Later this month, Thomson Cruises, part of the TUI Group, will be rebranded – Marella Cruises.
At the same time, the Thomson name will switch to TUI.
Apart from the renaming, the UK’s third largest cruise line is in the process of modernising its the fleet, which includes next year’s launch of ‘Marella Explorer’ currently sailing as ‘Mein Schiff 1’ and ‘Mein Schiff 2’ joining the fleet in 2019.
The company said that cruising 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 TUI Group currently operates 16 cruise vessels in total.
‘Marella’ means ‘shining sea’ in Celtic, TUI explained.
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.”
Marella Cruises will also enter the Asian market during the winter of 2018. The newly renamed ‘Marella Discovery’ will sail to 18 new ports on 14 new adult-only itineraries, including departures from Bangkok, Thailand and from Langkawi in Malaysia.
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.”
Two ships will also be based in Barbados next winter. ‘Marella Explorer’ will be joined by ‘Marella Celebration’.
Guests sailing on cruises in Asia and the Caribbean will fly to their embarkation ports on TUI Airways’ fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.