For those who have swooned over Celebrity Cruises’ stylish new Solstice-class ships since their introduction in 2008, the year 2011 will be the summer of love. Inspired by its new brand platform, “Designed for you,” Celebrity Cruises has created a destination line-up for the summer of 2011 that will place all four of its Solstice-class ships – including Celebrity Silhouette, which will set sail next year – in Europe at the same time, for the first time.
The move marks the return of the widely lauded Celebrity Solstice – the class’s flagship vessel – to Europe. Celebrity’s 2011 Europe season also will include a series of new seven-night Mediterranean voyages on Celebrity Constellation, which will undergo a series of refreshments inspired by the Solstice-class vessels, later this month. Celebrity’s 2011 summer voyages and cruisetours will open for sale beginning tomorrow and continuing through the coming weeks. Celebrity’s Captain’s Club members can be the first to book voyages on Celebrity Silhouette in Europe and, in a Solstice-class first, in the Caribbean out of Bayonne, New Jersey, in the winter of 2011-12. Celebrity opened its summer Bermuda voyages – 7-night roundtrip sailings from Bayonne, New Jersey, on Celebrity Summit – on March 10.
“We believe our summer destination line-up perfectly complements our commitment to designing cruise vacations around our guests’ interests – a commitment that is central to our brand platform, ‘Designed for you,’” said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Our guests told us what they wanted in ship design, cuisine, accommodations and innovations, and we designed our Solstice-class ships around those desires. Our guests said that they want to experience that same style on our other ships, and we committed to invest $200 million to “Solsticize,” or refit, our Millennium-class ships to reflect some of the Solstice-class venues and design attributes. Now, we have designed a dynamic new cruise calendar valued by discerning cruisers and reflective of the same level of service and sophistication we offer onboard.”
When Celebrity Silhouette sets sail for the first time in July 2011, she will offer a unique maiden voyage from Hamburg to Rome and a special nine-night Mediterranean voyage. Then, she will offer a series of 12- and 13-night Holy Land sailings roundtrip out of Rome. Celebrity Equinox also will sail from Rome, offering 10- and 11-night roundtrip Mediterranean cruises.
Celebrity Solstice, offering summer Caribbean voyages out of Fort Lauderdale in the summer of 2010, will return to Europe next summer with a series of 12 night round-trip itineraries out of Barcelona, and Celebrity Eclipse – launching next month in Southampton, England – will offer a similar line-up from that same port in 2011. The 2011 Europe cruises on Celebrity Solstice, and Celebrity Equinox will open for sale to the general public beginning tomorrow; Celebrity Eclipse is already open for booking.
In another Solstice-class first, Celebrity Silhouette will sail from Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey, offering cruisers throughout the Northeast easy driving access to a vacation on the newest ship in the line’s award-winning fleet. After Celebrity Silhouette makes her debut in Europe, she will homeport in Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey during the winter of 2011-12, with a series of 12-night Caribbean voyages. Members of Celebrity’s loyalty program, Captain’s Club, will have exclusive first-booking rights to Celebrity Silhouette’s 2011-12 summer and winter itineraries, beginning tomorrow, through April 19. Additional details for Captain’s Club members can be found at www.celebritycruises.com/bookingevent. Beginning April 20, the bookings of Celebrity Silhouette will be open to the public.
With a number of guests and travel agents expressing strong interest in having a variety of lengths of Mediterranean sailings, and to showcase its soon-to-be “Solsticized” Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity designed a series of back-to-back seven-night cruises roundtrip out of Athens. Guests can take these separately or as a 14-night cruise. Three sets of the cruises will sail in September and October, and with only one or two sea days per cruise, the itineraries offer guests the opportunity to fully experience the culture-rich “Holy Land” and Greek isles. The summer 2011 season also will mark the first time that Celebrity will have six ships in Europe, with Celebrity Mercury sailing in the region as well. In total, Celebrity will visit 70 total ports in 23 countries in Europe, including six new ports: Leknes (Lofoten) and Longyearbyen, Norway; Bari and La Spezia, Italy; Bodrum, Turkey; and Kotor, Montenegro. Celebrity Constellation’s and Celebrity Mercury’s 2011 Europe voyages will open in the coming weeks.
Cruisers who wish to make the most of their time in Europe can choose from a variety of cruisetours, land tours offered pre-cruise that are combined with the cruise itself for a longer, more in-depth experience of a destination. In Europe in 2011, Celebrity will offer a new four-night Greece package on Celebrity Constellation out of Athens. The package features Athens, Delphi (with an overnight in Itea) and Olympia. Additionally, Celebrity will offer a variety of escorted cruisetour packages with colorful, immersive experiences in various cities:
* A four-night Madrid and Barcelona package
* A five-night Venice, Florence and Rome package
* A four-night Paris and London package
* A three-night Paris and Amsterdam package
Celebrity has designed a variety of shore excursions to round out the cruise experience by contrasting the new-world style and design of Celebrity’s ships with the old-world culture of Europe. Can’t-miss examples include:
* In Ephesus, Turkey, the famous ruins of Ephesus, the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean, including the iconic Library of Celsus.
