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Thomson Cruises Launches TUI Discovery in Palma

Thomson Cruises Launches TUI Discovery in Palma

Thomson Cruises invited top Irish travel agents to the launch party onboard TUI Discovery in Palma de Mallorca on Thursday 9th June, followed by an overnight sailing to Barcelona. The ship is the largest and most modern ship in the Thomson fleet and will be all-inclusive as standard from summer 2017.

Naming the ship TUI Discovery is part of a re-brand that will see the whole of Thomson change to TUI over the next 18 months. Thomson Cruises recently announced the expansion of its fleet with the acquisition of ‘Legend of the Seas’ from Royal Caribbean International. Thomson Cruises will operate the vessel, to be renamed ‘TUI Discovery 2’, from May 2017.

Looking up the main atrium from Level 5

Looking up the main atrium from Level 5

The 11-deck TUI Discovery, which has capacity for 1,830 passengers in 915 cabins and has a crew of 761, is sailing four Western Mediterranean itineraries out of Palma this summer, then transfer to the Caribbean for the winter season.

Chris Logan, Head of Ireland, Falcon/Thomson Holidays

Chris Logan, Head of Ireland, Falcon/Thomson Holidays

Welcoming guests to the launch party, Helen Caron, Managing Director, Thomson Cruises, summed up her excitement at heading up the transformation of the ship with: “What woman wouldn’t want to go out with a big fat cheque to buy all the furnishings that you can seen on this ship!”

Helen Caron, Managing Director, Thomson Cruises; Nick Longman, Managing Director, TUI UK & Ireland; David Burling, Chief Executive Northern Region, TUI Group: and Captain John Westgarth-Pratt addressed guests at the champagne reception

Helen Caron, Managing Director, Thomson Cruises; Nick Longman, Managing Director, TUI UK & Ireland; David Burling, Chief Executive Northern Region, TUI Group: and Captain John Westgarth-Pratt addressed guests at the champagne reception

Later, on deck 9, there was an action-packed production of performers from the destinations visited by the Thomson fleet, including a gigantic Spanish bull puppet, Caribbean carnival dancers in full costume, Middle Eastern whirling dervishes and belly dancers.

Captain John Westgarth-Pratt and the ship’s two godmothers selected from members of the crew, Mimi Kasomwshi from East India and Hazel Ceguera from the Philippines, officially launch TUI Discovery

Captain John Westgarth-Pratt and the ship’s two godmothers selected from members of the crew, Mimi Kasomwshi from East India and Hazel Ceguera from the Philippines, officially launch TUI Discovery

Launch party celebrations commence!

Launch party celebrations commence!

Grammy Award-winning artist Jess Glynne then wowed unsuspecting special guests with a medley of number one hits from her globally bestselling album, ‘I Cry When I Laugh’. Fireworks lit up the city to close the show as Jess finished her set with her smash hit ‘Hold My Hand’, before the ship set sail for Barcelona.

The surprise guest artist turned out to be Jess Glynne, who put on a great show

The surprise guest artist turned out to be Jess Glynne, who put on a great show

The spectacular show was the brainchild of Black Skull Creative’s Dan Shipton and Ross Nicholson, who together have produced high-profile events such as the London 2012 Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

TUI Discovery

The ship was originally launched by Royal Caribbean International as Splendour of the Seas in 1995, underwent $53 million modifications in 2011 and made her final sailing for Royal Caribbean on 4th April 2016. She then joined Thomson Cruises and was renamed TUI Discovery, with an extensive refit completed in Cadiz.

tuI Discovery 8

TUI Discovery 9

An adults-only sunbathing area and a new open-air cinema screen have been added, along with Break Out & Escape, a real-life escape room game where teams find clues and solve puzzles before the time runs out. Another first for Thomson Cruises are the self-service screens where guests can make reservations for restaurants, spa treatments and shore excursions.

See Facebook.com/IrishTravelTradeNews for ITTN’s social photo coverage of the launch.

TUI Discovery 10

TUI Discovery 11

 

TUI Discovery 12

 

TUI Discovery 13

 

TUI Discovery 14

 

TUI Discovery 15

 

TUI Discovery 16

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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