With a large selection of destinations and itineraries, Marella Cruises may show you the whole world. With a variety of UK cruises with departures from Southampton, Newcastle and Harwich, fly-cruise holidays from a large number of airports (available departures from over twenty UK airports), Marella Cruises sail in the Red Sea and the Canary Islands during winter, the Mediterranean in summer. There are about a hundred different destinations to explore aboard Marella ships.
Marella cruise itinerary changes
Marella Celebration (1984-built, former ms Noordam and Thomson Celebration) joined the fleet in 2005. During summer, the ship operated Adriatic Sea roundtrips out of Dubrovnik Croatia. During winter it offered Persian Gulf cruises from Dubai. For summer 2018, the ship was relocated to homeport Dubrovnik for an adults-only cruise program with full-day port stays in Bar, Korcula, Zadar, Venice, Trieste, Split. The ship also introduced 2 new 7-day itineraries, themed “Sail Three Seas” (Valletta Malta, Messina Sicily, Cephalonia Island, Igoumenitsa, Kotor) and “Greek Mystique” (Chania Crete, Piraeus-Athens, Kalamata, Corfu Island, Kotor).
- In late-April 2020, Marella announced that the Celebration ship will be retired after 15 years of service with Thomson-Marella UK.
- Marella Celebration was scheduled to be homeported in Dubrovnik Croatia (June through October 2020, and May through October 2021), in Limassol Cyprus (Nov-Dec 2020, and March-April 2021) and in Dubai UAE (Dec 2020 through March 2021). All these scheduled departures were cancelled. Among those were two repositioning cruises (via Suez Canal) visiting Singapore. Both relocation voyages (“Wonders of the Far East” and “Flavours of the Far East”) were planned as 14-day itineraries featuring a late-night stay in Singapore.
- Marella Celebration had also planned 3 new itineraries from homeports Limassol, Dubai and Dubrovnik. The 6-night “Ancient Adventure” (from Dubrovnik) visits Piraeus-Athens and Rhodes Island. The relocation voyages between Limassol and Dubai (“Continental Crossing” and “Arabia Awaits”) visited Aqaba-Petra (Jordan) and Salalah (Oman).
Thomson Majesty (1992-built) joined the fleet in 2012 and operated roundtrips to Madeira and Canary Islands with departures from Tenerife and Gran Canaria. In 2018, the ship was sold to Mano Cruises and now operates as Crown Iris. Thomson Spirit (1983-built, former ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Patriot, ms Spirit), joined the fleet in 2003. The ship offered year-round European itineraries – Western Mediterranean (from Malaga and roundtrip Madeira) and Canary Islands (departures from Tenerife and Gran Canaria). Thomson Spirit’s last cruise for Marella was scheduled for October 21, 2018.
Marella Dream (1986, fka MS Homeric, ms Westerdam, Costa Europa, Thomson Dream) joined the fleet in 2010 and left the fleet in 2020. During summer, the ship offered Eastern Mediterranean roundtrips from Corfu Greece. During winter it offered Caribbean roundtrips from Jamaica (Montego Bay), with Transatlantic repositioning crossings between the Caribbean and Europe.
- On October 1, 2020, was announced the retirement (end of the charter) of the 34-year-old Marella Dream after 10 years of service with Thomson-Marella UK (2010-2020). All Marella Dream cruises scheduled between May 4 and December 30, 2021 (37x itineraries) were cancelled. All Marella Dream Mediterranean 2021 voyages were transferred to Marella Discovery 1, which was rescheduled for homeporting in Palma de Mallorca Spain (instead of Port Canaveral USA). As result of the redeployment, Discovery 1’s summer 2021 Caribbean voyages were all cancelled.
Marella Discovery 1 (1996, former Royal Caribbean ship “Splendour of the Seas” and Thomson Discovery), joined the fleet in 2016. The ship offers year-round Western Mediterranean leaving roundtrip from Palma de Mallorca.
