Hot on the heels of its recent announcement that all of its widely heralded Solstice-class ships will sail together in Europe in the summer of 2011, today Celebrity Cruises announced that the four stylish vessels also will glide through the waters of the Caribbean later that year and into early 2012. Cruisers can book most of Celebrity’s 2011-12 winter cruises and cruisetours beginning today.
“We believe that our 2011-12 winter destination portfolio brings to life the essence of our brand platform, ‘Designed for you,’” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. “Our guests told us that they wanted more variety in the Caribbean, so we not only sent all four of our newest ships, we also created a line-up of itineraries offering cruisers the opportunity to choose from a wide range of sailing lengths and destinations on our award-winning ships – all of which include Celebrity’s signature service, style and world-class cuisine.”
With Caribbean offerings on eight ships and itineraries ranging in length from four to 14 nights out of five homeports, discerning cruisers who seek a relaxing warm-weather getaway will have numerous ways to pamper themselves in style. “Firsts” in the season include not only the deployment of four modern, sophisticated Solstice-class ships to sail in the Caribbean, but also the availability of four- and five-night Caribbean cruises on Celebrity Millennium.
For the first time, a Solstice-class ship – Celebrity Silhouette, launching in 2011 – will sail from Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey, offering cruisers throughout the Northeast easy driving access to a vacation on the newest ship in the line’s award-winning Solstice-class fleet. From November 2011 to April 2012, Celebrity Silhouette will sail 14 alternating Southern and Eastern Caribbean voyages of 12 nights in length. The Southern Caribbean itineraries will visit St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and St. Maarten. Celebrity Silhouette’s Eastern Caribbean cruises include visits to San Juan, Labadee (Celebrity’s private-island destination in Haiti), St. Croix, St. Thomas, Antigua and St. Maarten.
Celebrity designed the Bayonne offerings as a result of guests and travel agents expressing a strong desire to experience a Solstice-class ship within driving distance from major Northeast metro areas. First booking rights went to members of Celebrity’s loyalty program, Captain’s Club, earlier this month. Today, these cruises – as well as Celebrity Silhouette’s summer 2011 Europe voyages – opened for booking by the general public.
Sister Solstice-class ship Celebrity Equinox also will offer long Caribbean itineraries in the winter of 2011-12, sailing 15 alternating 10- and 11-night “Ultimate Caribbean” cruises out of Fort Lauderdale. The 10-night line-up focuses on Southern Caribbean experiences, with visits to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica and St. Maarten. The 11-night cruises take cruisers into the Western Caribbean and Panama, with visits to Mexico, Belize or Honduras (depending upon itinerary), Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Grand Cayman.
Celebrity Constellation, which this month will undergo the brand’s first “Solsticizing” (refitting to include many of the most popular Solstice-class attributes, such as Tuscan Grille and Bistro on Five specialty restaurants, the relaxed-yet-hip hangout, Café al Bacio, and more), will present a series of 14-night Southern Caribbean cruises roundtrip out of Fort Lauderdale, from November 2011 through April 2012. Ports of call include Aruba, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.
For the first time, Celebrity Century – which underwent a significant revitalization in 2006, including the addition of 314 new stateroom verandas, a Murano specialty restaurant and the first “Ice Martini Bar” at sea – will present a season of 12-night Eastern Caribbean sailings out of Baltimore. The Caribbean season will be bookended by two Hawaii “mini-seasons” – one in the fall and one in spring – and also will include two special Panama Canal sailings between Baltimore to San Diego. These itineraries will open for sale in the coming weeks.
Continuing to offer popular, port-intensive seven-night voyages will be Celebrity Summit, sailing in the Southern Caribbean on Saturdays, roundtrip from San Juan. Celebrity Summit also will offer guests the opportunity to use technology to share aspects of their Caribbean escape, as it will be retrofitted this May with a “Celebrity iLounge” mirrored after the one debuting on Celebrity Eclipse, the newest Solstice-class vessel launching later this month in Southampton, England. The Celebrity iLounge will replace the Internet Café on Celebrity Summit, and feature a retail area offering the latest products through Celebrity’s Authorized Apple Reseller status. The venue will be staffed by certified technologists who will offer contemporary online classes through the ‘Discover’ series of our inspiring and enriching ‘Celebrity Life’ experience. Also, early in the 2011-12 winter season, Celebrity Summit will join other Millennium-class ships in being “Solsticized.”
