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Marella Explorer 2 (Photo: Marella Cruises)
Marella Explorer 2 (Photo: Marella Cruises)

Marella Cruises Gets Set for Launch of Adults-Only Marella Explorer 2

Marella Explorer 2 (Photo: Marella Cruises)
Marella Explorer 2 (Photo: Marella Cruises)

October 10, 2019

Kerry Spencer

(12:33 p.m. GMT) -- Marella Cruises newest ship -- Marella Explorer 2 -- launched on Saturday after an eight-week makeover.

The launch of the 1,814-passenger ship -- Marella's first adults-only vessel -- was marked by a performance by X Factor winning group Rak-Su at an exclusive ceremony for Marella employees only, in Malaga, Spain.

Marella revealed last week that Mary Moreno, an executive sous chef with the company since 2015, and Paula Clark, a cabin manager with 45 years at TUI, had been made godmothers of Explorer 2.

Speaking to Cruise Critic ahead of the launch, Marella's UK Managing Director Chris Hackney said: "The launch is a little bit more low key this year, but we've still invited over 400 of our crew and retail colleagues and probably another 450 from head office to come and experience the ship."

Hackney explained the line decided to make Explorer 2 an adults-only ship following the popularity of the line's select adults-only sailings onboard Marella Celebration out of Dubrovnik and on Marella Discovery out of Bangkok and Langkawi.

"By making the decision to go adults-only early on, it has allowed us to craft the product proposition onboard to reflect an adults-only environment," he said. "We've added some new concepts that we don't have on other ships because of the extra space not having kids' clubs has given us."

He added: "Though we are not going down the route of making the fleet adults only."

New venues onboard include a pizzeria called Nonna's, serving lunch and dinner, a Prosecco and Champagne bar called Flutes and a golf-themed bar with two golf simulators.

Hackney said: "We expect the 19th Hole concept, with a clubhouse-style bar and some quirky golf buggies, to go down very well. We've added a couple of new dining venues to give plenty of choice, including the Beach Cove, which is a barbecue grill with an alfresco environment."

The line exclusively revealed earlier this month that two new shows will debut on Explorer 2 -- "Revive - The Forgotten Circus" and "Lovestruck" -- with other features onboard including a Champneys Spa, Indigo Club, Movies by Moonlight and The Dining Club that first debuted on Explorer in 2018.

Marella Explorer 2 will start sailing seven-night Mediterranean cruises out of Naples from tomorrow through October 2019, before repositioning to Bridgetown, Barbados, to offer a series of Caribbean sailings throughout the 2019/2020 winter season.

The cruise line has seen significant growth in recent years following an impressive four-ships-in-four-years plan -- starting with Marella Discovery debuting in 2016 and culminating with Explorer 2 this year.

"The great thing is because we've had this growing fleet we've been able to keep our existing customers happy but also attract new customers," said Hackney.

"We're attracting passengers who wouldn't have considered us before, but they do now because we have balcony cabins," he said.

Separately, Hackney revealed that the line's so-called "classic" ships -- Marella Dream and Marella Celebration -- would leave the fleet within five years.

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