Posted by: cruise2 | 8 June, 2016

Legend of the Seas To Become TUI Discovery 2

by Keviv Griffin writing for cybercruises.com

Following hard on the heels of the news that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is selling a 51% interest in Pullmantur Cruises (but not the ships) to Springwater capital, it has entered into an agreement to sell the 1,800-berth Legend of the Seas to Thomson Cruises in the UK.

The TUI Discovery (Courtesy Thomson Cruises)

TUI Discovery (Courtesy Thomson Cruises)

Unlike TUI Cruises in Germany, where Royal Caribbean owns a half interest in both the company and its ships, Thomson Cruises is so far owned 100% by TUI Group.

This move follows the delivery last month of the 1,804-berth Splendour of the Seas to Thomson, who have now renamed her TUI Discovery. Under hew new name, TUI Discovery will sail on Saturdays from Palma de Majorca, where she will offer alternating 7-day itineraries.

This TUI Discovery is beneficially owned by Schoeller Holdings Ltd, a Limassol-based private investment company whose activities include shipowning, ship management and liner services. Founded in 1978, Schoeller Holdings and its subsidiaries now have more than 14,000 employees worldwide, and Columbia Ship Management is part of the group.

Mein Schiff 1 in Hamburg

Mein Schiff 1 in Hamburg

The relationship between Columbia Ship Management and Thomson Cruises dates back to 2004 with Columbia’s appointment as technical managers of Thomson Celebration.

Island Escape and Thomson Dream then followed in 2009.

In April 2015, Columbia Cruise Services was established as a Hamburg-based affiliate that is solely dedicated to managing cruise vessels, expedition vessels and luxury yachts.

Legend of the Seas will join the Thomson fleet in May 2017 to sail under the name of TUI Discovery 2. This acquisition will increase the Thomson Cruises fleet to six ships, including two more to be acquired from TUI Cruises in Germany. Mein Schiff 1 will join Thomson in 2018 and Mein Schiff 2 in 2019.

Thomson Celebration (Photo Manuel Moreno at MerchantShips.info)

Thomson Celebration (Photo Manuel Moreno at MerchantShips.info)

Thomson Majesty and Thomson Spirit will then leave the Thomson fleet at the end of 2017, while Columbia Cruise Services will continue to manage Thomson Celebration and Thomson Dream.

Island Escape was sold late last year to US owner Cruise Holdings Inc and renamed Ocean Gala. She has been berthed at Kristiansand, Norway, for the past three months, pending further employment and is still managed by Columbia.

FTI Cruises' Berlin in Venice

FTI Cruises’ Berlin in Venice

Columbia Cruise Services also now manage FTI Cruises’ Berlin and the Hurtigruten expedition-style ship Fram.

The addition of these two more modern Royal Caribbean ships plus the two Mein Schiff sisters from Germany will increase the number of balconies in the Thomson fleet from just a few dozen to well over 1,000.

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