A Cruise Ship History: Marella Dream

Marella Dream

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marella Dream is being retired by Marella Cruises and now faces an unknown future.

The 54,760-ton vessel launched in 1986 under he Home Lines banner and also spent time in the Holland America Line and Costa Cruises fleets before sailing for Thomson Cruises in 2010.

Early 1980s: Home Lines orders a new ship at Meyer Werft . Named the Homeric, the vessel is planned as a replacement for the 1963-built Oceanic.

1985: As the very first cruise ship built by Meyer Werft, the Homeric is constructed in the open and launched in a traditional way, slipping sideways into the water. Meyer’s covered docks were built a year later.

1986: The Homeric is delivered to Home Lines in May. A few weeks later, the vessel arrives in New York City to start a program of summer cruises to Bermuda. Longer itineraries to the Caribbean are planned for the winter. 

1987: After buying Home Line’s Oceanic for its Premier Cruise Lines brand, Greyhound Corporation negotiates to buy Homes Lines and its remaining fleet. The deal was expected to be concluded by the end of the year but it ended up falling through.

1988: Only two years after its debut, the Homeric is sold to Holland America Line, along with the Atlantic.  


1988: While Home Lines ceases operations, the Homeric is delivered to Holland America in November. Renamed the Westerdam, the vessel begins sailing for its new owners with alternating seven-night Eastern Caribbean and seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale.

1989: The former Homeric returns to Meyer Werft for  big update, that includes lengthening. At the time, it became the first ship to return to the shipyard.

1990: A longer Westerdam returns to service in March. The vessel is now 40 meters long, featuring more cabins, restaurants and sports facilities.

1990s: In service with Holland America, the ship usually spends its summers in Alaska, sailing in the Caribbean during the winters.

2001: After buying Costa, Carnival Corporation announces it is transferring two ships to the Italian brand fleet. The Westerdam was one of the vessels, along with Carnival’s Tropicale.

2002: Following a major refit, the ship is renamed Costa Europa and enters service for Costa in April. The work included the addition of balcony cabins and a new night club.   

2000s: Costa deploys the ship in Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Middle East. The Costa Europa was also one of the first vessels to sail Costa’s new program in the Indian Ocean, embarking passengers in Mauritius. 

Thomson Dream

2009: After seven years sailing for Costa, the Europa is chartered to Thomson Cruises. The British cruise line signs a 10-year bareboat charter agreement with Carnival Corporation, with the option of buying the ship after the period.

2010: In February, two months before its delivery to Thomson, the Costa Europa is involved in a accident in Egypt. Attempting to moor in bad weather, the vessel collides with the dock in Sharm-el-Sheik.

2010: In April, the ship is delivered to Thomson Cruises and renamed Thomson Dream. Under the cruise line, the vessel joins two former fleet mates from its Holland America Line years, the 1983-built Thomson Spirit (former Nieuw Amsterdam) and the 1984-built Thomson Celebration (former Noordam).

2012: The vessel goes through another significant refit. To launch its new “Platinum Cruises” product, Thomson decides to upgrade the Dream, refurbishing cabins, lounges and bars.

Marella Dream

2017: As part of Thomson Group’s rebranding, Thomson Cruises becomes Marella Cruises. As a result, the former Homeric is now sailing as the Marella Dream.  

2020: In January, Marella announces plans to retire its so-called “classic fleet.” According to the cruise line, both the Marella Celebration and Marella Dream will leave the fleet within the next five years.  

2020: A few months later, in September, Marella decides to get rid of the ship immediately.

Future: The ship remains docked in Croatia and a buyer has not been named.   

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