Marella Cruises, a joint venture of the TUI travel group and Royal Caribbean is the first operator to announce that one of its ships will be permantely axed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cruise line has this week announced that Marella Celebration is to retire the fleet earlier than planned and will be taken out of service immediately.
Commenting on the news, Sophie Behagg a spokesperson for Marella, said: “Marella Celebration is one of the longest standing and most loved ships in the Marella Cruises fleet. She’s sailed with the cruise line for 15 years, carrying almost half a million passengers. The ship was due to homeport in Dubrovnik in summer ’20 and summer ’21 and Cyprus and Dubai for the winter season.”
The ship was built in 1984 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for Holland America Line as the MS Noordam. In 2005 it was re-named Thompson Celebration, and 2017, Marella Celebration.
It is not yet known if the ship will be sold for further service or if she will be scrapped.