This is the first time UK-based Marella Cruises is homeporting a ship stateside.
Five weekly TUI flights
Parent company TUI UK & Ireland operates five weekly flights to Melbourne Orlando International Airport from the UK carrying roughly 1,500 British passengers weekly who will sail on each cruise.
'We are excited to extend a warm welcome Marella Cruises’ Discovery and honored that they’ve chosen to base their first homeport in the United States at Port Canaveral,' port CEO Capt. John Murray said.
Plaque presentation and water cannon salute
In keeping with maritime tradition, Canaveral Port Authority Commissioner Rear Adm. Wayne Justice (USCG-retired) presented Marella Discovery Capt. Chris Douglass a plaque welcoming the ship. On departure, Marella Discovery was escorted out to sea with a water gun salute led by Canaveral Fire Rescue’s Fireboat 2 and two tugboats provided by Seabulk and E.N. Bisso.
Marella Discovery will offer varied itineraries with calls ranging from New York City to Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas; and Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Key West.
Sixth homeporting line
Marella becomes the sixth cruise line homeporting at Canaveral, joining Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. It was just announced that Princess Cruises will join the roster in late 2024.