MIAMI, Dec. 14 — Celebrity Cruises has taken another significant step in its quest to expand the “Celebrity Expeditions” extension of the brand. Celebrity Quest will join Celebrity Expeditions in 2007, pairing new avenues for delivering the “Celebrity Treatment” with exotic new itineraries for the vessel and its sister ship, Celebrity Journey. The three-ship class includes Celebrity Xpedition, which has sailed in the Galapagos Islands since 2004.
“Rounding out the Celebrity brand has been a strong focus for our company, and the expansion of Celebrity Expeditions furthers that strategic objective,” said Celebrity’s President Dan Hanrahan. “Celebrity Quest, Celebrity Journey and Celebrity Xpedition combined represent a natural extension of the brand as we move into new markets with tailored-to-market products.”
The 710-guest Celebrity Quest, most recently sailing as Blue Moon for Pullmantur, will join the Celebrity Expeditions fleet in October 2007. Like Celebrity Journey, which sets sail in May 2007, the vessel’s smaller size allows for greater versatility in deployment, allowing Celebrity to offer guests exceptional destination experiences, while adding 32 new ports to the line’s itinerary portfolio. With those, the Celebrity brand next year will call on 247 ports.
“These smaller, upscale ships are the perfect complements to the premium destinations they’ll visit, while offering the best of what the Celebrity brand is all about – unparalleled service, extraordinary dining experiences, revitalizing spa programs, truly exotic destinations and exceptional shore excursions,” said Hanrahan.
Unique to Celebrity Journey and Celebrity Quest will be a more exclusive guest experience, with two specialty restaurants, 15 classes of accommodations, butler service and concierge amenities in every stateroom and suite, and expanded spa services, including in-room offerings. Both Celebrity Journey and Celebrity Quest will undergo a combined $35-million revitalization during separate one-month drydock periods to incorporate 32 new suites on each ship, entirely new bedding and soft goods, and a variety of Celebrity’s most popular signature elements, including the Martini Bar, Cova Cafe, Sushi Cafe, Michael’s Club jazz/piano bar, casino, Boutique C, AquaSpa by Elemis, Acupuncture at Sea and Online@Celebrity.
Celebrity Journey will sail seven-night Bermuda cruises from May through October 2007, then will present an exceptional series of 12- to 18-night cruises in remote areas of Antarctica, Brazil, the Chilean Fjords and other faraway regions of South America, from October 2007 through April 2008.
Celebrity Quest will make its first sailing under the Celebrity Expeditions banner in October 2007, introducing a series of 12- to 14-night Caribbean sailings featuring several first-time ports of call, including those in St. Barts, Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Turks & Caicos, followed by a series of 14-night Eastbound and Westbound Panama Canal itineraries featuring some of the most exotic destinations in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. Additionally, each port will feature a new, immersive series of shore excursions. Celebrity Quest was constructed in France and entered service in November 2000 as R7. Like Celebrity Journey, the ship is 30,277-grt and has 355 staterooms.
Fortifying the Celebrity fleet remains a strong focus for the company, with the expansion of Celebrity Expeditions falling on the heels of announcements for three extraordinary new ships: Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox, and a third Solstice-class ship, launching in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively. Setting the stage for the build-up was a $55-million revitalization of Celebrity’s Century, completed in May. Central to Celebrity’s recent expansion was the agreement between Celebrity’s parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), and the shareholders of Madrid-based cruise and tour operator Pullmantur S.A., signed in August, to buy all the company’s capital stock. In October, RCCL announced plans to swap Celebrity’s Zenith with Pullmantur’s Blue Dream, renamed Celebrity Journey, which enters service in Bermuda in May 2007. RCCL completed its purchase of Pullmantur on November 14, 2006.For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800- 437-3111 or visit the Celebrity web site at www.celebritycruises.com.