Marella Cruises to add fifth ship, Marella Voyager, in 2023 – the year it will finally achieve its dream of sailing from the US

New addition: Marella Voyager (Picture: Marella Cruises)

Marella Cruises is to add a fifth ship to its fleet in 2023, it was announced last night.

Marella Voyager will be converted from the existing Mein Schiff Herz, a Century-class ship originally built for Celebrity Cruises that’s a sister to Marella Explorer.

The cruise line will also achieve its dream of sailing from the US in 2023, a media dinner in London was told by Chris Hackney, the MD of Cruise for TUI UK and Ireland.

Voyager, which will begin sailing from Palma de Mallorca on June 3, 2023, will feature two new venues for Marella – a Mexican diner and a Secret Speakeasy bar – while keeping favourites such as Surf and Turf, Nonna’s and Snack Shack.

With 952 cabins, it will be able to carry 1,904 passengers, fewer than the current 1,912 on Mein Schiff Herz.

The new addition to the Marella fleet was built in 1997 as Mercury, then Celebrity Mercury, before being transferred to TUI Cruises as Mein Schiff 2. It became Mein Schiff Herz in 2019.

Sister ship, Celebrity Galaxy – star of The Cruise series on the BBC that brought singer Jane McDonald to fame – became Mein Schiff, then Marella Explorer in 2018. Explorer 2 is another former Century-class ship.

New York frame of mind: Marella Discovery will sail to the Big Apple (Picture: Shutterstock/Marella Cruises)

Itineraries for family-friendly Marella Voyager, including Barcelona and the south of France, will go on sale on November 4 this year.

Marella Discovery will sail US itineraries from Port Canaveral in the summer of 2023, Mr Hackney said, including overnight stays in New York and Tampa. Other destinations will include Miami and Key West, with a chance to add on stays at a choice of 18 hotels, including Disney ones in Orlando. A longer sailing from Barbados will include three days in New Orleans (see sample itineraries below). TUI airways will operate direct flights to Melbourne Florida international airport.

Plans announced in 2019 for Marella to begin US cruises this year were scuppered by Covid.

Mr Hackney said: ‘After a challenging year for the industry we couldn’t be more thrilled to finally announce we’ll be welcoming Marella Voyager, the fifth ship in our fleet, in spring 2023 with her first sailing taking place in June. This ship builds on our already popular fleet and offers loyal customers and new customers more choice. We know what our customers like and so we want to ensure we keep some Marella Cruises favourites but also adding a different flavour to Marella Voyager too.  

‘Being able to set sail into the USA is another milestone for us. Expanding our programme allows our customers to experience once-in-a-lifetime adventures and we’ve made sure there really is something for everyone. The excitement for cruising is well and truly back and we’re delighted to be able to continue to offer new experiences for our customers.’

Sample Marella Discovery itineraries in 2023

Itinerary  Day  Port 
Sunshine and Jazz Bridgetown, Barbados 
  At Sea 
  Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands  
  San Juan, Puerto Rico 
  At Sea 
  At Sea 
  At Sea 
  At Sea 
  New Orleans, Louisiana 
  10 New Orleans, Louisiana 
  11 New Orleans, Louisiana 
  12 At Sea 
  13 Tampa, Florida 
  14 At Sea 
  15 Key West, Florida 
  16 Miami, Florida 
  17 Port Canaveral, Florida 
  18 Port Canaveral, Florida 
Sunshine State and Sands Port Canaveral, Florida 
  At Sea 
  Amber Cove, Dominican Republic 
  Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands 
  At Sea 
  Key West, Florida 
  Miami, Florida 
  Port Canaveral, Florida 
Floridian Favourites Port Canaveral, Florida 
  At Sea 
  Tampa, Florida 
  Tampa, Florida 
  At Sea 
  Nassau, Bahamas 
  Fort Lauderdale, Florida 
  Port Canaveral, Florida 
American Dream Port Canaveral, Florida 
  Charleston, South Carolina 
  At Sea 
  New York, New York 
  New York, New York 
  At Sea 
  Freeport, Bahamas 
  Port Canaveral, Florida 

2 thoughts on “Marella Cruises to add fifth ship, Marella Voyager, in 2023 – the year it will finally achieve its dream of sailing from the US

  1. As former crew member of Celebrity Cruises, I had a chance to be part of openings on board Century, Galaxy and Mercury. Very proud. What a journey.

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