(10:30 a.m. BST) — Thomson Cruises has confirmed the purchase of Legend of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International.
The 1,832-passenger ship will join the Thomson fleet in May 2017, and will sail under the name of TUI Discovery 2.
The news comes nine days before the launch of the line’s latest ship TUI Discovery — another former Royal Caribbean ship and a sister to Legend, Splendour of the Seas.
Legend of the Seas will be 22 years old when it joins the fleet next year, but a significant 2013 dry dock saw a raft of upgrades including new carpeting, soft furnishings and new decor in cabins and public areas. The refurb also saw balconies added to Deck 6 cabins, as well as 13 new cabins.
The ship has 915 cabins, nearly 40 percent of which have balconies. Features include eight bars, an outdoor poolside movie screen, a rock-climbing wall, a mini-golf course and an indoor swimming pool and spa.
The acquisition will increase the fleet to six ships, and marks four ships in the next four years for Thomson: Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 will be acquired from TUI Cruises for the Thomson Cruises fleet in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Thomson Majesty and Thomson Spirit will leave the Thomson Cruises fleet at the end of 2017.
The ship will be Mediterranean-based with the homeport and itineraries due to be announced shortly. Cruises will go on sale in July 2016.
Helen Caron, Managing Director of Thomson Cruises, said: «It’s an exciting time at Thomson Cruises as we bring to life our modernisation and transformation strategy to benefit UK cruise customers. This investment is another sign of our cruise business being a focus for driving growth in TUI UK and the wider TUI Group.»
• The move will affect Australian cruisers, with the cancellation of Legend’s roundtrip Brisbane cruises in February and March 2017. A sixth cruise on 9 April will also be rescheduled, bringing forward its repositioning from Brisbane to Asia to 20 February 2017. This new 11-night sailing to Singapore will mark the ship’s final Australian sailing as Legend of the Seas repositions to Europe to join the Thomson fleet.