The vessel will replace Island Escape, currently operated by Thomson Cruises’ sister company Island Cruises, so the overall UK fleet will continue to be comprised of five ships.
The purchase, facilitated through the newly merged parent company TUI Group’s subsidiary TUI Cruises, a joint venture between TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, will see Thomson Cruises operate the renamed vessel from summer 2016. The programme goes on sale at the end of April 2015.
The 1,830 capacity ship (double occupancy) boasts 915 cabins, nearly 40% with balconies and features a rock-climbing wall, nine hole mini golf course, indoor swimming pool, eight bars and lounges and multiple dining options.
The ship underwent a five-week dry dock at Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain in 2011 where she received an array of new enhancements and amenities including new specialty restaurants, 124 balconies, refurbished staterooms and more.
Helen Caron, managing director of Thomson Cruises, said: ‘We’re very excited to be welcoming the ship to our fleet next summer. This is the first step in our fleet modernisation and transformation strategy and will bring an enhanced offering to our customers with more balcony cabins than ever before, a wider choice of suites, an increased number of dining options and extra entertainment and activity facilities. We are confident that our customers will enjoy sailing on the new addition to our fleet.’
Thomson Cruises is the third largest cruise line in the UK. The four ship fleet currently comprise Thomson Dream, Thomson Majesty, Thomson Celebration and Thomson Spirit. Splendour of the Seas will be the largest ship in the Thomson Cruises’ fleet.