Following it’s 2016 acquisition of the Thomson Discovery (the former RCCL Splendour of the Seas), Thomson Cruises has gone not one, but two better, with the news that the UK based company will be taking both Mein Schiff I and Mein Schiff II from German parent company, TUI, ‘in the next few years’ as part of a very large expansion programme.
These two ships- the former Celebrity Galaxy and Celebrity Mercury- will give Thomson UK a trio of 70,000 ton mega ships for the first time in its history. And it is a move which must surely call time on many, if not all, of the line’s current slew of 80’s-90’s built, mid sized vessels.
Of the four current ships, I would guess that the 1992 built Thomson Majesty will simply revert back to her current owners at Louis Cruises, but the fate of the others- all around some eight to ten years older- is anyone’s guess.
For certain, these vessels will not be in the same class as the trio of bigger vessels coming on line. When Galaxy and Mercury originally made their late nineties debut for Celebrity Cruises, they were extensively lauded as the best, most luxurious, upscale big ships afloat.
Though their actual transfer to the British line is obviously a few years down the line yet, this push for bigger tonnage by Thomson UK marks a significant boundary crossed by the line.
As ever, stay tuned.