The UK’s third largest cruise line, Marella Cruises*, has appointed Columbia Cruise Services (CCS) GmbH & Co KG as technical manager for its newest and largest ship ‘Marella Explorer’ and the next ship to join the fleet, currently sailing as ‘Mein Schiff 2’.
From 2019, CCS will manage the entire six-ship fleet. ‘Marella Explorer’ and ‘Mein Schiff 2’, will both undergo an extensive refit on all 13 decks, 962 cabins and 10 restaurants.
Adrian Hibbert, Marella Cruises Director of operations, said: “I am delighted to announce our extended partnership with Columbia Cruise Services. We consider them to be a leader in cruise shipmanagement and I am pleased that they will support us to deliver our next two ships. The tender process for the technical management of the newest ships in the Marella Cruises fleet was a lengthy and rigorous one and we are confident that will deliver the excellent efficient operational service we have come to see.”
CCS Managing Director, Olaf Groeger, said: “The appointment of Marella vessels five and six to CCS did not happen by default. We are proud that we withstood the extensive tender process, and assure that we put all efforts into a successful continuation and development of our co-operation with Marella Cruises.”
The preparations for this large-scale project are already underway. “The takeover process for the ‘Marella Explorer’ has started,” explained CCS Fleet Manager, André Bloemendaal. “A task force for the project kick-off has been initiated and we have joined the future ‘Marella Explorer’ for familiarisation with the vessel and its specifics.”
In addition, from 1st December, 2017 CCS is the manager of the cruise vessels ‘Berlin’ (FTI Cruises); ‘Bremen’, ‘Europa, ‘Europa 2’, ‘Hanseatic’ (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises); and ‘Marella Celebration’, ‘Marella Discovery’, ‘Marella Discovery 2’ and ‘Marella Dream’ (Marella Cruises).
“The ‘GmbH & Co. KG’ is the logical continuation of the progression following the foundation of CCS in 2014. As a stand-alone company solely dedicated to third-party management of cruise vessels, operating from Northern Germany, we are able to provide on-site and tailor-made services to our clients,” Groeger said. “CCS is solely dedicated to provide management services for cruise and expedition vessels.”
CCS headquarters is directly located on the river Elbe in walking distance of Hamburg’s Altona Cruise Terminal.
Ralf Koelpin, CCS Managing Director, explained; “Hamburg is not only an important hub in Northern Europe for many cruise operators, but also a fantastic location for us as a manager in a fast growing cruise community.”
*Marella Cruises is the new name of Thomson Cruises, part of the Tui group.