Thomson Spirit

Former names: Thomson Spirit (Marella), MS Spirit, MS Patriot, MS Nieuw Amsterdam

Specifications of Thomson Spirit

Year built1983  /  Age: 35
BuilderChantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)
Building costUSD 150 million
OwnerLouis Group Plc
Speed21 kn / 39 kph / 24 mph
Length (LOA)215 m / 705 ft
Beam (width)27 m / 89 ft
Gross Tonnage33930 gt
Passengers1254 - 1350
Passengers-to-space ratio25
Decks with cabins12018
Last Refurbishment2016, Alang-scrapped in 2018
Former namesThomson Spirit (Marella), MS Spirit, MS Patriot, MS Nieuw Amsterdam

Thomson Spirit Review

Review of Thomson Spirit

Launched in 1983, Thomson Spirit cruise ship (currently "Marella Spirit") is a leased vessel which current owner is Holland America Line (Carnival Corporation's subsidiary company). The ship was built as "ms Nieuw Amsterdam" and since 2003 is operated under a long-term charter (expired in 2017) by the UK company Marella Cruises (formerly "Thomson Cruises").

NEWS: According to the shipowner Holland America Line, the ship left Marella's fleet on October 28, 2018, to join Celestyal Cruises renamed as "Celestyal Spirit". Sadly, on October 29, the vessel (renamed "Mare S") left port Piraeus-Athens to Alang India (shipbreaking yard) where was scrapped in November. The ship's identification numbers were 8024014 (IMO) and 248368000 (last MMSI, Malta-flagged).

History - construction and ownership

Marella Cruises is a Thomson-operated British cruise line, that offers low-price voyages around Europe with ships from Holland America Line and Louis Cruise Lines. Initially, the company entered the cruise market in 1973. Due to the rising fuel costs, in 1976 it was terminated. Thomson Cruises restarted the cruise line in 1995 and nowadays holds 1% market share of the worldwide cruise industry. Thomson Cruises has its own unique place in the British cruise market as cruise division of the largest tour operator and travel agency in Britain. After its foundation in 1965, the company soon established a dominant position in the British tour market with own airlines and travel agencies.

Thomson Spirit cruise ship

The 33,930-ton, 1,350-passenger Thomson Spirit is stylish, spacious and sociable, with every little detail, from exquisite cuisine to relaxing entertainment. This vessel is a gateway to the world of choice.

Cruise itinerary program

Thomson Spirit itinerary program for Thomson Cruises was based on roundtrips from homeports Marmaris (Turkey) and Limassol (Cyprus). For Marella Cruises, Thomson Spirit operated 7-day roundtrips from homeport Malaga (Spain), visiting ports in Portugal (Leixoes, Lisbon, Portimao), Spain (Cadiz, Port Mahon Menorca, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena), France (Toulon), also Gibraltar (UK).


Thomson Spirit has a total of 627 cabins (of which 21 Suites, 424 Oceanview, 203 Inside, 21 Single) in 10 grades. Most Thomson Spirit staterooms are 145-175-sq.foot Oceanview. Only 4 are the wheelchair accessible rooms. The largest aboard Thomson Spirit is the Suites (430 ft2). Thomson Spirit cruise ship offers a wider range of staterooms compared to some of the other vessels in the fleet. Standard inside and outside rooms are spacious for an older vessel and have good storage space (lots of the outside staterooms have portholes rather than windows). Higher-grade outside staterooms are larger and have a good value.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Unlike other Thomson cruise liners, the Compass Rose Dining Room on Thomson Spirit offers open-seating dining for all 3 meals. The other major restaurant is the 24-hour casual Lido Restaurant. There's also the poolside Terrace Grill and Sirocco's, a reservations-required dining venue with a cover charge.

Thomson Spirit cruise ship

Follows the complete list of Thomson Spirit restaurants and food bars.

  • Compass Rose Restaurant (serves breakfast, lunch and 6-course dinner; meals are open seating)
  • Sirocco’s (an intimate à la carte restaurant which offers real dining experience; cover charge is applied, onboard reservation is required)
  • Lido restaurant (with al-fresco dining area and self-service buffet, open 24 hours a day; twice a week international theme nights are held)
  • Terrace Grill (the place for lunchtime BBQs, salads and pizzas served on the open deck; another possibility is the 24 hours a day room service, an extra charge applied).

Thomson Spirit cruise ship

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The five bars on Thomson Spirit provide stylish atmosphere. Among them is the Horizons - a sophisticated bar with live classical music and spotlight cabarets. The Raffles Bar features a central piano bar and is ideal for pre-dinner drinks. The Lido Bar is next to the pool, outdoors. The lounges onboard Thomson Spirit are Explorers’ Lounge, playing relaxing live music, and Broadway Show Lounge, with top comedies and West-End-style shows. High Spirits also provides live music plus game shows and a late-night disco.


