Marella Explorer 2, coming in 2019. Photo credit: Marella Cruises

The ship, built as the Century in 1995, was the first ship in a luxury trio designed and built for the upscale Celebrity Cruise Line. She is currently sailing as the SkySea Golden Era, a one off ship for Royal Caribbean’s Chinese affiliate line, SkySea Cruises.

The Chinese operation will now be wound down.

The ship will transfer over to join Marella Cruises in April, 2019, as the Marella Explorer 2. She will sail as an adult only, all inclusive product. There she will rejoin former sister ship, Galaxy, which will begin sailing this  coming summer as Marella Explorer.

Home ported in Naples, the ship will accommodate some 1,814 passengers in 907 suites and cabins. Around forty per cent of her accommodation will feature private balconies.

While much of the ship’s operation will complement that of her sister ship, there will be some interesting tweaks for ME2 (let’s hope that is a designation that never catches on, by the way).

Amongst them will be a vast new Royal Suite, with separate bedroom and dressing rooms, plus a separate dining area and a whirlpool bath. In terms of general passenger spaces, The Veranda- a much touted outdoor drinking and lounging area that has gained much attention on the first ship- will be doubled in size for the 2019 addition.

Itineraries will be on sale as of April 5th, 2018.

Built as the first true premium luxury large ship back in 1995, the 70,000 ton Century marked the beginning of a  rapid expansion, both for parent company, Celebrity Cruises, and indeed for the entire industry as a whole. Sister ships Galaxy (1996) and Mercury (1997) rounded out what was  then regarded as the most opulent and best served luxury trio of vessels afloat anywhere/


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