They say that opposites attract, so Celebrity Cruises is balancing new with old in its 2010 Europe itinerary lineup. The stunning design of Celebrity’s newest ships will meet the history-rich cities of the Old World next year, when all three ships in the brand-new Solstice class sail the region. The 2,850-guest Celebrity Solstice, which set sail for the first time in November 2008, Celebrity Equinox, launching in 2009, and Celebrity Eclipse, setting sail in 2010 as Celebrity’s first primarily-UK-sourced vessel, will be joined by the ever-popular, 2,039-guest Celebrity Constellation, offering a celestial line-up of compelling European cruise itineraries. Cruisetours featuring a pre-cruise escorted land tour and shore excursions during the sailings round out these offerings. Celebrity opened its 2010 Europe and transatlantic cruise and cruisetour season for bookings today. Guests who purchase a 2010 Celebrity Europe or transatlantic cruise during the booking window from March 10 to June 10, 2009, aboard Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox or Celebrity Solstice are eligible for an onboard credit of $100 per stateroom, if their cruise is on. Guests who purchase a 2010 Celebrity Europe or transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, or Celebrity Solstice, within a booking window of March 10 and June 10, 2009, are eligible for an onboard credit of $100 per stateroom.
The season will offer something for every cruise enthusiast, with a variety of cruise itineraries and cruisetours being offered throughout Europe. Celebrity Constellation will sail 12-night Scandinavia and Russia and seven-night Mediterranean sailings. Celebrity Eclipse, the first Celebrity ship to be homeported in England and sourced primarily from the UK market when she makes her debut next year, will offer a varied lineup of new 11-night and longer cruises to the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea, and the Canary Islands. Celebrity Equinox will sail a series of 12-night voyages throughout the Mediterranean, and Celebrity Solstice will offer 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean as well as 13-night Holy Land cruises. Pre-cruise escorted land tours ranging from three to five nights in length are available with each of these cruises.
In addition to Celebrity Eclipse joining the fleet next year and offering British travelers an array of new itineraries out of Southampton, Celebrity’s 2010 Europe cruise lineup reflects several differences from the line’s offerings in that region in 2009. The most notable of these are Celebrity Constellation taking over Celebrity Century’s 2009 itineraries, and Celebrity Equinox sailing the 12-night open-jaw voyages from Barcelona to Venice being offered on Celebrity Summit this year.
Together, the four ships will merge the value of a cruise vacation with the opportunity to experience nearly every major part of Europe. The season will include a total of 76 transatlantic and Europe sailings visiting a total of 22 countries and calling at 65 different ports. Four of these ports are new to Celebrity: Alicante, Spain; Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; La Spezia, Italy; and Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. Three ports that Celebrity will visit in 2010 have not been in the cruise line’s itineraries for several years: Genoa, Italy, last visited in 2005; Hamburg, Germany, last visited in 2002; and Toulon, France, last visited in 2000.
Each of the four Celebrity ships sailing in Europe next year offer interesting options for cruisers. On May 9, 2010, Celebrity Constellation will sail a new, one-time, seven-night Norwegian Fjords voyage roundtrip out of Amsterdam, Holland. Ports of call include Oslo, Stavanger, Alesund and Bergen, Norway. She will also offer a one-time, 12-night cruise to the Arctic Circle on June 21, roundtrip out of Amsterdam. The voyage will take guests through the spectacularly lined waterways of Norway’s northernmost areas, stopping at Alesund, Tromso, Honningsvag, Molde, Geiranger, Olden and Bergen, and cruising by the Arctic Circle.
Celebrity Constellation’s seven-night Mediterranean sailings will call on Genoa, Italy, which is a change from 2009’s Celebrity Century sailings that will call on Portofino. The Mediterranean cruises will also feature visits to Nice (Villefranche), France and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples/Capri, Italy. During their cruise, guests can choose from numerous available shore excursions such as the “Florence and Pisa” excursion in Florence/Pisa (Livorno), which includes a visit to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and highlights of Florence that include the Piazza del Duomo, a copy of Michaelangelo’s “David” in the Piazza del Signoria and the Church of Santa Croce. Guests who wish to extend their Celebrity Constellation vacation can choose from two pre-cruise escorted land tours, which vary by sailing: a four-night Madrid and Barcelona tour or a three-night Paris and Amsterdam tour.
Celebrity Eclipse, which offered Celebrity’s Captain’s Club members the opportunity to be the first guests to book its inaugural season voyages earlier this month, will offer 16 different sailings ranging from four to 16 nights in length, all departing from Southampton. A four-night “short break,” offered on April 29 and May 3, will feature an overnight stop in Cork, Ireland. Celebrity Eclipse’s 14-night Scandinavia and Russia cruises, sailing on May 7, June 12, June 26 and July 10, will include an overnight in St. Petersburg. All but the July 10 voyage will also include an overnight in Copenhagen, Denmark. All four of these sailings will visit Brugges, Belgium, which was the setting for the recent award-winning film, “In Bruges.” Guests can enhance their experience during these cruises by adding shore excursions such as “Grand St. Petersburg with Hermitage” in St. Petersburg, where guests will explore the former capital of Imperial Russia. Highlights of this excursion include St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the famous Hermitage Museum. Other excursions offered during these sailings include the “Behind the Scenes of the Hermitage” tour, also in St. Petersburg, where guests will learn how art is stored, view parts of the Repository and tour popular exhibits in the famous Hermitage Museum, and an excursion in Stockholm, Sweden called “The Ice Bar & Old Town.” During this tour, guests will visit Stockholm’s oldest and coziest quarters in the Old Town as well as the world’s first permanent ice bar, where all interior items – including drinking glasses – are made of pure, clear ice. Guests can sip vodka while exploring the bar and learning about its construction. Celebrity Eclipse’s 11-night Canary Islands sailings, taking place on May 21, June 1, and October 20, each include visits to three Canary Islands ports as well as stops in Portugal and Spain. The 16-night Mediterranean voyages taking place on September 18 and October 4 feature visits to Spain, Italy and Croatia. Guests can make the most of their Celebrity Eclipse getaway by booking a four-night pre-cruise escorted land tour of Paris and London.