Follows the complete list of Thomson Spirit lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • Broadway Show Lounge (600-seat, features grand production shows with dance, acrobatics, comedy and games); Mezzanine Lounge & Bar (on the top level of Broadway Lounge)
  • Broad Street Shops (duty-free shopping arcade with boutiques selling watches, fine jewellery, Thomson Cruises logo merchandise, luxury perfumes, fashion clothes, liquor, tobaccos, convenience goods); Boutique (luxury Spa cosmetics, beauty products)
  • Photo Gallery & Shop; Card Room; Browsers’ Corner (Library); Cinema
  • Explorers’ Lounge (features live piano music and daily Afternoon Tea; home to The Coffee Port bar for speciality coffees and teas served with complimentary desserts; wi-fi hotspot)
  • Casino (served by its own Bar)
  • Raffles Bar (piano bar for pre-dinner drinks, with panoramic sea views)
  • Lido Bar (open 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.; serves the pool deck area)
  • High Spirits (disco nightclub, with its own bar, a stage for live performances, dance floor; offers live music, film screenings, game shows and dancing classes during the day)
  • Main Pool area (paddle pool for kids, swimming pool, sunbathing area; served by an alfresco Lido Bar)
  • Thomson Kids’ Club (play area, complimentary; offers supervised age-appropriate activities for kids 3-11 yo); Video Games Arcade; Graffiti’s Teen Area
  • Oceans Spa & Gym (Wellness Centre: Massage Rooms, Saunas, Beauty Salon, Relaxation Area; The Gym has a separate Aerobic Studio)
  • Adults-only pool deck area (swimming pool, whirlpool, sunbathing area)
  • Horizons Lounge & Bar (observation lounge with panoramic sea views; has a dance floor and offers live classical music and jazz performances, as well as cabaret performances in the evening)
  • Sports deck (tennis tables, combined sports courts for basketball, football, tennis).

Thomson Spirit - user reviews and comments

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Thomson Spirit Wiki

MS Thomson Spirit cruise ship is the longest-serving vessel in Thomson UK's fleet. The ship was built as ms Nieuw Amsterdam (link to the Holland America ship). In 2000, the vessel was taken over by United State Lines (now defunct) and renamed "ms Patriot", before chartered by Celestyal Cruises. In 2002, it was sub-chartered by Thomson and in May 2003, following a drydock refit, started operations as "Thomson Spirit".

Most of the cruise passengers are from the UK, but much younger than those on other lines popular with British cruising market. Longer itineraries attract the mid-40s and upwards couples. During school holidays, there are many families too.

Fun fact is, that during the 2014 Winter Olympics (Russia), the ship was used as a floating hotel - together with Celestyal Olympia and Grand Holiday (now MS Magellan for CMV).

In July 2017, Thomson Cruises announced that it extended the time of Thomson Spirit with the fleet, sailing the ship until the end of summer 2018 due to overwhelming customer demand. Thomson Spirit, which was due to cruise for the final time in November 2017, was based in Palma in April 2018, before moving to Malaga in May. Clients had the opportunity to see the best that Western Mediterranean has to offer - big city favourites like Barcelona, Lisbon and Rome, as well as lesser-known Spanish gems like Mahon, Roses and Tarragona. The last cruise of Thomson Spirit (themed "Continental Coasts" was scheduled for October 21, 2018. Then, the ship joins Celestyal Cruises.

Next table shows liner's last cruise for Marrela - 7-day roundtrip from Malaga (themed "Continental Coasts")

Date / TimePort
21 Oct 21:00Departing from Malaga, Spain
23 Oct 08:00 - 16:00Port Mahon, Menorca Island, Spain
24 Oct 08:00 - 17:00Toulon, France Riviera
25 Oct 09:00 - 18:00Barcelona, Spain
26 Oct 08:00 - 18:00Valencia, Spain
27 Oct 08:00 - 16:00Cartagena, Spain
28 Oct 06:00Arriving in Malaga, Spain

The following table shows ship's last pre-scheduled cruise for Thomson UK. The 7-day itinerary (themed "Ancient Affair") was supposed to be roundtrip from Cyprus. Prices started from USD 770 pp (double occupancy).

Date / TimePort
15 NovDeparting from Limassol, Cyprus
16 Nov 10:00 - 18:00Alanya, Turkey
17 Nov 09:00 - 17:00Marmaris, Turkey
18 Nov 08:00 - 17:00Heraklion, Crete, Greece
20 Nov - 21 NovAshdod, Jerusalem, Israel
22 NovArriving in Limassol, Cyprus

Thomson Spirit refurbishment 2014 review

Note: The 2014 refurbishment made the boat a "Platinum ship". During the drydock refit, private step-out balconies were added to 19 Suites and Deluxe Balcony cabins located on top deck 9 (Eagle Deck).

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