Marella Cruises to Visit Caribbean Port for First Time in Years

Marella Cruises will visit the Dominican Republic for the first time since 2017, offering unique Caribbean itineraries in 2024-2025.

Marella Cruises will make its long-awaited return to the Dominican Republic in the winter of 2024-25, marking its first visit to the island since 2017. Previously known as Thomson Cruises, Marella Cruises is a British cruise holiday company that is owned and managed by TUI Group, and offers worldwide voyages on their five-ship fleet.

Caribbean Cruises Beginning Christmas Eve 2024 

Marella Cruises plans to send the 71,545-ton Marella Explorer 2 to the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean waters toward the end of 2024. This transfer will mark the cruise line’s return to the island after a seven-year absence.

Marella Explorer 2 will be stationed in La Romana in the Dominican Republic as of December 24, 2024. The ship will offer Caribbean voyages catering exclusively to adults – a great excuse to leave the kiddies at home and enjoy all the ship’s features and amenities.

“We’re always looking for new ways to improve our customer offering, whether that’s new destinations, new itineraries or ships,” said Chris Hackney, Tui UK & Ireland cruise managing director. “We’re therefore pleased to offer a new experience for guests with our new sailings departing from La Romana for winter 2024.”

Itineraries for the 2024-25 season aboard Marella Explorer 2 will be available for booking starting on July 20, 2023. Depending on the departure date and cruise length, voyages will call on different islands like Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, Dominica, Antigua, St Maarten, Tortola, and Samana. Another itinerary will encompass the southern Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire.

Marella Cruises in St. Lucia
Marella Cruises in St. Lucia (Photo Credit: avilledorsa / Shutterstock)

Notably, Samana, a popular peninsula in the Dominican Republic, will be a new port of call for Marella Cruises. Dominican Republic cruises begin at £1,799 per head.

Hackney also pointed out that passengers booking one of these Dominican Republic Marella cruises will have the option to stay at Tui’s Dominican Republic hotels before or after their voyages, extending their travels.

About Marella Explorer 2

Marella Explorer 2 has a long sailing pedigree. The vessel, with a capacity for roughly 1,814 passengers, was built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The ship launched in May 1995, and has undergone several name changes over its life span including CenturyCelebrity Century, and SkySea Golden Era.

For the 2023 cruising seasons, Marella Explorer 2 has been mostly based out of the Mediterranean, visiting popular and sunny destinations like Crete, Croatia, other Greek island ports (like Corfu), Malta, Montenegro, Sicily, plus a few additional ports in mainland Italy, such as Taranto.

Marella Cruises will send the ship to the Americas in early 2024, visiting destinations like Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Panama before finishing out the year back in the Mediterranean.

Marella Cruises
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

The firm’s Dominican Republic comeback will take place during the winter season of 2024-25, marking the line’s return to the island after a hiatus since 2017.

Cruise companies occasionally stay away from particular locations or ports for several years, alternating routes to provide increased diversity to dedicated and loyal passengers who tend to stick with the line for multiple years in a row.

Marella Mediterranean Cruises

In additional news, the cruise line will continue to provide guests with a selection of Mediterranean winter cruises, featuring two fairly brief routes. 

The 76,998-ton Marella Explorer—also from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany (1996)—will embark from Malaga on December 9, 2024, traversing Gibraltar and Casablanca in Morocco before reaching Tenerife, with only a single day at sea. 

The 1,912-passenger Marella Voyager, the line’s newest vessel, refurbished in 2022, will set sail from Palma, Majorca on November 2, 2024, stopping at Alicante, Almeria, and Malaga. 

The enhanced Marella Voyager, with a tonnage of 77,302, has been updated with a suite of modern amenities. Some of the upgrades featured include a selection of 10 different bars and restaurants; “The Veranda,” a serene spot featuring Balinese beds that offers picturesque ocean views; an enclosed cinema; a pool deck; and an upper deck with a mini-golf course.

Several other new winter itineraries will be on offer as well, consisting of six-night voyages scheduled to depart from Malaga in Spain, Corfu in Greece, and Marmaris in Turkey. 

Whether you’re interested in Mediterranean-based winter cruises or seafaring voyages out of the Dominican Republic, Marella Cruises has most of your travel needs covered.


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