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Cruise Blog

Thomson Cruises' Latest Ships

1st September 2017

Updated July 2019

Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson) remains a very popular cruise line with British holidaymakers, and as such it should be no surprise to learn that their fleet is ever expanding in order to meet the needs of their customers. The last few years have seen multiple additions to the fleet; so we thought we should dive in a little deeper and take a closer look at Marella Cruises' latest ships. 


marella lifestyle


Of their fleet of six, the most recent four are the largest, providing more accomodation choices, dining options, and onboard activities. Another valuable aspect of cruising on these ships is that they are all All-Inclusive as standard. This means that all passengers can make the most of the included food, drinks, and facilities – including a range of cocktails, prosecco, and speciality restaurants.

Read on to find out more about each of these impressive ships.

Marella Discovery

Once part of the Royal Caribbean fleet, Marella Discovery was bought and refurbished by Marella Cruises in 2016. It can host 1,830 passengers, and consists of 11 decks and 915 cabins. Its considerable size also allows the cruise line to provide some fantastic facilities to their guests, our favourites being the brilliant outdoor movie screen, exhilarating climbing wall, and extensive array of dining choices.


marella discovery


Take a look at our range of upcoming cruises on Marella Discovery

Marella Discovery II

Also an ex-Royal Caribbean ship, Marella Discovery II is of a similar size to its namesake. The popularity of the first ship led to the demand of an additional one – which comprises most of the same features and amenities. These also have a range of 15 different cabin options, including the stunning Royal and Executive suites which offer new heights of luxury.


marella discovery 2


Browse through our cruises on Marella Discovery II.

Marella Explorer

There was much excitement among loyal Marella customers, surrounding this ship. It was previously owned by German cruise line TUI Cruises, under the name of Mein Schiff 1, and is now one of Marella Cruises’ largest vessels. With room for over 1,900 passengers, 13 decks, and 962 cabins, Marella Explorer also boasts 11 different dining options, a great selection of bars, and a fantastic range of different activities. In particular there are ample opportunities when it comes to sports – with table tennis and mini golf facilities, and even an entire deck devoted to outdoor sports such as basketball and football. There is also a jogging track on this deck.


marella explorer


See our available cruises onboard Marella Explorer.

Marella Explorer II

After Marella Explorer proved so popular, the cruise line decided to replicate the ship in the form of Marella Explorer II. However, there is one big difference; this one is reserved for adults only! This means that couples and singles looking for a relaxing holiday sans kids can enjoy the many attractive features and amenities in peace. This ship is ideal for those who want to socialise thanks to the many inviting venues and entertainment options, but likewise, the stunning Champney's Spa facilities mean it's possible to unwind and relish in some valuable 'me-time' too.


marella explorer 2


Have a look through the range of cruises onboard Marella Explorer II.


Each of these ships truly have some wonderful features that will be loved by all their guests. Not only the number of activity choices, but also the pools and spa which offer a chance to relax at the end of a day of excursions. Childcare options include kids clubs suitable for 3-11 year olds, and can be helpful should parents wish to have some time to themselves to enjoy the ship.

If you're still undecided about which ship is for you, see our entire range of itineraries with Marella Cruises instead.

6 reasons to cruise with Fred. Olsen

23rd May 2017

Updated August 2019

Fred. Olsen masterfully blends a uniquely Norwegian heritage with a distinctly British style. Defining and redefining the cruising experience for almost 170 years now, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line know exactly what makes your cruise holiday so special - and that is why guests return time and time again to relive their treasured onboard experience.


Onboard, enjoy the taste of award-winning cuisine curated by expert chefs, made just the way you like it. From speciality restaurants to everyday dining, you can enjoy freshly prepared food every day, complimented with a fantastic selection of handpicked wines. Be treated to an exceptional entertainment experience for you to enjoy every evening. Each night there’s something different, with fantastic live shows ranging from toe-tapping cabaret to hilarious stand-up comedy and interesting port talks from knowledgeable experts, providing you with the very best information for when you venture ashore.

With personalised and attentive service, comfortable and cosy mid-sized ships and many inspiring itineraries that explore some of the world’s most incredible destinations, Fred. Olsen ensures your time onboard is simply unforgettable. We explore some of the some of the reasons why our customers choose to cruise with Fred. Olsen.



1. Enjoyment promise

With the benefits of Fred. Olsen’s Enjoyment Promise, it’s the perfect time to try cruising with them. Simply book at least 12 weeks in advance on cruises of five nights or more and if you find that it’s not for you within a day or two of stepping on board, just let them know and they will promise to arrange and pay for flights back to the UK from the next port and repay the cost of your cruise.

2. British nature of the cruise line

Everything onboard is in pound sterling, so you needn’t worry about currency fluctuations if you decide to indulge in a health and beauty treatment or two. Of course, British favourites such as Afternoon Tea are available to enjoy onboard where guests can gaze out from the Observatory Lounge accompanied by the sweet sounds of a pianist and other musicians. Feast on a selection of Taylors of Harrogate premium teas, dainty pastries, elegant finger sandwiches and warm scones with cream and jam.



3. Cruise from your local port

For a relaxing and stress-free cruise from beginning to end, enjoy a fantastic no-fly sailing from any of Fred. Olsen’s 5 main UK ports. Conveniently located right on your doorstep, there’s no need to endure lengthy journeys or busy airport queues.

Take a look at Fred. Olsen’s cruises from Dover, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southampton and Edinburgh.

4. Benefits of smaller sized ships

As well as being able to cruise from more local ports, Fred. Olsen’s smaller, understated ships are able to visit ports that much larger vessels cannot reach. From the exotic wonders of Asia to the breathtaking scenes of the Arctic, there are endless destinations across the world just waiting to be explored. Just take a look at some of Fred Olsen’s new exotic fly-cruise destinations below.

Plus, if you prefer a more welcoming, home-from-home, country house feel then Fred. Olsen is likely to be more for you than other, larger cruise lines. Fewer guests mean that Fred. Olsen can provide the personalised, attentive service that many guests prefer, so don’t be surprised when the team know the little things that matter, like your name or your favourite tipple!



5. Black Watch refurbishment

In November 2016 Black Watch entered dry dock for an extensive refurbishment, ship-wide enhancements and upgrades to many of the cabins, suites and public areas. The main focus for Black Watch’s refurbishment was to update the current 423 cabins across the ship, including the addition of new interactive TV systems with on demand content and in-room safes and mini-bars, as well as new bedding, bed frames and mattresses, and the total refurbishment of all cabin bathrooms.

See cruises on Black Watch.

6. Award-winning reputation

We’ve highlighted some of Fred. Olsen’s best bits, but don’t just take our word for it. Fred. Olsen have consistently won numerous awards year on year including in the categories of ‘Best for Itineraries’, ‘Britain’s Best Cruise Line for Food 2015’ and silver awards for ‘Best Small Ships Cruise Line’ and ‘Best Cruise Line for Customer Service’. As of May 2017, Fred. Olsen held an impressive 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Feefo from over 5,500 reviews from the past year, awarding the cruise line with a Gold Trusted Merchant Accreditation. We think this award-winning reputation is a good indication of why many people who try Fred. Olsen once, returns again in the future.


If this sounds like the cruise line for you, read more about Fred. Olsen and start planning your own little getaway cruise. 

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