Following the sad news last week that Marella Cruises would be retiring its much-loved ship, Marella Celebration, from the fleet earlier than planned, the cruise line has followed this up today (6 May) with an exciting announcement.

The UK’s largest cruise line has said that it will commence its summer 2020 programme in July 2020 with three of its five ships, “should it be safe to set sail”.

For summer 2020, Marella Explorer will set sail from Corfu, Marella Explorer 2 from the UK and Marella Discovery from Palma as originally planned.

Marella Discovery 2 will recommence sailings in winter 2020 and will no longer operate from Naples for the summer 2020 season. Marella Dream will no longer sail from Palma this season as she will resume sailing in summer 2021.

Marella Cruises has also announced some important changes to its itinerary programme across the next three seasons.

For winter 2020, Marella Discovery 2 will homeport in Cyprus, setting sail from 24 March 2021 replacing the itineraries that Marella Celebration was due to sail.

Marella Cruises: Marella Discovery

This itinerary change means that the cruise line will sadly no longer offer its Asia and the Middle-East sailings.

The cruise line has said that customers that were due to sail from Cyprus on Marella Celebration during March and April will be automatically upgraded to Marella Discovery 2 at no additional cost.

Marella Discovery will no longer sail her December and January sailings from Jamaica and will officially set sail on 3 February 2021 with a repositioning cruise from Malaga to Jamaica before continuing her Caribbean programme from Jamaica as planned on 16 February 2021.

There will be no changes to Marella Explorer 2 and Marella Explorer. Marella Explorer 2 will still homeport in Barbados and Marella Explorer will still homeport in the Canaries, offering customers their cruises as planned.

For Marella Cruises’ summer 2021 programme, Marella Explorer 2 will no longer homeport in Naples. This means that the ship will replace Marella Celebration’s itineraries from Dubrovnik.

Customers who were due to sail on Celebration from Dubrovnik will be automatically upgraded to the cruise line’s adult-only ship Marella Explorer 2 at no additional cost. (Any customers whose bookings include children will receive refund credit and the up to 20 per cent booking incentive).

Marella Explorer, Marella Dream, Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2 will all sail their itineraries as planned, including the cruise lines highly-anticipated USA itineraries on Marella Discovery.

Given the uncertainty of the times in which we live, customers will be offered flexible options, including a refund credit and up to 20 per cent booking incentive or a full refund.

Managing director of cruise, Chris Hackney, said: “I hope that everyone is keeping well during these truly unprecedented times and I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding while we’ve been working behind the scenes to adjust our itineraries.

“We’re looking forward to when we can set sail again but only when the time is right. As always, the safety of our customers and crew remains our priority.”

Visit tui.co.uk/cruise for more information.