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Thomson Spirit Arrives and Departs Liverpool

Photographs © Peter Challis 2014 - additional notes by John H. Luxton

The arrival on the Mersey of MS THOMSON SPIRIT [33,930grt / 1983] on May 07, 2014 heralded what is to be a rather short one-off season of Liverpool originating cruises operated by the TUI-Thomson Group. Back in the autumn of 2008 sister ship MS THOMSON CELEBRATION was scheduled to operate two cruises from the Mersey, the second cruise to Ireland turned into a non-event with passengers spending the duration of the cruise in Langton Dock with no refunds - only the offer of a discount on another cruise or package holiday! Your web master was unfortunately on board THOMSON CELEBRATION for the "Taste of Ireland Cruise" and wrote a voyage report of the non- event which still makes for interesting reading especially for prospective customers this company!

In 2013 TUI-Thomson made something of a fan-fare of commencing operations from Liverpool Cruise Terminal with the announcement of a short season of cruises in 2014. However, a few weeks ago the Liverpool Echo revealed that this will be the only season TUI-Thomson will operate from Liverpool and that fares for the cruises were on offer at "bucket shop" prices. Apparently TUI-Thomson is withdrawing the ships from UK sailings and reverting to fly-cruise operations. One wonders though if the lack of support, at least from Liverpool, might have been due to many people having memories of what happened in 2008. Like the elephant, many Merseysiders never forget!

MS THOMSON SPIRIT has been owned since 2012 by Spirit Trading Opco LLC of Piraeus Greece and chartered to TUI-Thomson unlike her sister MS THOMSON CELEBRATION which has been owned by TUI since 2010. Both ships originally entered service with Holland America line.

THOMSON SPIRIT departed Liverpool at 16:30 on her Celtic Connections Cruise which was due to call at Dublin, Cóbh, Galway, Greenock and Douglas.


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