Celestyal Crystal (photo: Sergio Ferreira)

Celestyal Cruises is considering building two new 1,800-passenger vessels, according to CEO Kyriakos (Kerry) Anastassiadis, in an interview with Cruise Industry News.

He said the brand had carried 20 percent more passengers in 2015 year-over-year, and was looking at expansion of its fleet.

“We have now reached the point where newbuilds will be necessary for the continued development of our brand,” he said. “Our continued success has given us the confidence we need to take this step, and we are now considering building two new mid-sized vessels with a maximum of 1,800 lower berths. We see this as the next major phase of our development, one that will contribute significantly to further bolstering Celestyal Cruises as a global cruise line whose itineraries our passengers want to sail again and again. “

The company is set to operate a three-ship Eastern Mediterranean program this summer, offering three-, four- and seven-day cruises embarking passengers in Greek and Turkish ports. In Cuba, what started as an 11-week seasonal deployment will now extend 22 weeks on the Celestyal Crystal for 2016-2017, a deployment that Anastassiadis said, could, over time, move to a year-round program.