* In Israel, during itineraries offering overnight stays, two-day overland tours of some of the most sacred sites in the Holy Land, including Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Wailing Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
* In Cairo, Egypt, trips to the awe-inspiring Pyramids and Sphinx. Itineraries with two days in Egypt offer overland tour options to explore further into this fascinating country.
* In Naples, Italy, a trip to explore either the ruins of Pompeii, a venue that every world explorer should visit at least once in their lifetime, or a trip to the intriguing Isle of Capri, the world’s most romantic European spot – or both.
* In Florence, Italy, tours of Michelangelo’s “David,” Ghiberti’s “Bronze Doors” and numerous architectural wonders including the Ponte Vecchio, Duomo and Pisa’s Leaning Tower and Field of Miracles.
* In Berlin, Germany, a visit to the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag, which served as Germany’s Parliament building until the early 1930s, and Potsdam Square, where the Berlin Wall used to stand.
When Celebrity Cruises’ 2011-12 Alaska season opens for sale on Tuesday, April 13, cruisers will find more opportunities to enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the privacy of their stateroom verandas. For the first time, Celebrity Century, which was redesigned to offer an additional 314 verandas in 2006, will sail in Alaska, alongside seasonal favorites Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Infinity. Replacing Celebrity Mercury in the region will be Celebrity Century, which has 73% more veranda and Concierge Class staterooms. To complement the increase in available verandas, Celebrity has designed a dynamic line-up of itineraries, cruisetours and shore excursions to offer something for every discerning cruiser seeking a premium Alaska vacation experience, including two wine-themed cruises along the Pacific Coast and a new 18-night cruisetour package.
Discerning cruisers seeking the opportunity to experience British Columbia and Alaska in style can choose from a total of 17 repeating seven-night Alaska Hubbard Glacier cruises on Celebrity Century. In addition to the expanded number of veranda staterooms, the 1,814-guest vessel’s 2006 “makeover” also included the unveiling of Murano, Celebrity’s popular European-style specialty restaurant, and the first “ice” Martini Bar at sea. Visiting Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, and cruising by the awe-inspiring Hubbard Glacier, the cruises sail roundtrip out of Vancouver from May to September. Preceding the season will be an eight-night coastal cruise along the Pacific Coast, sailing from San Diego to Vancouver on May 14.
Celebrity Infinity will continue to offer seven-night Tracy Arm Fjord cruises roundtrip out of Seattle, Washington, from May to September of 2011. The itinerary also will include calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, as well as a cruise through the Alaska Inside Passage. Bookending Celebrity Infinity’s seven-night pattern will be two 10-night Ultimate Alaska voyages roundtrip out of Seattle on May 10 and September 16.
Building on the popularity of past years, Celebrity Millennium will present seven-night alternating northbound and southbound cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, from May to early September. These cruises will visit Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway, and will cruise by Hubbard Glacier. Celebrity Millennium’s 2011 Alaska season will start with a 10-night West Coast wine cruise from San Diego, California, to Vancouver on May 3, featuring an overnight call in San Francisco, followed by a roundtrip seven-night Hubbard Glacier cruise roundtrip out of Vancouver. At the end of its northbound/southbound season, Celebrity Millennium will offer another wine cruise, sailing for 10 nights from Vancouver to San Diego with another overnight call in San Francisco, as well as calls to Monterey and Catalina Island, California.
Celebrity has designed 21 Alaska cruisetours to offer cruisers a variety of land tour experiences like no other into the interior of Alaska. New in 2011 is a vacation-of-a-lifetime experience, “The Ultimate Cruisetour – Canadian Rockies & Alaska,” an 18-night package being offered to guests sailing on Celebrity Millennium. The experience features a six-night pre-cruise Canadian Rockies tour, a seven-night northbound Alaska cruise, and a five-night post-cruise Alaska land tour. Highlights of the Canadian Rockies portion include rail travel through the Rockies, accommodations at Victoria’s acclaimed Fairmont Empress, and a two-night stay in Denali.
All cruisetours include hotel accommodations, in-tour transportation and baggage transfers, and some meals. In Alaska, Celebrity’s local tour directors travel with the guests as they enjoy the luxury of Celebrity’s glass-domed Wilderness Express railcars and deluxe motorcoaches.
While sailing on any of Celebrity’s Alaska cruises, a wide range of shore excursions have been designed to offer discerning cruisers enriching experiences of Alaska’s scenery, culture and history, from train tours to cycling, from culinary extravaganzas to whale-watching. Examples include “Pilot’s Choice Glacier Exploration” in Juneau, where guests have an opportunity to take in the beauty of a breathtaking glacier from the viewpoint of a helicopter, and “Wild Alaska: Culinary Extravaganza” in Icy Strait Point, where guests can savor wild Alaskan salmon or locally caught Dungeness crab. Ketchikan’s “Saxman Native Village and Lumberjack Show” offers guests a way to experience demonstrations of totem-pole carving and a fun-filled competition by lumberjacks, two hallmarks of Alaskan culture.