UPDATE: TUI Group announced that she will sail for England’s Thomson Cruises. Here’s what I anticipate she will look like.
TUI Group have announced that they have purchased the Splendour of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. The price tag is unknown, but if I find it, I’ll update this post.
Thomson Cruises’ fleet will be modernised by the acquisition of a new ship, currently sailing as Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas. The vessel will replace Island Escape, currently operated by Thomson Cruises’ sister company Island Cruises, so that 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 per cent with balconies. Guests will enjoy a rock-climbing wall, nine hole mini golf course, indoor swimming pool, eight bars and lounges and multiple dining options. The ship will be the largest in the Thomson Cruises’ fleet, whilst still fitting with the cruise line’s strategy of operating smaller ships with must-do itineraries.
Sebastian Ebel, CEO of Strategic Platforms for TUI Group, said: “TUI Group is pleased to have been able to secure the purchase of this ship. Following the recent announcement of our purchase of luxury cruise ship EUROPA 2 for Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, this continues to demonstrate our long term strategy of investing in our cruise operations as one of our key product areas.”
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.”