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  1. #1
    Robinson Cruisoe, Mrs's Avatar
     Robinson Cruisoe, Mrs is offline Administrator Member
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    Thomson Cruises to offer UK sailings in 2012

    Thomson is bringing a few ex-UK itineraries back next year -- something they haven't done since 2009. Thomson Spirit will be based at Newcastle from May-July, then Harwich from August to September.



    There will be 15 cruises to choose from - ranging from 3 to 14 nights.

    Itineraries include around Britain/Ireland, Baltic, Iceland, Norwegian Fjords and a mini-cruise to Belgium and Holland.

    Booking early benefits include up to £100 on board spending money, cabin upgrades and free car parking or coach transfers.

    Destiny will move from Palma to Corfu, for 7/14 night itineraries from 4 May 2012. And newest ship, Dream, will offer four different itineraries from Palma, Majorca - new ports of call include Casablanca and Gibraltar.

    After the season of ex-UK sailings, Spirit will also operate from Palma (starting 6 October 2012) for 7 night Mediterranean itineraries.

    Celebration will continue being based at Marmaris, Turkey, from May 2012 - but will offer a few new ports of call including the island of Bozcaada.

    Phil Gardner, Thomson Cruises commercial Manager said: “As a British Cruise company we are very excited to be back cruising from the UK.

    “We have widened the portfolio of destinations we offer on our cruises to give customers even more choice. We have also listened to our customers who have requested the return of our UK programme and responded.

    “Customers will now be able to experience the great service, value and holiday they get on a Thomson Cruise without even having to step on a plane.”

    Are you a Thomson cruiser? Are you happy with the news for 2012? If you've never cruised with Thomson, are you tempted to try?

    Last edited by Robinson Cruisoe, Mrs; 17th March 2011 at 10:33 PM.

  2. #2
    davecttr, gillingham's Avatar
     davecttr, gillingham is offline Petty Officer Member
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    Of course we are happy, we have been banging on about it for years. I have done two Thomsons cruises ex UK, The fjords and Fire and Ice to Iceland. Now I am hopefully trying the North Cape cruise. The Newcastle departures will be especially welcome to northern and Scottish cruisers.


  3. #3
    tuggy, warminster's Avatar
     tuggy, warminster is offline Boatswain Member
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    Welcome home, Thomson. The cruise division of Britain's largest travel agency has announced it will resume sailing from the United Kingdom in summer 2012, ending a three year exodus from U.K. homeport cruising.

    The 33,930-ton, 1,254-passenger Thomson Spirit will be based in Newcastle from May to July and then Harwich in August and September with 15 different ex-U.K. itineraries, including old favourites like the Baltic, Iceland and Norwegian Fjord. It will also introduce a new 11-night British Isles cruise, taking in various islands including Guernsey, Isle of Man, Isle of Mull and the Orkneys, with prices from £949 per person.

    The trend-bucking choice of Newcastle in lieu of more popular southern ports will delight cruisers in the north, who still have long distances to travel to join the bulk of ex-U.K. ships travelling from Southampton and Dover. Thomson will join Fred. Olsen and Cruise & Maritime Voyages as regulars at the northeast port. A spokeswoman for the line explained the decision: "Newcastle had always been a success in the past backed up by strong cruise sales from our retail outlets in this area." Add to that the obligatory strong customer demand for the reintroduction of cruises from the U.K.

    But why the original departure from Britain? Thomson initially abandoned its ex-U.K. programme in 2009 to concentrate on fly-cruises from its then-new port of Marmaris, Turkey, as well as Corfu, Greece and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. At the time it was reported that although the ex-U.K. cruises had always sold well, Thomson was a tour operator with its own airline, and it made sense to use its aircraft to fill the ships.

    It was, however, always assumed that Thomson would return to home shores.

    The homecoming is a savvy move by Thomson as figures out this week from the Passenger Shipping Association showed British cruise departures increased by 10 percent in 2010, with more than 650,000 people choosing to cruise from the U.K. The confidence in this growing market was echoed earlier this month by P&O Cruises, the biggest U.K. homeporter, announcing a hefty 148 ex-U.K. cruises in its summer/autumn 2012 itineraries.

    Thomson is offering a selection of early booking offers which include an onboard spend of up to £100, up to 25 percent off all cabin upgrades, as well as free parking or coach transfer to Harwich or Newcastle ports for all Summer 2012 ex-U.K. cruises for bookings made up to 30 June 2011. The Thomson Spirit itineraries from the U.K. will be avilable to book from 7 April.

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  4. #4
     meo, Felixtowe is offline Ship's Cat Member
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    Good news that Thomson are once again sailing from Harwich. We went to the Baltics from Harwich on Celebration and it was great not to have to fly. Also as Harwich is only a half hour drive from Felixstowe our holiday got off to a stress free start. I am looking forward to checking out the Spirit itineraries. Welcome back Thomsons.

    Last edited by meo, Felixtowe; 28th March 2011 at 09:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Fred Bloggs, Tyne and Wear's Avatar
     Fred Bloggs, Tyne and Wear is offline Warrant Officer Member
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    Certainly something I'll have a look at. We've only once sailed from Newcastle. On the DFDS car ferry! Not exactly luxury but it was great to be home in 30 minutes after leaving the ship!


  6. #6
    Fred Bloggs, Tyne and Wear's Avatar
     Fred Bloggs, Tyne and Wear is offline Warrant Officer Member
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    Well there's nothing on the Thomson website for summer 2012!


  7. #7
    davecttr, gillingham's Avatar
     davecttr, gillingham is offline Petty Officer Member
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    There won't be anything until 7th april when the UK based cruises are available followed by the rest in May.


  8. #8
     Celebs, East Kilbride is offline Ship's Cat Member
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    Phil Gardner, Thomson Cruises commercial Manager said: “As a British Cruise company we are very excited to be back cruising from the UK.

    “We have widened the portfolio of destinations we offer on our cruises to give customers even more choice. We have also listened to our customers who have requested the return of our UK programme and responded.

    “Customers will now be able to experience the great service, value and holiday they get on a Thomson Cruise without even having to step on a plane.”

    Are you a Thomson cruiser? Are you happy with the news for 2012? If you've never cruised with Thomson, are you tempted to try?[/QUOTE]

    We've never cruised with Thomson before - are so used to Celebrity. We have cruised from Southampton with Eclipse and Queen Victoria - it's great not having to fly and worry about suitcase weights. Travelling from Scotland on the train and having to go through London is not the best however. Newcastle will be just perfect for us and will definitely mean we will give Thomson a try.


  9. #9
     OLD GIRL, CLECKHEATON is offline Purser Member
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    Really pleased that Thomson have listened to their customers. Some of us are really fed up with spending so much time in airports and it's a long way to Southampton .
    One of our best cruises was on the Celebration which sailed from Newcastle to the Baltic Capitals in 2006. Really convenient- stress free journey and embarcation.


  10. #10
     Russell, Bournemouth is offline First Mate Member
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    Good news that Thomson are once again sailing from Harwich. We went to the Baltics from Harwich on Celebration and it was great not to have to fly. Also as Harwich is only a half hour drive from Felixstowe our holiday got off to a stress free start. I am looking forward to checking out the Spirit itineraries. Welcome back Thomsons.
    Sadly though they aren't offering their full range of itineraries from Harwich. I am disappointed that both the North Cape and Fire and Ice itineraries only depart from Newcastle. I suspect Thomson's free transport offered as an early booking perk won't operate as far afield as from the South coast to the N.E. At least it didn't the last time Thomson sailed ex-U.K.


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