Exciting news! Marella Cruises’ Winter 2019 and Summer 2020 programme is FINALLY here! What does that mean you ask? It means new destinations, new itineraries and impressive improvements made across the fleet, meaning better cruises than ever before!
Marella Cruises are treating you to six new ports of call across Winter 2019 and Summer 2020. And not only that, but they’re bringing back some forgotten favourites that they haven’t sailed to for a while – read on to find out where they are!
New ports of call
This UNESCO-protected Medieval town on the Swedish island of Gotland features on the Treasures of the Fjords itinerary. It’s a far cry away from the Swedish port of Stockholm, with a much more rustic atmosphere thanks to it’s tangled cobbled lanes, pretty pastel cottages and intriguing Gothic ruins.
It’s amazingly preserved city walls are the strongest and most extensive defensive city walls in all of Scandinavia, and you really will feel as though you’ve traveled back in time.
The wooden spires of Visby Cathedral are pretty hard to miss, and it’s definitely worth a visit as you stroll through the town. The ruins of medieval churches are also a big-hit with visitors, as is the Gotlands Museum, where you can soak up all the history of this area through pre-Viking 8th century carved stones and other priceless artifacts.
Port Royal, Jamaica
You’ll find this new and exciting port on two of the new itineraries – Panama Canal Experience and Secret Shores. Once the largest city in the Caribbean in the 17th century, it was also known as the ‘wickedest city’ in Jamaica due to being home to the real pirates of the Caribbean.
This previous buccaneer’s paradise is unrecognisable today, instead resembling a small sleepy fishing village. A massive earthquake and tsunami sank much of the city into the sea in 1692, resulting in one of the most important underwater sites in the world. Much of the city is preserved just a few metres below the water, including several hundred sunken ships.
Port Royal is also the gateway to Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. Visit the iconic Bob Marley museum or bask on the beach of Lime Cay – and don’t forget to taste that authentic Jamaican jerk chicken!
Fjords cruises have continued to grow in popularity over the years, so it’s no surprise that Marella Cruises are adding a new port hidden away in the stunning fjords. You can head to the natural beauty of Nordfjord on both the Treasures of the Fjords itinerary and the Fabulous Fjords sailing.
You’ll come to this village at the end of a 15-kilometre-long fjord, surrounded by steep mountains that keep this hidden gem well and truly tucked away. You’re really in the thick of the fjords here, and the scenery around you is utterly breathtaking.
You’ll find one of the steepest cable cars in the world here – Loen Skylift. This amazing ride is not to be missed – the views you get from the top are nothing short of spectacular, encompassing so much of the surrounding fjord landscape. On a clear day, you really will feel like you’re in a fairy tale.
Samana, Dominican Republic
Head to the all-new port of Samana on the exciting new Secret Shores itinerary. This is where the Dominican Republic is at its finest, with the beaches, rainforests and tropical islands all being the way nature intended.
Say hello to postcard-perfect secluded shores, thick leafy jungles and jaw-dropping waterfalls. There’s even opportunities for whale watching, too. One thing’s for sure – you won’t be short on things to do during your day here.
If you’re feeling brave you can even choose to zip-line through the forest. Or of course you can always choose to keep things more relaxed, and opt for a snooze in a hammock one of Samana’s unspoiled beaches. This unique destination is a far cry from the more touristy areas of Punta Cana and Puerto Plata – you’ll feel at one with nature in a matter of minutes.
Gatun Lake, Panama
This is one for the bucket list – sailing through the amazing feat of engineering that is the Panama Canal. You’ll sail partially through the canal and come to Gatun Lake, where you’ll head on an exclusive excursion with the Marella Cruises.
You’ll learn all about the amazing efforts that came together to form such an impressive system, with Gatun Lake being one of the biggest artificial lakes in the world. It’s the most scenic spot on this famed passage, and you’ll learn all about the wildlife here too – exuberant vegetation, rare tropical birds and mischievous monkeys.
It’s worth noting that you’ll only be able to depart the ship at Gatun Lake if you’ve booked the excursion with Marella Cruises – this is due to the fact that the ship will then sail back down the Panama Canal to Colon, where customers who have been on the excursion will rejoin the ship. This port can be found on the Panama Canal Experience itinerary.
Opposite the Greek island of Corfu lies the picturesque resort of Sarande in Albania. This colourful port is part of the Charming Coasts itinerary, which ties in other destinations such as Piraeus in Greece and Kotor in Montenegro.
The town lies on a horseshoe-shaped bay on the Albanian Riviera, sandwiched between the Ionian Sea and an abundance of olive groves. Top things to do in this port include a visit to Lëkurësi Castle – hilltop ruins with imposing round towers and sweeping views.
The Monastery of 40 saints here is said to date back to the 6th century, and is thought to have been an important regional pilgrimage site. Another site boasting fantastic views, it seems you’re guaranteed superb scenery in Sarande.
Returning ports of call
As well as these amazing new ports, Marella Cruises are also bringing back some ports that they haven’t visited for a while! Which one of the three below will you be cruising to?
Sail on the Ancient Kingdoms itinerary onboard Marella Dream or Marella Celebration and you’ll sail from sunny Cyprus to Alexandria in Egypt. Visit the world-famous library pictured above, which was one of the largest and most significant libraries in the ancient world. The historical importance of this city can’t be understated.
Founded by Alexander the Great, you’ll get to soak up all the character of this charming city – revel in it’s culture, bathe on its beaches and get a taste of traditional Egyptian cuisine.
Istanbul is back by popular demand! Visit this port on the Aegean Explorer itinerary onboard one of the newest ships in the fleet, Marella Explorer. A mixture of Greek and Turkish hot spots, this itinerary is quite possibly one of our favourites!
Often misconceived as the capital of Turkey, the Old City here truly reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled this great land. It might not be the capital, but it certainly is in terms of culture.
The Hagia Sophia Museum – a former Byzantine church and mosque – stands out from it’s surrounding buildings thanks to its enormous dome structure, featuring glittering mosaics of Biblical scenes. A boat tour is also recommended to appreciate the unique views of the Bosporus – an internationally significant waterway, separating Europe from Asia.
Last but certainly not least is Casablanca in Morocco, which you’ll visit on the Spirit of Iberia itinerary. The largest city in the country, you’ll fall in love with the charm and romance of this port much like with the 1945 film of the same name.
The most recognisable landmark here has to be the Hassan II Mosque – one of the largest in the world – with its towering minaret looking out over the sea. The inside is just as impressive too, a masterpiece of intricate mosaics, sculpted plaster moldings and carved and pained wooden ceilings.
Make sure to try some of the authentic Moroccan dishes on offer – they’re big on flavour, aroma and spice. The kefta tagine is a popular choice!
These fantastic destinations and their itineraries are on sale today! Click here to view all Winter 2019/Summer 2020 deals.
Read more about what these new itineraries have to offer! Secret Shores and Ancient Kingdoms are heading straight to the top of our ‘must-cruise’ list.
There’s so much going on we can barely contain our excitement! Aside from all the new itineraries and ports of call, you’ll be pleased to know that Marella Celebration, Marella Dream and Marella Discovery are all going into wet or dry dock this November to have some fabulous improvements made!
Got any questions?
Just give us a call on 0800 107 2323! We’re on hand seven days a week to answer any queries you might have.
We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.