Thomson Cruises to add Royal Caribbean ship to fleet

Thomson Cruises’ fleet is to be boosted next year with the addition of a Royal Caribbean International ship.

The US cruise line is to sell 1,830-passenger Splendour of the Seas to Tui Cruises for an undisclosed sum.

The 69,130-ton vessel, which first entered service in 1996, will then be leased to Thomson Cruises.

The deal will see Splendour of the Seas operate its last sailing for Royal Caribbean on April 4, 2016, before being transferred to Tui.

Royal Caribbean Cruises chairman and CEO Richard Fain said: “Splendour of the Seas debuted in 1996 and has served Royal Caribbean International extremely well.

“The ship’s sale is in line with our strategic objective of divesting ourselves of older hardware.”

The ship will complete its scheduled cruises before being transferred and no sailings will be altered or disrupted due to the sale, according to the company.

Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley said: “Splendour of the Seas has been a treasured member of the Royal Caribbean International family since she entered service.

“She has offered countless guests memorable vacation experiences and we look forward to continuing to provide the same Gold Anchor Service our brand is known for right up to the last sailing.”

All officers and crew will remain with the company and will be transferred to other vessels.

The ship will be the largest in the Thomson Cruises’ fleet, featuring a rock-climbing wall, nine hole mini golf course, indoor swimming pool, eight bars and lounges and multiple dining options.

Itineraries are due to go on sale at the end of next month.

Thomson Cruises managing director Helen Caron said: “We’re very excited to be welcoming the ship to our fleet next summer.

“This is the first step in our fleet modernisation and transformation strategy and will bring an enhanced offering to our customers with more balcony cabins than ever before, a wider choice of suites, an increased number of dining options and extra entertainment and activity facilities. We are confident that our customers will enjoy sailing on the new addition to our fleet.”

Tui Group strategic platforms chief executive Sebastian Ebel said: “Tui Group is pleased to have been able to secure the purchase of this ship.

“Following the recent announcement of our purchase of luxury cruise ship Europa 2 for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, this continues to demonstrate our long term strategy of investing in our cruise operations as one of our key product areas.”

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