TUI Cruises has placed the order for the refitting of the company's second ship with Lloyd Werft. As was the case with Mein Schiff 1, the new ship in the fleet will undergo a comprehensive refit in Bremerhaven. TUI Cruises will take over Mein Schiff 2 on 28 February 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland USA, before sailing it over to Bremerhaven to be taken into the dry dock on 14 March. The ship will undergo its refit there, being modified to reflect the TUI Cruises concept in the process. The investment volume for the refit amounts to 50 million euro.

"On the basis of our extremely positive experience with Lloyd Werft when Mein Schiff 1 was being refitted in 2009, we are convinced that we have found the right partner for the refitting and redesigning of our second ship", is how the situation is summed up by Richard J. Vogel, CEO of TUI Cruises. "Lloyd Werft offer us top-class know-how and maximum reliability in constructional terms", Vogel continues.

"We are delighted that TUI Cruises have come back to us with the order for the refit of their second ship. As was the case with Mein Schiff 1, in this phase once again there will be up to 2000 of our workforce working on the ship at the same time. The wide-ranging work involved will be undertaken in collaboration with a large number of partners," according to RĂ¼diger Pallentin, management spokesman for Lloyd Werft.

Just as with Mein Schiff 1, there will be additional outside cabins with balconies installed in Mein Schiff 2. Once the work in the dry dock has been completed, the new 'feel-good' ship will have a total of 956 cabins. Of the 646 outside cabins, 422 will feature a balcony or a veranda. The hull of the ship will have what is termed a 'duck tail' built on to it. This steel sub-structure will weigh in at around 340 tonnes and will effectively offset the weight of the new balconies and verandas. The feel-good concept will be rolled out into the public areas of the ship. This will see the fitness and spa area extended, with the gastronomic faculties also being renewed or converted, in line with the Premium All-Inclusive concept already launched with Mein Schiff 1 at the end of October 2010.

Originally built in the Meyer yard, MS Mercury is currently sailing under the flag of the American Celebrity Cruises company, also a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises, like TUI Cruises. The ship was taken into service in 1997. A confidentiality agreement has been signed in respect of the purchase price involved.

Mein Schiff 2 will be renamed on 14 May 2011 in Hamburg. The next day the new ship will set out on its maiden voyage which will take its guests to Great Britain, France, Belgium and Sweden.