Celebrity Equinox to Balance Europe, Caribbean in First Year

In a true equinox, the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, equalizing the length of day and night. When Celebrity Equinox, the second in Celebrity Cruises’ newest class of ships, sets sail in 2009, it may not be crossing the equator, but it will aim to balance two of the most popular – and inherently different – cruise destinations: Europe and the Caribbean. In mid-summer 2009, Celebrity Equinox will sail a short but unique season in Europe, featuring new ports and several overnight stays, before transitioning to the Caribbean for the rest of the year and the first quarter of 2010.

Bookings for Celebrity Equinox’s 2009 Europe sailings will open exclusively for members of Celebrity’s loyalty program, “Captain’s Club,” on March 13. Beginning March 20, other cruisers are welcome to book the Europe voyages. Bookings for Celebrity Equinox’s Caribbean season will open for all cruisers at a later date.

“We have seen a great deal of enthusiasm for Celebrity Solstice, and we anticipate that we will see equal excitement about Celebrity Equinox,” said Celebrity’s President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. “As a special gesture of appreciation for the loyalty of our Captain’s Club members, we’re offering them the first opportunity to experience Celebrity Equinox when she sails in Europe next year.”

Celebrity Equinox will make her maiden voyage on August 8 with a 10-night “Best of Europe” itinerary from Southampton to Rome, calling on ports in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, as well as the United Kingdom’s Gibraltar, along the way. Celebrity Equinox then will sail a series of 13- and 14-night “Ancient Empires” cruises featuring two new ports of call: Haifa and Ashdod, Israel. These voyages also include an overnight stay in Alexandria, Egypt. These sailings will take place August 18; August 31, September 13, September 26, October 10, and October 23, and include additional calls in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.

On November 5, the ship will sail a transatlantic voyage to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she will subsequently begin a series of alternating 11- and 10-night “Ultimate Caribbean” voyages. The 11-night voyages, slated for November 23, 2009, and January 4, January 25, February 15, March 8 and March 29, 2010, will stop in George Town, Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Roatan, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. The 10-night sailings, taking place on December 4 and December 14, 2009, and January 15, February 5, February 26, March 19 and April 9, 2010, include calls on Charlote Amalie, St. Thomas; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Roseau, Dominica; Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Celebrity Equinox will offer Celebrity Cruises’ signature standout service and dining, as well as a slate of new features unique to the Solstice class of ships. One of those is The Lawn Club, a half-acre on the top deck of the ship featuring real, growing grass, where guests can play croquet and bocce, practice their golf putting and picnic with wine and cheese. Like Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox also will feature the cruise industry’s only “Hot Glass Show” at sea, a dedicated glassblowing studio where The Corning Museum of Glass will present glassblowing demonstrations.

Celebrity’s new Solstice class of ships also feature the line’s new AquaClass category of veranda accommodations expressly designed for spa enthusiasts. Guests in AquaClass will enjoy unlimited access to the AquaSpa relaxation room and the exotic aromatherapy and steam room, as well as exclusive, complimentary dining in Blu, an intimate, 130-seat specialty restaurant. Including Blu, this new class of ships will feature ten dining venues including a subtly upscale lido deck, multiple specialty restaurants, a 24-hour bistro-style café and a majestic main dining room.

Beginning March 13, to take advantage of their exclusive booking window, Celebrity’s Captain’s Club members can contact their travel agent or the Captain’s Club Early Booking Desk at 1.888.561.2232. Celebrity plans to post additional details at www.celebritycruises.com/celebrityequinox beginning March 6.

Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe and Australia through its cruisetour affiliate. Noted for “The Top Cruise Ships in the World,” as voted by the readers of Conde’ Nast Traveler (February 2008 readers’ poll), Celebrity’s current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, and a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com. And for more about Celebrity’s new Solstice class, visit www.celebritysolstice.com.

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