 77,713 gross-registered-ton ship carries 1,870 guests (double occupancy) and 909 crew.