TUI Explorer rendering

(1:42 p.m. GMT) -- Thomson Cruises has revealed the latest -- and largest -- addition to its fleet will be named TUI Explorer.

The former Mein Schiff 1, which is currently operated by German line TUI Cruises, will launch for Thomson in May 2018 and be based in Palma, Mallorca. The 1,924-passenger ship will be Thomson Cruises' biggest ship yet, carrying around 100 more passengers than its current largest ship, TUI Discovery.

The 21-year-old ship will have a number of new-to-the-Thomson-fleet features. These include:

  • Indigo: a new bar concept, which will be based at the top of the ship and is home to the casino and nightclub;
  • Aperitif: an intimate speakeasy style bar perfect for pre- and post-dinner drinks;
  • Scoops: an ice-cream parlour with quirky bicycle-themed seating;
  • The Lounge: a new venue complete with colour-changing bar and signature brightly coloured piano, where customers can relax and listen to live music.

TUI Explorer will also showcase 10 dining venues including Surf & Turf, Kora La and Snack Shack, as well as new addition Umi Sushi, a showcase sushi counter.

Also joining the line-up is The Mediterranean, a dining venue featuring a glass roof inspired by open air terraces and local tavernas, which will house two inclusive restaurants -- a pizzeria and a tapas restaurant -- plus the for-fee Hot Stone Grill.

Indigo Bar rendering

The ship will also feature an extensive onboard spa hosting 11 different areas including a Finnish sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows, a couples' room and two luxury treatment suites, as well as The Veranda, an adults-only sunbathing area with padded sun loungers, pod chairs and day beds.

New cabin types on TUI Explorer include 14 family balcony cabins that measure 20 square meters, sleep up to five people and have a balcony of up to nine square meters, and a balcony cabin with more external space.

Standard inside cabins onboard TUI Explorer will measure 16 square meters -- bigger than any other standard cabin in the fleet.

Managing Director of Thomson Cruises, Richard Sofer, said: "I'm delighted to unveil the name of TUI Explorer, our biggest and most exciting ship yet. As part of our continued modernisation and transformation strategy, and our commitment to offering choice and flexibility, we've created a whole host of new spaces onboard to meet our customers' needs. We've got ten restaurants and ten bars, as well as more onboard activities and spaces for families including an indoor cinema and a fantastic new Kids' Club with children's pool and slide."

TUI Explorer joins TUI Discovery and TUI Discovery 2, which launches in May this year.

The ship will sail from its homeport of Palma, Majorca in May 2018, visiting Western Mediterranean ports including Barcelona, Rome, Naples, Florence and Lisbon, on four itineraries -- Cosmopolitan Classics, Highlights of the Mediterranean, Magic of Spain and Mediterranean Secrets.

--By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, UK