Joining the fleet in 2019, Marella Explorer 2 will be the first ship in the Marella Cruises fleet to be exclusively for adults. The popularity of adult-only sailings from Dubrovnik and the Asia itineraries for winter 2018 prompted the decision to offer an adults-only ship, says the UK company.
Currently sailing as SkySea Golden Era for SkySea Cruise Line in China, this sister ship to Mein Schiff 1 will sail under the Marella Cruises banner for the first time as Marella Explorer 2 in May next year. Originally Marella was going to acquire Mein Schiff 2 and rename her Marella Explorer 2. As part of the continued growth of cruise for TUI’s German cruise line – TUI Cruises will keep Mein Schiff 2 as demand for cruises continues to grow in Germany.
Marella Explorer 2 will be tailored to meet the needs of couples, friends and groups by doubling the size of The Veranda featured on Marella Explorer, launching in May 2018.
The Veranda is the premium sunbathing spot onboard and will feature new facilities. The 1,814 passenger capacity ship will offer 907 cabins, of which nearly 40% have balconies.
From May 2019 Marella Explorer 2 will sail from a new homeport Naples, Italy including calling in Venice, Rome, Dubrovnik, Split and Piraues on four new itineraries. Marella Explorer 2 will offer highlights including Kora La, Snack Shack and Surf and Turf. The new ship will also feature recognised bars including Aperitif and Squid and Anchor. As with Marella Explorer, the new ship will offer an entertainment programme onboard courtesy of entertainment provider ‘ted’.
Marella Explorer 2 will also feature a Champneys Spa which will launch first on Marella Explorer this year. New cabin types include the Royal Suite which measures 102sq mtr featuring a separate bedroom, dressing room, dining area and whirlpool bath.
Marella Cruises will be offering All Inclusive cruises for everyone from May next year, including transfers and tips. Marella Dream and Marella Celebration will join the rest of the fleet in becoming All Inclusive as standard. The decision comes following a steady increase of All Inclusive upgrades across the classic fleet over the past three years. Marella Cruises also expect the All Inclusive offers to appeal to those new to cruise and younger audiences.
The cruise line will also be offering an array of diverse and exciting new destinations for cruisers to explore with 11 new itineraries and seven new ports of call next summer.
Some of the new ports of call include Skagen in Denmark, Castellon in Spain, Norway’s Alta and Santa Margherita in Italy for Portofino.
Managing director of Marella Cruises Chris Hackney said: ‘We are really pleased to announce Marella Explorer 2 as an adults-only ship from next summer, sailing from our brand new home port of Naples, offering customers yet more choice and flexibility. Our summer 2019 programme offers guests an array of exciting destinations and itineraries and All Inclusive as standard on all of our ships. We continue to look at ways to offer something different to our current customers who have come to enjoy our ships and friendly service onboard and those who may be thinking about booking a cruise for the first time.’
He added that ‘we expect our Cruise & Stay offering to continue to prove popular especially for the new to cruise market.’
There are currently five ships in the Marella Cruises fleet, Marella Dream, Marella Celebration, Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2 and Marella Spirit.