PRNewswire-FirstCall - Long recognized for providing fresh, gourmet cuisine, Celebrity Cruises promises to take its culinary program to the next level, with the appointment of Jacques Van Staden as vice president of Food & Beverage Operations.

Nominated for a "Rising Star of the Year" award from the prestigious James Beard Foundation, Van Staden began his career in Washington, D.C., working under the late chef Jean-Louis Palladin at Jean-Louis, adjacent to the White House. He followed that invaluable experience serving as chef de cuisine at Alize, rated one of the top five restaurants in Las Vegas, Executive chef at Vegas' Aladdin Hotel's high-end London Club, and executive chef at the California-French restaurant Citronelle in Georgetown, just outside Washington, D.C. He also operated his own casual, Mediterranean restaurant, "Cafe Ole," specializing in tapas, before serving as executive chef for Washington's renowned Watergate Hotel, where he managed 250 employees and a $10-million food and beverage budget.

Van Staden now will oversee Celebrity Cruises food and beverage operations across the fleet, and will play an integral role in shaping the line's evolving culinary program.

"We're thrilled to have someone of Jacques Van Staden's caliber join our organization," said Celebrity's President Dan Hanrahan. "Jacques has as much passion for food as he does for people, and I'm confident our guests will experience the difference, as we deliver a fresh, creative culinary product and the same high level of service that will keep Celebrity at the top of our industry's dining polls."

Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal and South America, and will begin sailing in Australia and New Zealand in November. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe and Australia through its cruisetour affiliate. Noted for "The World's Best Large Ships," as voted by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler (February 2007 Cruise Poll), Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, and a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com.