Annual Report 2017 Annual Report 2017

Setting course

Moritz Schaefer stands on the bridge observing the Firth of Kiel 30 metres below. Other people are busy enjoying their holiday, but he is here to train as an Assistant Deck Officer. Since joining Mein Schiff 6 in the Finnish port of Turku, he has been riding the waves between the North Cape and St Petersburg.

“I don’t come from a typically nautical background,” says Moritz, perfectly turned out in a uniform that is radiant white from collar to heel. “But I wanted to see the world, work in an international team and put my technical interests to good use.”

Even so, the seeds of this maritime urge were planted young. The 23 year-old grew up in Northern Germany, in the little town of Westerstede near Oldenburg, which is not far from the North Sea. Since September 2014 he has been studying Nautical Science at the Maritime College in Leer, and hopes to obtain his officer’s papers after eight semesters. But first he needs to spend 52 weeks at sea. Moritz spent his maiden voyage on a heavy cargo freighter – and now he is getting to know the cruise business.


52 weeks at sea

A sense of duty and an ability to compromise

Mein Schiff 6 is the latest addition to the feel-good fleet operated by TUI Cruises. There are about 1,000 men and women from 59 countries on board looking after more than 2,500 passengers. “We work seven days a week. Up to ten hours, depending on the job,” says the aspiring mariner Moritz. It means long periods away from family and friends. And working on such a large vessel calls for particular qualities: discipline, a sense of duty and a willingness to compromise.

“Safety is a huge priority at TUI Cruises,” adds Captain Todd Burgman, who is familiar with almost every liner in the Mein Schiff fleet. “Shaking down brand new ships, preparing for audits and inspections, calibrating machinery and equipment – all of that is a major responsibility.” Unlike Captain Burgman, who has been navigating the oceans for 20 years, Moritz has only just embarked on his future at sea.

Day-to-day challenges on board

Moritz is deployed in many different areas to acquaint him fully with life and work on board: in the engine room, in housekeeping, in maintenance and repairs. He gains insights into the tasks of the Environment and Safety Officer and into duty on the bridge, where he and other members of the crew have already manned the watch a few times. By now he is pretty familiar with the bridge wings , to both port and starboard. “The bow and stern thrusters give us extra transversal power, which makes it easier to control berthing and cast-off man­oeuvres safely.” However, he will not be permitted to take the helm until he has obtained his ship’s papers. Then Moritz will be qualified to stand in the middle of the bridge, aided by radar, all kinds of measuring instruments, and a tiny joystick – like the one that is about to steer this ocean giant nearly 300 metres long out of the Firth and onto the high sea.

The handover on the bridge requires scrupulous attention to detail: personnel work in four-hour shifts, standing watch day and night.

“The freighter on my maiden voyage was much shorter, only 130 metres, so we managed to enter lots of the smaller ports. I enjoyed that.” But spending six months in a confined space with 16 other people was a real challenge. “If anyone is in a bad mood, the whole crew is infected.” But on a cruise liner, you can spend your free time in company or on your own, depending how you feel. The accommodation is designed around single share cabins, which means that the cadet has his own inner cabin to himself and shares a bathroom with his neighbour. There are communal leisure facilities for the crew: a fitness studio, a sundeck, the canteen, a café and a bar. But all Moritz orders here is a coke: officers are not allowed to drink alcohol in the eight hours before they come on duty. Safety first.

On Land

8 semesters at maritime college

Moritz isn’t the only TUI Cruises cadet studying in Leer: three of his classmates have also signed up with the feel-good fleet. On shore they swot together for subjects like maritime and cargo technology.

Four stripes to aim for

Moritz has not once regretted his career choice. Even if everyday life on a cruise ship is strictly regimented. “But I think it’s great that we avoid problems from the start by sticking to the rules,” he comments. A dream job on a dream liner, and a commission with TUI Cruises after graduating – that would suit him perfectly.

First, however, he has two more semesters to complete at the Maritime College in Leer. It has about 450 students, making it the smaller site at the University of Emden-Leer. It is housed in a traditional brickwork building with a campus, lawn and benches. In front of the building, in true marine spirit, there is a port buoy , displaying the welded GPS coordinates of the college. “There were 64 of us when we started the course. Now, in semester six, the numbers have dwindled,” says Moritz. Life at sea is not to everyone’s taste. Maths and physics, and especially thermodynamics, do not always come easy. Moritz likes the practical subjects best. “Anything in the simulator. Radar technology, digital charts, radio communications.” Hardly surprising – the college is extremely well equipped. “There’s a workroom with five bridge systems. You can load whatever you want: docking manoeuvres, tricky traffic situations, even a violent storm.”

