Thomson Cruises' ships will all take the Marella name, except Thomson Spirit and Thomson Majesty (Image: TUI)
Thomson Cruises, the UK’s third largest cruise line, is to be rebranded as Marella Cruises at the end of October when it’s sister brand Thomson changes to TUI.
Marella, which means ‘shining sea’ in Celtic, was chosen by the company to reflect its ‘spirit of exploration and discovery’.
There are currently five ships in the Marella Cruises fleet, four of which will be renamed – Marella Dream (formerly Thomson Dream), Marella Celebration (Thomson Celebration), Marella Discovery (TUI Discovery) and Marella Discovery 2 (TUI Discovery 2). However, Thomson Majesty will continue to sail under the same name until 26 November 2017 and Thomson Spirit will not take the Marella name because she is leaving the fleet in summer 2018. New ship Marella Explorer will begin sailing in summer 2018.
“We’re really proud to offer an experience that guests can, and want to, come back to again and again and moving forward as Marella we’ve got brand new, modern additions to our fleet and more destinations, choice and experiences than ever before which really reflects our spirit of exploration and discovery within the new brand,” said Helen Caron, distribution and cruise director.
To celebrate the launch of Marella Cruises, the company has unveiled new winter 2018 itineraries in Asia. The newly renamed Marella Discovery will sail to 18 new ports of call on 14 adult-only cruises to destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Kuala Lumpur. In addition, Marella Discovery will sail to India, calling at ports including Mumbai, Mangalore, Mormugao (Goa), Cochin (Kerala) and Colombo (Sri Lanka). The vessel will also offer Middle East cruises to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat, Oman.
“Asia is an incredibly diverse part of the world and I have no doubt that our customers are going to love their adventures across countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, India and Oman to name a few,” said Caron. “These captivating destinations, along with our new ships, famously friendly staff and value for money, make this is the perfect time to look ahead.”
For the first time in the company’s history, two ships will be based in Barbados for winter 2018. Both Marella Explorer and Marella Celebration will operate established itineraries from the Caribbean island’s port.
Marella Cruises will also offer flights from 22 regional UK airports, as well as a Cruise & Stay programme that combines a cruise holiday with a stay at one of more than 140 hotels across 10 destinations worldwide.