Celebrity Cruises Celebrates Xcel’s Keel Laying Ceremony

Celebrity Xcel

 Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, the Celebrity Xcel, is now under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France.

According to a press release, the building process started on Thursday and was marked by a keel-laying ceremony.

As the latest ship in Celebrity’s Edge series, the Xcel is scheduled to enter service in the fall of 2025 with several year-to-be-revealed offerings, the company said.

With a new tri-fuel engine, the 3,260-guest vessel is also set to become the company’s first-ever methanol-capable ship.

As part of today’s ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises, and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, lowered the first 739-ton steel block for the new ship in the dry dock.

Continuing a longstanding maritime tradition, executives from the cruise company and the shipyard placed newly minted coins on the first piece of steel to bestow good luck on the ship during both the construction process and future sailings.

According to Celebrity, as a nod to “the new caliber of excellence ushered in by Edge Series ships,” the coin design commemorated another innovation, NASA’s Saturn V rocket.

“Today, we not only mark the start of construction, but we are laying the foundation on which countless memories will be created,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.

“Each new ship also represents an opportunity to advance our journey to net zero, and with Xcel, we are building our first methanol-capable ship, which helps advance our transition to the energy platform of the future,” he added.

“We can’t wait to debut Celebrity Xcel and her unrivaled guest experiences, living up to her name in every way with surprises that confirm ‘Nothing Comes Close’ to a Celebrity vacation,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, president of Celebrity Cruises.

“We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Chantiers de l’Atlantique team for lending their craftsmanship to further elevate the innovative design and world-class features of our beloved Edge Series ships.”

“The Edge Series is the result of close collaboration between the Celebrity Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique teams,” continued Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

“We know and trust one another, and work in harmony to offer a unique and sustainable experience for passengers.”

Celebrity Cruises also highlighted the ship’s commitment to sustainability and its first tri-fuel-capable engine.

The new engine will provide unmatched flexibility, the company said, with the ability to use three types of fuel, including methanol.

The technology is “an important steppingstone on our journey to Destination Net Zero and our vision for net-zero emissions by 2050,” Celebrity added.

Sailing in the Caribbean, the Celebrity Xcel is set to make its debut in November 2025. The ship’s inaugural season includes seven-night itineraries that depart from Fort Lauderdale and alternate between the Bahamas, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, Puerto Plata, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

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