The brand will offer the same services, but with the following changes to ship names:
–Marella Discovery 2
–Thomson Majesty will remain under the same name until she leaves the fleet at the end of the season on 19th November 2017
–Thomson Spirit will be named Spirit until her last voyage on 21st October 2018
Marella, meaning ‘shining sea’ in Celtic, was chosen to give the cruise line ‘stand out in the cruise market’ and to give it its own identity from the company’s European cruise brand, TUI Cruises.
Distribution and cruise director Helen Caron has spoken out on the brand change: “We don’t want British guests to be confused with the group’s cruise business in Europe.
Marella Cruises will still have the Tui smile logo, but a new Marella Cruises logo in a blue box, similar to the way we would market Sensatori as part of the world of Tui. The name was chosen to reflect the spirit of exploration and discovery across the seas.”
Marella cruises is confirmed to still be offering its fully-integrated fly-cruise programme, from 22 regional UK airports, across its fleet of six ships once Marella Explorer enters service in May 2018.
Caron added: “Marella Cruises takes us to a cruise brand from a tour operator brand. We expect the new name to open us up to a whole new market of customers who haven’t considered a Thomson cruise before. It’s very exciting and come at the perfect time as we modernise our fleet and add more and more destinations.”
News of the rebrand came at the same time as Tui also announcing a new homeport in Asia for winter 2018; the newly named Marella Discovery will sail from Lankawi to 18 new ports of call on 14 new itineraries.
All of them will be all-inclusive, adults only and most will offer overnight onboard stays in port; there will be no Cruise & Stay programme for Asia homeports.
Customers will also be able to join from Bangkok and ports of call will include Ho Chi Minh City, Cambodia and Kuala Lumpur, along with Mumbai, Mangalore, Cochin and Colombo.
There will be two rotational itineraries: Enchanting Far East and Colours of the Far East, along with thirteen repositional itineraries that include Heroes of the Mediterranean, Red Sea Voyage, Adventure to India, Wonders of Asia, Eastern Sunsets, Golden Cities and Sands, Ancient Shores, Mesmerising Mediterranean, Authentic Arabia, Eastern Sunrise, Journey to Arabia, and Red Sea Odyssey.
Caron said: “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.”
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