As from 2018, Moritz could be the proud owner of an Officer of the Watch certificate. Then he will be able to wear one and a half stripes on his shoulders. Four are his declared objective – and a successful career at sea, like Captain Burgman. And what if his family needs him? “After a few years’ experience as a captain, I can get myself chartered as a marine pilot. Close to my loved ones.” A good plan. Moritz Schaefer has set his own course.

3 questions to

Elke Eller Member of the Executive Board
TUI Group Human Resources Director

»From blockchain experts via digital marketing analysts to risk managers – we are recruiting more skills outside the classical tourism profile.«

From blockchain experts via digital marketing analysts to risk managers – we are recruiting more skills outside the classical tourism profile.

NameElke Eller PositionMember of the Executive Board Responsible forTUI Group Human Resources Director

Ms Eller, what career prospects can TUI Group offer potential employees?

The careers are as wide-ranging as TUI itself. We are a strong brand, with close customer ties, very international and very emotional in terms of our product, so there is plenty of scope here for creative marketing professionals to design campaigns or engage with CRM. We are becoming increasingly digital, and we have implemented blockchain technology. IT developers, risk managers, mathematicians and yield managers possibly don’t think of TUI at first when planning a career. We simultaneously run airlines and hotels, we have cruise fleets and tour operators under our roof. TUI has a presence in over 100 destinations around the world. We have to respond fast to geopolitical risks – for the sake of our own business and for the sake of our customers. Given the diversity, the strategic challenges and the international dimension, TUI is an extremely attractive employer, both at Group headquarters and in the operating units. These days we are recruiting more skills outside the classical tourism profile. For people in the more traditional tourism professions, including in local destinations, we naturally hope to remain the first-choice employer.

Isn’t TUI associated with beaches and cruises as an employer, rather than with programming and apps?

Our vision is: Think Travel, Think TUI. Of course we are on the lookout for people who have a passion for travel – and who combine that with a passion for digital evolution. As the leading tourism Group, we can offer careers right along the tourism value chain. We are looking for professionals to create holidays – in the tourism professions, but increasingly also data analysts and digital strategists. So as an employer brand we will in future be placing more emphasis on the digital component in our corporate DNA. The new branding is currently being rolled out in 14 European markets. The illustrations are contemporary and surprising, and they will appeal to people who want to help us design the future of travel.

Will the new campaign focus inside the company too?

Highly motivated, skilled employees have made us what we are: number 1 in the travel industry. The new employer branding reflects that shared achievement, but it will also mo­tivate people to tackle the future challenges, especially in the field of digitalisation. If we want to offer our customers a digital TUI experience, we need to become more digital at the workplace too. The way we work together, the way we make decisions, the way we design our offices – we have made some changes already and we will carry on triggering the process so everyone can shape up for the future. Mobile working is part of that, and more abil­ity for people to decide for themselves when and where to work. Our national headquarters in Sweden and the Netherlands have very contemporary office environments with top-class equipment, and lots of communication goes on there, because people cross paths and no longer have to make formal appointments. That unleashes creativity, fosters mo­tivation. This is the way young people like to work – me too, to be honest. I draw strength from being among employees, right inside the project, joining in their discussions. That is so much easier in open, modern surroundings.

How does TUI ensure that company employees are ready for digital transformation?

Every market is different. Everyday life in the Scandinavian countries is far more digital than in Germany. You can go to the baker there and pay with your mobile phone. You deal with public agencies online. That is inconceivable in many parts of Germany. As a result, our various company operations are at different stages. I was impressed by the Digital Safari for our staff in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Everyone could test the digital technology on site or ask experts to explain it to them. Some of those ideas will be implemented and others will not. The important thing is to be aware of them. At the Digital Safari, everyone could set their own learning pace, but by the end of it everyone had a basic understanding of what we can expect as a company and as individual employees. And I think that is a very good approach.


Pearl diver

Dieter Kornek plucks gems from an ocean of new holiday destinations.

To the storyarrow-right-tuiCreated with sketchtool.

Change angle

Employees venture into new territory with an unusual career move.

To the storyarrow-right-tuiCreated with sketchtool.
bridge wings
The lateral walkways each side of the pilothouse, often on an open deck. They extend the full width of the ship to allow the best view during manoeuvres, and are equipped with add­itional navigation and steering apparatus.
The purpose of an audit is to monitor compliance with processes, requirements and policy guidelines. includes environment and safety standards.
port buoy
Port and starboard buoys are maritime marks used in international shipping. They indicate navigable channels and are distinguished by their shape and colour, so the captain knows which side to pass to stay in the fairway.