- UK’s third largest cruise line rebranding to Marella Cruises later this month in line with Thomson changing to TUI
- Exotic destinations announced across the Far East, India and the Middle East for winter 2018/19
- Cruise is a core part of TUI Group’s growth and investment strategy
Thomson Cruises, part of the TUI Group, has announced that later this month it will embark on the biggest evolution in the company’s history as it is rebranded to Marella Cruises. The move comes at the same time as Thomson changes to TUI later this month. The rebrand will see the UK’s third largest cruise line set sail towards new horizons with the modernisation of the fleet, including next year’s launch of Marella Explorer currently sailing as Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 joining the fleet in 2019. Cruise is a core part of the TUI Group’s growth and investment strategy. In addition to Marella Cruises, the Group operates TUI Cruises with the ‘Mein Schiff’ fleet and Hapag Lloyd Cruises featuring the ‘MS Europa’ and MS Europa 2’, the only two cruise vessels in the world awarded a 5-Star-Plus rating by the Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships Guide. The TUI Group currently operates 16 cruise vessels in total.
With Marella Cruises still part of the world of TUI, customers will be offered fantastic itineraries, great service and entertainment on board all six ships with the friendliest staff at sea. The word Marella, which means ‘shining sea’ in Celtic, was chosen by the company to reflect its spirit of exploration and discovery across the seas. Those choosing a Marella Cruises holiday will be able to take advantage of flights on their doorstep across 22 regional UK airports, as well as a wide Cruise & Stay programme that combines a cruise holiday with a stay at one of more than 140 hotels across 10 destinations worldwide, including the luxurious TUI Sensatori collection.
All of the extras that customers have grown to know and love with a Thomson Cruises holiday will still be offered with Marella Cruises, such as tips and service charges included in the price. All Inclusive is as standard on Marella Explorer, Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2, previously TUI Discovery and TUI Discovery 2. Cruises set sail at night meaning fewer days spent at sea and more time spent ashore. Thomson Cruises’ industry-renowned staff and crew will also still be a big part of the holiday experience; ensuring passengers receive the warmest of welcomes and the friendliest service at sea throughout their time onboard.
Helen Caron, Distribution and Cruise Director at TUI UK and Ireland said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for our business. 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 have modern additions to our fleet and more destinations, choice and experiences than ever before, which reflects our spirit of exploration and discovery within the new brand.”
To celebrate the launch of Marella Cruises, the company has unveiled exciting new itineraries across Asia as part of its winter 2018 programme. The newly renamed Marella Discovery will sail to 18 exotic new ports of call on 14 new adult-only itineraries, including Colours of the Far East, departing from Bangkok, Thailand and Enchanting Far East, setting sail from Langkawi in Malaysia. Marella Discovery’s South East Asian adventure will take it to vibrant destinations such as Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Kuala Lumpur. In addition to this lusted-after corner of the world, Marella Discovery will also sail to India, calling at fascinating ports including Mumbai, Mangalore, Mormugao (Goa), Cochin (Kerala) and Colombo (Sri Lanka), and to the Middle East, with highlights including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
Helen Caron continued: “I’m absolutely delighted to unveil our latest destinations for winter 2018. 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. 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. Marella Explorer will sail its first ever winter season from the Bajan paradise and will be joined by Marella Celebration, operating established itineraries, Thomson will also be rebranding later this month, moving to one aligned, global brand as TUI.
Notes to editors
Passengers sailing on cruises in Asia and the Caribbean will fly to their embarkation destination on TUI Airways’ fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.