German tour operator FTI Group will end operations at its cruise line as part of a groupwide restructuring. The business change was a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said. It operated just one smaller cruise ship, the 9,500 gt Berlin (IMO 7904889), which had been anchored in Malaga since lockdown.
The tour operator purchased the Berlin in August 2011 at the launch of its cruise line FTI Cruises. The ship accommodated just over 400 passengers and was marketed primarily to the German-speaking luxury market. The ship mostly operated cruises in the Caribbean, with some in the Mediterranean and elsewhere in Europe.
The company will give up the FTI Cruises brand as of November 1st, the end of its current fiscal year. FTI also marketed cruises on a range of other cruise line’s ships.
FTI said that no decision had yet been reached regarding the future of the cruise ship Berlin.
The Berlin was originally operated by another German tour company, Delimann, which sold it to UK-based Saga Cruises in the 1980s, which ran her for the next seven years as the Spirit of Adventure. She returned to the German market and was renamed FTI Berlin after FTI acquired the ship in 2011.
FTI’s decision means that four small cruise lines have announced in recent weeks that they would be leaving the business, following Pullmantur, Birka, and CMV. The moves have an implication for the larger cruise line companies, because older ships were often sold on, on credit, to the smaller operators.
1980-built, Malta-flagged, 9,570 gt Berlin is owned by FTI Cruises Ltd care of manager FTI Cruises GmbH of Munich, Germany. ISM manager is Columbia Cruise Services of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with Skuld (Business unit Skuld Hamburg) on behalf of FTI Cruises Ltd.