No 2024 sailings for Marella Cruises from Port Canaveral FL

   June 14, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

Marella Cruises UK, a European cruise line that operated from Port Canaveral, Florida USA in 2023, will not return this year, according to port officials.

The Marella Discovery ship, which was homeported in Port Canaveral/Orlando for 6 months in 2023, was unique for the port. American residents couldn't book sailings on the ship, as it was exclusively for passengers who booked flights from Europe to Melbourne Orlando Airport through TUI Airways. Both Marella Cruises and TUI Airways are subsidiaries of TUI Group, a major international travel company.

John Murray (Port Canaveral's CEO) stated that Marella Discovery was only scheduled to operate from the port during 2023 before moving to other itineraries. There were no issues between the Port and Marella influencing this decision.

In 2023, Marella Discovery completed 28 sailings (May through November), with a total of 85,533 passengers embarking or disembarking. Most itineraries were 7-night voyages.

One of the typical itineraries was named "American Dream," with stops in Charleston, South Carolina; New York City; and Freeport, Bahamas. TUI's business model involves selling comprehensive travel packages, with the cruise being part of a package that includes a flight from a UK airport to Melbourne Orlando International Airport, and sometimes an optional hotel stay in Florida.

Currently, the Marella Discovery is operating 7-night "Ottoman Odyssey" cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, departing from Marmaris, Turkey.

Marella Cruises is a relatively small cruise line with five ships in its fleet. The Marella Discovery, compared to the larger ships based at Port Canaveral, is also smaller, featuring 915 cabins and a double-occupancy capacity of 1,830 passengers, with a maximum capacity of 2,076 passengers.