Marella Explorer 2 will be the cruise line’s first adult-only ship when it joins the fleet next year, it was announced today.
The ship, currently sailing as SkySea Golden Era, will be tailored to meet the needs of couples, friends and groups, says Marella Cruises. The popularity of adult-only sailings from Dubrovnik and the Asia itineraries for winter 2018 prompted the decision to exclude children.
When Explorer 2 enters service next May, the whole Marella fleet will also go all-inclusive as standard, to appeal to new cruisers and younger passengers.
The new ship, which will sail from the home port of Naples, will carry 1,814 passengers in 907 cabins, of which nearly 40 per cent will have balconies.
Sunbathing spot The Veranda will be twice the size of that on sister ship Marella Explorer, which launches in May, though many of the bars and restaurants will be the same. It will also have a Champneys Spa, like its predecessor.
New cabin types include the Royal Suite with a separate bedroom, dressing room, dining area and whirlpool bath. The new ship also features deluxe balcony cabins offering some of the best sea views.
Mein Schiff 2, the ship that was going to be converted into Marella Explorer 2, is being kept in parent company TUI Cruises fleet to serve the booming German market.
Instead, Marella Cruises will take delivery of Golden Era in December, marking an end to the SkySea Cruise Line joint venture between Royal Caribbean and Chinese operator Ctrip. Golden Era began life as Celebrity Century in 1995.
Marella says it will offer ‘an array of diverse and exciting new destinations’ in 2019 with 11 new itineraries and seven maiden ports of call, including Skagen in Denmark, Castellon in Spain, Norway’s Alta and Santa Margherita in Italy, where guests can hop off to the beautiful town of Portofino.
Managing director Chris Hackney said: ‘We are really pleased to announce Marella Explorer 2 as an adult-only ship from next summer, sailing from our brand new home port of Naples, offering customers yet more choice and flexibility.’
The summer 2019 programme will be on sale from April 5, 2018.