- Marella Discovery sails out of Port Canaveral beginning in Summer 2021, offering 4 brand new itineraries with 11 port-of-calls. A total of 26 seasonal sailings are offered from May 2, 2021, through October 24, 2021, leaving from Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 5.
- Travellers sailing on the “American Dream” and “Big Apple Adventure” itineraries can enjoy an overnight in NYC. The Discovery visits Miami FL and Turks and Caicos on her Sunshine States and Sands itinerary. Passengers can select 7- or 14-night options with an overnight in Tampa FL on the Floridian Favorites itinerary. Those choosing one of the 4 itineraries also can extend the voyage with cruise-and-hotel packages in Orlando City. Marella Discovery is scheduled to visit Charleston, New York, Freeport, Nassau, Norfolk, Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and New Orleans.
- In summer 2022, Marella Discovery is to be homeported in Palma de Mallorca (Majorca Island, Balearic Spain) with a special itinerary sailing from Barbados to Palma, visiting the Azores.
Marella Discovery 2 (1995, former Legend of the Seas / Royal Caribbean and TUI Discovery 2), joined the fleet in Spring 2017. The ship operates Mediterranean cruises (leaving from Malaga Spain) and Canary Islands cruises (out of Tenerife to ports in the Canaries, Morocco, and Madeira).
Marella Explorer (1996, formerly Mein Schiff 1, initially Celebrity Galaxy) started operations in 2018, with 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises leaving roundtrip from homeport Palma De Mallorca Spain and visiting popular French Riviera ports in France. In 2020 winter, the ship is sailing a 6-night Magic of the Mediterranean cruise from Corfu.
Marella Explorer 2 (1995, formerly SkySea Golden Era, initially Celebrity Century) starts operations in April 2019 with 7-day Mediterranean itineraries leaving roundtrip from homeport Naples (Italy). For winter 2019-2020, the ship is deployed to the Caribbean and homeported in Bridgetown (Barbados). In 2020 winter, it sails a 14-night Atlantic Explorer out of Malaga to Barbados.
New call ports added for winter 2020 are Gatun Lake (Panama Canal) with its vast wildlife and hidden islands, Kingston Jamaica (Port Royal – called “wickedest city on earth” because of the pirates once anchoring there) and Samana, Dominican Republic. Along with these new ports, Marella returns to the popular North African ports Alexandria Egypt and Casablanca Morocco, and to Cyprus (with Marella Celebration and Marella Dream cruising to Limassol).
In summer 2021, Marella Discovery 1 is to be homeported in the USA (Port Canaveral, Orlando Florida) and offering 4 new Caribbean itineraries with a total of 11 different call ports and 26 departures (in the period May 2 through October 24, 2021).
NOTE: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the largest cruise line in the UK, Marella Cruises, announced it was due to commence its summer 2020 program in July with 3 of its 5 ships, “should it be safe to set sail”.
In summer 2020, Marella Explorer was scheduled to set sail from Corfu Island (Kerkyra, Greece), while Marella Explorer 2 was due to sail from the UK and Marella Discovery from Palma de Mallorca (Majorca Island, Spain) as originally planned.
Marella Discovery 2 was expected to recommence cruises in winter 2020 and no longer operating from homeport Naples. Marella Dream is no longer due to sail out of Palma de Mallorca as she returns to service in summer 2021.
The cruise line has also announced important changes to its itinerary program:
For winter 2020, Discovery 2 is to be homeported in Cyprus, setting sail from March 24, 2021, and replacing the itineraries Marella Celebration was scheduled to sail. The itinerary change means that Marella Cruises is no longer offering its Asia & the Middle-East voyages. Clients that were due to sail from Cyprus on Celebration during March-April are upgraded to Marella Discovery 2 at no additional cost.
Marella Cruises’ Discovery is no longer sailing her December-January journeys from Jamaica. The ship is officially setting sail on February 3, 2021, with a repositioning voyage from Malaga to Jamaica prior to continuing her Caribbean program from Jamaica as scheduled on February 16, 2021.
