The most widely heralded cruise ship to enter the market this year, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice, was delivered today at a ceremony in Emshaven, Netherlands, marking the formal transfer of the ship – the first in a class of five – from shipbuilder Meyer Werft to Celebrity Cruises. The ship will begin its transatlantic voyage October 25, with arrival in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., anticipated November 3.

“With its innovative, half-acre Lawn Club with real, growing grass; the Hot Glass Show offered through our alliance with The Corning Museum of Glass; 10 widely varied restaurants, including four in the specialty category; stylish, spacious staterooms whose design was influenced by a panel of five women with unique travel and hospitality insights; and, of course, the intangible attribute found on every Celebrity ship – extraordinary service – Celebrity Solstice is the perfect manifestation of what the Celebrity brand is all about,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan.

“We are indebted to the countless, highly dedicated individuals who have brought this spectacular ship to this point, and who have shared our passion for innovation, and our dedication to excellence,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Celebrity Cruises’ parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Soon after its arrival in Fort Lauderdale on November 3, Celebrity Solstice will serve as the perfect platform for Celebrity Cruises’ first Global Sales Meeting, followed by a series of exclusive, two-night preview cruises for invited travel agents, press and other dignitaries.

Celebrity Solstice will be named in formal ceremonies on November 14, and will embark on its inaugural season November 23, on a series of seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In spring 2009, the stunning new ship will introduce a series of romantic 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings roundtrip from Rome.