Thomson Cruises has today revealed that it has seen an almost 40 per cent increase in passengers on cruise holidays in the last five years, with numbers in the last year alone rise by nearly 20 per cent. This follows information released in a recent CLIA report that revealed that one in nine package holidays booked in 2015 was a cruise.
With demand for cruise holidays high, Thomson Cruises has invested significantly in its fleet, adding All Inclusive ship TUI Discovery last year, announcing TUI Explorer for summer 2018 and preparing to launch its latest ship, TUI Discovery 2, this weekend (14 May) in Malaga, Spain.
This new ship, which boasts 915 cabins, 40 per cent of which offer balconies, offers All Inclusive drinks as standard with customers able to enjoy the wide range of restaurants and bars onboard alongside a selection of premium drinks and pour-yourself beer and wine taps in Islands, all included in the price of their holiday. From gourmet cuisine to laid-back street food, families and couples alike will all be able to get the most from their holiday whilst enjoying activities and entertainment including an outdoor poolside movie screen, a rock-climbing wall, a mini-golf course and an indoor swimming pool and spa.
In addition to the wide range of facilities, TUI Discovery 2 is introducing innovative new technologies onboard to further enhance customer experience. Launching on TUI Discovery 2’s maiden voyage, new onboard app ‘Navigate’ will enable customers to view their onboard account, information about facilities and entertainment schedules, and book onboard extras such as spa treatments, excursions and tables in the stunning a la carte restaurants. The app, which is free to use, will be hosted on the ship’s network and will open on any browser, meaning passengers aren’t required to download it or purchase wi-fi packages.
Also brand new for TUI Discovery 2 is Virtual Reality Experience, where guests can use HTC Vive headsets to transport themselves into a virtual reality experience where they can play games, make 3D paintings or explore universes; and Green Screen Room, an onboard photobooth that allows passengers to take a picture with a background of their choice. New shows as part of the onboard entertainment include Brexfactor, Chaplin, Festival Live and Steel City.
Based in Malaga this summer, TUI Discovery 2 will visit some of the Mediterranean’s most iconic destinations such as Barcelona, Valencia, Ibiza, Porto, Lisbon and Marseille before repositioning to Tenerife in September, visiting ports in the Canaries, Morocco and Madeira. Come December, TUI Discovery 2 will make its way to Montego Bay, Jamaica where it will begin its winter season in the vibrant Caribbean visiting Central American highlights such as Cuba, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia on itineraries such as Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama.
Managing Director of Thomson Cruises, Richard Sofer, said: “We’re delighted to be launching TUI Discovery 2, the second in our pipeline of four new additions to our fleet. At Thomson Cruises we’re committed to delivering unforgettable holidays that are personalised for each of our customers and TUI Discovery 2 will play a key role in that for us. There is so much for our guests to do onboard and our brand new app ‘Navigate’ makes it all even easier, whilst they spend their time sailing between some of the world’s most exciting and exotic destinations.”
TUI Discovery 2 is the second ship to join the Thomson Cruises fleet in the last twelve months, following the arrival of TUI Discovery in June 2016. The move to name this latest addition to the fleet TUI Discovery 2 is part of the re-brand which will see the whole of Thomson transition to TUI later this year. Also joining the fleet from May 2018 is the newly announced TUI Explorer.
TUI Discovery 2 and its crew members will set sail on its maiden customer voyage on 14th May, sailing the Continental Coasts itinerary, visiting ports including Barcelona, Valencia and Marseille.