Sofer: ‘Focus on Onboard Experience’

Thomson Cruises is building capacity, and will have five ships in the fleet this summer and four in service for the winter 2017-2018 cruise season.

“The really interesting piece for us is the three ships in the Caribbean next winter,” said Richard Sofer, managing director, Thomson Cruises. “The Celebration will be in La Romana, the TUI Discovery out of Bridgetown and the TUI Discovery 2 out of Montego Bay. That is new ground for us.”

The Dream will sail the winter season from Tenerife.

The TUI Discovery 2 (former Legend of the Seas) joins the fleet in May. The new-to-Thomson vessel will offer round-trip “Spanish Sunsets” sailings from Malaga for the majority of the summer, with just one sea day on a seven-night deployment.

“It’s a really nice itinerary out of Malaga to Southern Spain,” said Sofer. “We worked hard to minimize sea days and make sure customers have as much time as possible in port.”

Thomson’s fleet will grow further and become more modern as the Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 will join in 2018, and 2019, respectively, meaning the brand should have six ships to plan around come 2019.

Thomson Majesty (photo: Sergio Ferreira)

“Now we are moving up to slightly bigger ships with slightly more modern facilities,” said Sofer. “The introduction of TUI Discovery 2 is another exciting step for Thomson Cruises and we’re looking to extend that further with the Mein Schiff ships.

“For us it’s a focus of the onboard experience for the customers. We’re focused on food, service and the quality of the entertainment. As we look to bring more ships in, we look to push the boundaries of that,” he told Cruise Industry News.

“It’s an exciting time for Thomson Cruises and the industry as a whole. We’ve very positive about the industry and our role to play.”

Read more insight into Thomson Cruises in the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine, Spring 2017 edition.

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