Breaking news this week from Marella Cruises (Thomson/Tui) as they have announced plans to retire the ‘Classic Ships’ in the Marella Fleet. I am a huge cruise lover because of the diversity that it offers. If you want an all singing and dancing mega ship you can have it, but if you want something a little smaller and more intimate with more out of the way ports you can have that too.
Take something like the Allure of the Seas, she will be so limited to the ports that she docks at as they tend not to tender passengers ashore. Can you imagine over 5000 queuing to get off on a tender! So, with this you tend to do the bigger and more commercial ports take the Med, you’d have Barcelona, Palma, Marseille, Civitavecchia for Rome, Naples, Livorno for Florence. Now don’t get me wrong the are lovely but if you wanted the Greek Islands or the Adriatic Coast you are just not going to find it on a ship of this size.
Marella have said the two vessels, Marella Dream and Marella Celebration will leave the fleet within 5 years, but nothing is in concrete at the moment and they have also said that Marella are here to grow so there will be something to replace these two ships. Marella Discovery Class and Marella Explorer Class are based on the smaller old RCI and Celebrity ships. Celebrity are spending millions on a multimillion-pound upgrade on the entire fleet but on the Royal Caribbean side of things I would not be surprised if a ship or two within one of the older classes was to make the move, and RCI do have part ownership of TUI.
The Marella Dream joined the Thomson Fleet 9 years are in 2010, but prior to that she’d be known under multiple names for Home Lines, Holland America and Costa Cruises – built in 1986.
The Marella Celebration has had just one home before and from 1984 to 2005 known just as the Noordam for Holland America, before joining the fleet in 2005.
So combined the two ships have racked up 68 years in service for Marella.
But then again the Astoria in the Cruise and Maritime fleet can better that significantly as she was built in 1948 and is about 70 years old.
Marella recently retired the Marella Spirit and the Marella Majesty so I suppose retirement of these two other ships has always been on the cards but disappointing that they will be leaving as although they are older, call me old fashioned but I love the charm that comes with the ships of old.
This also comes as P&O Cruises retire the Oriana, Holland America to retire the Prinsendam and Saga Cruises to retire the Saga Pearl II.
However I do know that there was talk about Fred’s Possible having a new ship so could we see one of these going there? Or perhaps to Cruise and Maritime as they are all about the more traditional small cruise sailings so who knows!?
It will be such a shame to see yet another ship sail in to the breakers yard for scrap for the very last time.
Have you been on these two? Are you sad to see them go or is it time?