Thomson Cruises Rebrand Marella

(10:30 p.m. BST) -- Thomson Cruises has announced it will rebrand as Marella Cruises later this month.

The word Marella -- which means "shining sea" in Celtic -- comes at the same time as Thomson rebrands to TUI later this month.

The name change will also be reflected in the ships, which will be rebranded Marella Dream, Marella Celebration, Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2 and Marella Explorer, which launches next year.

Speaking at this year's Abta Travel Convention in the Azores, Helen Caron, Distribution and Cruise Director said: "This is an incredibly exciting time for our business. We're really proud to offer an experience that guests can, and want to, come back to again and again and moving forward as Marella we've got brand new, modern additions to our fleet and more destinations, choice and experiences than ever before which really reflects our spirit of exploration and discovery within the new brand."

Caron also unveiled new itineraries across Asia as part of Thomson/Marella's winter 2018 programme with Marella Discovery based in Langkawi, Malaysia, and sailing to 18 new ports of call on 14 new adult-only itineraries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Kuala Lumpur.

The ship will also sail to India, calling at Mumbai, Mangalore, Mormugao (Goa), Cochin (Kerala) and Colombo (Sri Lanka), and to the Middle East, with highlights including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.

In addition, two ships will be based in Barbados for winter 2018. Marella Explorer will sail its first ever winter season from the Caribbean island, and will be joined by Marella Celebration.

The rebrand comes as sister company Thomson will also be rebranding later this month, moving to one global brand as TUI.

--By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, UK