Sebastian Ahrens, managing director of the German cruise operator Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will be leaving at the end of the year for personal reasons, according to a company statement.

Ahrens has been leading Hapag-Lloyd Cruises since 2003. His responsibilities included product management, sales, touristic operations, as well as marketing and public relations. Prior to his management position Ahrens was a partner at McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm, and involved in the strategic repositioning of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

"We thank Mr. Ahrens for his dedicated work and wish him all the best and continued success both in his professional career and his private life", said Dr. Michael Frenzel, chairman of the Executive Board of TUI AG/ Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TUI Travel PLC.

Ahrens departure comes amidst rumors that Hapag-Lloyd Cruises may be folded into TUI Cruises.