No changes are planned for Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2. Explorer 2 is still to be homeported in Barbados and Explorer 1 is still to be homeported in the Canaries. For Marella’s summer 2021 program, Explorer 2 is no longer to be homeported in Naples, meaning the ship is due to replace the itineraries of Marella Celebration from Dubrovnik. Customers booked on Celebration from Dubrovnik were upgraded to Explorer 2 at no extra cost.
Marella Cruises 2021-2022 winter program
Marella Discovery 1 is homeported in Bridgetown Barbados (starting December 2021) and operates new itineraries visiting St Thomas USVI (Charlotte Amalie), Saint Croix USVI (Frederiksted), Puerto Rico (San Juan), Guadeloupe (Pointe-a-Pitre) and St Vincent Island (Kingstown).
Marella Discovery 2 cruises in Asia 2022 (2x itineraries) – “The Lights of the Orients” (Hong Kong roundtrip) and “Eastern Experience” (Singapore roundtrip), with maiden port calls in Manila (Philippines), Muara (Brunei) and Danang (Vietnam).
Marella’s Dream and Explorer ships are homeported in Tenerife (since November 2021) and visit Canary Islands (La Palma, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria) and Madeira (Funchal overnight). New call port in the Canaries is Playa Blanca (Lanzarote) with overnight stays.
In 2021, Marella Discovery repositions from Port Canaveral (Florida USA) via Canada (Saint John NB, Charlotte Town Prince Edward Island, Quebec City, Saguenay Quebec, Sept-Iles Quebec). The voyage ends in Bridgetown Barbados (October 24).
Marella Explorer 2’s itinerary “Flavour of the Caribbean” visits Cuba with an overnight in Havana. Special 2021 itineraries are the repositioning cruises themed as “Arabian Sunrise” (Sri Lanka, Mumbai, Oman) and the “East Coast Adventure” (Transatlantic crossing to Canada, with Boston MA overnight).
Marella Cruises to Cuba from Jamaica
Marella Cruises offered Cuba cruises with roundtrip departures from Jamaica (Montego Bay) on the ship Marella Dream. Itineraries started in 2017. The first cruise was on January 31 (7-night / 8-day to Grand Cayman Island, Havana Cuba, and Cozumel Mexico). In 2020, two Marella ships (Celebration, Dream) were sold and left the fleet. Marella Dream was originally planned to restart voyages on May 4, 2021.
The list of passenger shipping lines offering cruises to Cuba included:
- Carnival Paradise leaving from Tampa Florida – cheapest prices (from USD 480 pp)
- MSC Cruises (ship MSC Opera, leaving from Havana)
- Holland America (ship Veendam) leaving from Fort Lauderdale since December 2017
- Oceania Cruises (ships Marina and Regatta) starting in 2017, Cuba circumnavigation, stops in Cienfuegos and Havana, also part of some Panama Canal transition itineraries.
- NCL (ship Norwegian Sky, 4-day itineraries with Havana overnights – starting May 2017.
- Azamara Cruises (ship on Azamara Quest from Miami)
- Ponant Cruises (superyacht Le Ponant, leaving from Miami Florida)
- Pearl Seas Cruises (ship Pearl Mist, leaving from Fort Lauderdale Florida)
- Lindblad Expeditions (chartered sailing ship MS Panorama II, leaving from Havana)
- Celestyal Cruises (ship Celestyal Crystal, leaving from Havana and Montego Bay Jamaica)
- Grand Circle Cruise Line (ship MV Clio / ex Tere Moana) one-way from Miami to Havana, or the reverse from Havana to Miami (embarkation/disembarkation in port Cienfuegos).
- International Expeditions (leaving from Havana, charter flights out of Miami)
- Victory Cruise Lines – MS Victory I (former MS Saint Laurent) – fly-cruises from Miami to Havana (home-port Cienfuegos /departures)
Note: According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise ships). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuban-born Americans were denied booking on cruise itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government for allowing ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom line started Miami to Cuba cruises in May 2016.
Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from the USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.