Middle East Cruise News

Marella Cruises reportedly planning a new Dubai cruise season for 2020/21

There is a lot of chatter in the cruise market about Marella Cruises upcoming Winter 2020/2021 deployments, with reports on Cruise Critic’s message boards that the cruise line will be sailing another Middle East cruise season for 2020/21.

According to a user claiming to have inside information, the cruise line will be launching ten new cruise itineraries across its six-ship fleet, with its vintage cruise liner Marella Celebration due to cruise roundtrip from Dubai on 7-night Arabian Gulf cruises.


Marella (then known as Thomson Cruises) homeported Celebration in Dubai during the 2016/17 season

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Celebration was previously homeported in Dubai during the 2016/17 cruise season, so if these reports are confirmed it would be a major win for the Dubai cruise sector, and underscore the growing popularity of the region.

Celebration will reportedly cruise roundtrip out of Dubai between December, 2020 and March, 2021. Ports of call have not been announced (and Marella have not confirmed these rumours), but if true, she’ll likely visit Sir Bani Yas, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Khasab.


The decision to deploy Celebration in the Middle East again will put Marella Cruises head-to-head with P&O Cruises, which is homeporting Oceana in Dubai during the same cruise season. Both cruise lines are British, and have a similar target market.

Other itinerary highlights for Marella Cruises’ winter season: Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2 will switch — with Discovery spending the season in the Caribbean and Discovery 2 in South East Asia; Explorer 2 will spend its second winter in the Caribbean, while Explorer will spend the season in Europe.


Marella Cruises has expanded its fleet to six ships during the last three years

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Marella Discovery will spend the season, from November 2020 through March 2021, offering sailings out of Montego Bay, Jamaica, while Marella Discovery 2 will offer a mix of itineraries from Laem Chabang in Thailand and Langkawi in Malaysia.

Marella Dream will sail out of Bridgetown, Barbados, from November 2020 until March 2021, then Palma, Majorca, in April 2021.

Marella Explorer meanwhile will sail out of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, and Santa Cruz, Tenerife from November 2020 through March 2021, and Marella Explorer 2 will offer sailings out of Bridgetown, Barbados from November 2020 through March 2021.

Marella Cruises had not confirmed any of these deployments at the time of writing. According to the original poster of the itineraries on the message boards, the new itineraries will be confirmed by Marella and open for sale on July 11th.

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