TUI Travel has revealed it will retain the Island Cruises brand for next year.


The company wholly-owns the cruise brand following Royal Caribbean Cruises’ decision to sell its 50% stake to TUI-owned First Choice Holidays last month. One of the company’s ships, Island Escape, has become part of the group’s Thomson Cruises division, while its second ship Island Star has been taken off sale and will be transferred to Royal Caribbean’s Spanish cruiseline Pullmantour.


TUI Travel director of cruising David Selby said the company had now decided to keep the Island Cruises brand in place for the short to medium term, adding the decision had been made before Ocean Village announced plans to phase out its brand over the next two years.


He said: “We talked about having a contemporary and casual cruising approach but we have come to the conclusion that in the short to mid term Island Cruises will stay and certainly following Ocean Village’s decision I will keep it that way.


“It’s too early to start making instant decisions before we sufficiently understand what makes Island Cruises tick. With that in mind it’s business as usual on board.”


The Island Cruises brand already sells well through independent agents, while Thomson Cruises is mainly sold through the company’s own Thomson and First Choice agents.


Island Cruises has already announced it is to close its Brighton head office, which is being relocated to TUI Travel’s Luton offices.