Marella Cruises officially names Marella Voyager in Malaga, Spain

Celebrations included a surprise performance by Becky Hill, a gala dinner and firework display

Marella Cruises officially names Marella Voyager in Malaga, Spain

Marella Cruises

Marella Voyager was officially named by its two godmothers – Tatyana Olkhovska and Jacqui Nobile – and Captain Steve James on 31 May

By Alice Chambers |

Marella Cruises officially named its newest ship, Marella Voyager, during a christening ceremony held in Malaga, Spain, that featured a surprise performance by British singer and songwriter Becky Hill.

The line commemorated the occasion with a gala dinner, followed by a celebration event themed around ‘golden hour’. During the ceremony, senior executives including Sebastian Ebel, CEO of TUI Group, and Chris Hackney, managing director of Marella Cruises, thanked the TUI UK & Ireland directors, partners, retail and travel agents, suppliers and crew for their combined effort in delivering the ship.

“I would like to thank the whole team for creating this wonderful product,” said Ebel. “I would also like to wish everyone a great celebration. We are proud to have Marella as part of TUI and thank you everyone for making this a great success.”

According to Hackney, Marella Voyager has been a “long time in the making”, with the project beginning during the Covid-19 pandemic. “There’s no better time to say we’re back than with the launch of Marella Voyager,” he said against the backdrop of the sun setting over the Port of Malaga. “Marella Voyager is part of our strategic vision to continually modernise and grow our fleet. We pride ourselves on continuing to offer more for our customers, whether that’s new ships, new destinations, our all-inclusive as standard offering and fantastic, friendly service.”

The vessel was then officially named by its two godmothers – TUI’s chief purser Tatyana Olkhovska and shoreside experience programmer Jacqui Nobile – and Captain Steve James, who released the champagne bottle to christen the ship.

“Cruising is like no other holiday experience that we offer,” said James. “Guests can go off to sea on an adventure with new places to see and experience and enjoy, but it’s the service that they get onboard [Marella Cruises] that keeps them combing back to us time and time again.”

The captain also wished for “fair winds and calm seas” for the vessel.

Celebrations concluded with a surprise 45-minute set by Becky Hill who sang her greatest hits, a performance by a Coldplay tribute act and a firework display that coincided with Marella Voyager departing on her shakedown cruise to Palma, Majorca.

Marella Voyager is the fifth and biggest ship to join the Marella Cruises fleet and is designed to cater for a variety of guests. The 77,302gt vessel offers 17 restaurants, a new menu of 150 dishes, 10 bars and 952 cabins. New venues onboard the ship include Silver Fork, a British-themed specialty restaurant, and The Arts House, an art-themed bar where guest can play shuffleboard or do arts and crafts in the daytime, before watching live singers and musicians perform in the evening.

The vessel, which was originally built for Celebrity Cruises in 1997, underwent a 36-day renovation at Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, with a collective effort of 11,460 dry dock working hours to prepare it for its launch. Its new name signifies TUI Group’s rebranded cruise line, Marella Cruises, which debuted in 2022.

The ship will homeport in Palma for the summer season, offering four different Mediterranean itineraries including ‘Magic of Spain’, ‘Highlights of the Mediterranean’, ‘Mediterranean Secrets’ and ‘Cosmopolitan Classics’. It will then reposition to homeport from Barbados during the winter.

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