Thomson Cruises will be sailing with the 1,512-passenger Island Escape in the Canary Islands next winter, replacing the smaller 1,254-passenger Thomson Celebration, which is currently sailing roundtrip from Tenerife. The line’s capacity will be up approximately 20 percent year-over-year.

The Island Escape will be officially transferred from Island Cruises at the end of this month, after which she will sail out of Palma de Mallorca, according to Greg Saunders, Thomson’s planning manager, cruise.

“The ship will still offer very much the same product (as she did with Island Cruises) – relaxed, informal cruising,” Saunders said. “And she will even look basically the same.”

Also new for 2010 will be the Thomson Spirit sailing out of Cyprus – “the first time we’ve been there in a while,” Saunders said. The Spirit will be offering eight sailings in March and April, calling at Latakia (in Syria), Alexandria, Port Said, and Ashdod. “Cyprus is the perfect place to be during that time of year. The weather is pleasant, and the region is so culturally rich.”

Also for next winter, the Thomson’s Celebration will be in the Red Sea, sailing out of Sharm El Sheikh, and the Thomson Destiny will be in the Caribbean, sailing from of La Romana.

Programs for the remainder of Thomson’s fleet were still pending.