Celebrity Equinox will offer 13 open-jaw, 12-night sailings between Barcelona and Venice from May into October 2010, with an overnight stay in Venice on all of these. These cruises offer the best of the Eastern and Western Mediterranean regions, visiting Athens and Santorini in Greece; Florence, Naples, Rome and Venice in Italy; either Dubrovnik or Split in Croatia; and either Nice (Villefranche) or Toulon in France. Shore excursions can enhance cruisers’ experience; a range of options is available, featuring experiences such as “Nice, Eze and Moncaco,” where guests will travel along the Lower and Middle Corniche Roads, taking in their spectacular views, stroll the streets of Nice, visit the charming medieval village of Eze and explore famous Monte Carlo. A three-night escorted land tour now featuring a visit to Lake Como and an overnight in Venice is available as an extension of cruises departing from Venice. Guests embarking in Barcelona can enhance their vacation with a four-night pre-cruise escorted land tour of Madrid and Barcelona.
The deep blue waters of the Mediterranean will also host Celebrity Solstice for the second consecutive year, as she is set to sail 10- and 11-night Mediterranean voyages out of Rome (Civitavecchia), similar to those that she will offer in 2009. The 10-night voyages in 2010 will feature a call to Rhodes, Greece, known as the “Island of the Sun,” and the 11-night cruises will include an overnight stay in Istanbul, giving guests the opportunity to take advantage of a two-day shore excursion visiting numerous landmarks in the city. Known as “Istanbul Classical Tour with Lunch over Two Days,” this excursion gives guests the opportunity to explore Istanbul over the course of two days; highlights include the ancient Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia Museum (formerly known as the Church of Hagia Sophia), the exotic Grand Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace, where Ottoman Sultans once resided.
Celebrity Solstice’s five13-night Holy Land sailings, sailing roundtrip out of Rome from the end of August through mid-October, will include overnight stays in Alexandria, Egypt, and call on ports throughout Italy, Greece, Turkey and Israel. Shore excursions such as “Luxor and Valley of the Kings” in Alexandria add additional depth to these cruises. In “Luxor and Valley of the Kings,” guests will visit Luxor, home to one third of the world’s Egyptian antiquities. Highlights include visits to Karnak Temple with its unique Hypostyle Hall, sacred lake and avenue of the Sphinxes, Valley of the Kings with tombs of the Kings of the New Kingdom and Luxor Temple, and more.
In Rome, before their cruise, guests have the opportunity to add a five-night pre-cruise escorted land tour focusing on Italy’s stars: Venice, Florence and Rome.
Highlights of the cruisetours offered in conjunction with Celebrity’s 2010 Europe season include:
A four-night tour of Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, offered with sailings on Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Equinox: The package includes panoramic tours of Madrid, Toledo and Barcelona, highlighted by stops at key landmarks such as Madrid’s Plaza de España, Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, and Toledo’s cathedral. Two overnights in Madrid will be followed by two overnights in Barcelona.
A five-night tour of Venice, Florence, and Rome, Italy, offered in conjunction with sailings on Celebrity Solstice: The package includes walking tours in each city, two nights in Venice, one night in Florence, two nights in Rome, and visits to numerous can’t-miss landmarks. These include St. Mark’s Square and Cathedral in Venice, the Duomo and Santa Croce Cathedral in Florence, and in Rome, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Colosseum and the Vatican.
A three-night “Italian Lakes and Venice” package, offered in tandem with sailings on Celebrity Equinox: The package includes two overnights in Stresa on the banks of Lago Maggiore, a private cruise on Lake Como, and an overnight in Venice. In Venice, guests will visit to St. Mark’s Square and the Doges’ Palace.
A four-night “Paris and London” package, offered in conjunction with sailings on Celebrity Eclipse: The package includes two overnights in Paris plus visits to the Champs-Elysees, Palace de la Concorde and Eiffel Tower, and travel through the Chunnel to London. There, guests will enjoy sights such as Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and more, as well as two nights in the city.
A new, three-night tour of Paris and Amsterdam, offered in tandem with sailings on Celebrity Constellation: This package features two nights in Paris and one in Amsterdam. In Paris, guests will enjoy a sightseeing tour that includes a visit to Notre Dame and more. In Amsterdam, a private canal cruise will feature sights such as the Anne Frank house, the River Amstel with the famous Skinny Bridge, the Twin Houses, and more.
All cruisetours are fully escorted and include hotel accommodations, in-tour transportation and baggage transfers, and some meals. All cruisetours include ample time for independent sightseeing, shopping and dining.
Celebrity’s early booking offer, open to residents of the United States and Canada, applies to all Europe or transatlantic cruises taking place in 2010 on Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Solstice. This applies to FIT bookings and group space (only group bookings named and deposited between March 10 and June 10, 2009, are eligible).