Joining Celebrity Summit in being retrofitted with a Celebrity iLounge next month is Celebrity’s flagship Solstice-class vessel, Celebrity Solstice, which will return to South Florida to offer roundtrip seven-night Caribbean cruises out of Fort Lauderdale in the winter of 2011-12. These will be a series of 25 alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, including a special eight-night Eastern Caribbean holiday sailing on December 18 that will feature an extra sea day, giving cruisers even more time to enjoy Celebrity’s outstanding cuisine and extraordinary service. Celebrity Solstice also will present a one-time six-night Western Caribbean voyage on January 2, ideal for cruisers who wish to experience a Solstice-class ship in the Caribbean but have less than a week to spend at sea. Celebrity’s third Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Eclipse will return for the Caribbean for a second consecutive winter season in 2011-12, offering seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip out of Miami.
Cruisers seeking shorter Caribbean getaways in Celebrity’s signature style can experience four- and five-night cruises roundtrip out of South Florida on Celebrity Millennium, for the first time, when the 2,034-guest vessel takes over Celebrity Century’s previous five consecutive winter seasons of short Caribbean cruises. Sailing four- and five-night cruises roundtrip out of Miami, Celebrity Millennium will offer a total of 41 sailings with four distinct itineraries visiting a total of six ports.
Building on the variety that Celebrity continues to offer, the brand will continue to offer its popular year-round Galapagos Islands experiences on the 92-guest mega-yacht, Celebrity Xpedition. These all-inclusive voyages that feature naturalist-led excursions through the awe-inspiring region, include pre- and post-cruise stays in Quito, Ecuador. Celebrity Xpedition’s 2011-12 cruises opened for sale last month.
Celebrity will continue to sail even further south than the Galapagos Islands with a variety of itineraries in South America – a region will visit for the 12th consecutive year in the winter of 2011-12. From December through February, Celebrity Infinity will present 13-, 14- and 15-night cruises between Valparaiso and Buenos Aires. These will be bookended between a 15-night repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso – including a trip through the Panama Canal – on December 3, and the reverse on March 11.
Celebrity Infinity’s line-up also includes a wide range of Panama Canal voyages lengthened from 14 to 15 nights. The Panama Canal voyages will now include the new port of Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, and two-day Canal experience including a full day spent in the crossing and an extended (full-day) stay in Colon, Panama, allowing cruisers to spend more time in the region. Celebrity Infinity’s Panama Canal voyages between the U.S. East and West coasts will be offered in September and October 2011, and March and April 2012. Celebrity Millennium also will offer a 15-night Panama Canal cruise from San Diego to Miami to reposition the ship from Alaska to the Caribbean, departing on September 19, 2011.
Cruisers who wish to make the most of their time in South America in the 2011-12 winter season can choose from a variety of cruisetours – escorted land tours offered pre- or post-cruise that are combined with the cruise itself for a longer, more in-depth destination experience. In South America, Celebrity offers several fully escorted land tours offered in combination with cruises departing from or arriving in Buenos Aires and Valparaiso. The five-day, four-night “Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls” package includes visits to a gaucho “estancia,” Buenos Aires’ San Telmo region, and the city’s trendy Puerto Madero neighborhood. The package also includes a short inland flight to Iguazu Falls, one of the continent’s most stunning natural wonders, where guests spend two days exploring the massive waterfalls during included tours encompassing Devil’s Throat, the lower and upper circuits of the Argentinean side of the falls, and a Zodiac ride along the lower Iguazu River. The six-day, five-night “Machu Picchu Adventure” package gives guests the opportunity to experience the Sacred Valley of the Incas in and around the Cuzco region, as well as the capital city of Lima. The package is highlighted by train travel to and from Machu Picchu, and over four hours of exploration time there. The experience also includes a tour of Cuzco and its walled Sacsayhuaman Inca area and the Cuzco Cathedral, as well as a city tour of Lima and several other activities that will enhance guests’ South America vacation experience. Several inland flights are included.
Celebrity has designed a variety of shore excursions to round out the cruise experience in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and South America in 2011-12.
In the Caribbean, Celebrity has designed its line-up of shore excursions to give cruisers a way to unwind in tropical paradise through nature-based activities, and opportunities to experience local history and culture. Examples include:
In St. Croix, “Carambola Beach Break” features snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles and over coral reefs
In St. Maarten, “Loterie Farm Treetop Adventure Tour” presents an adventure course consisting of a pulse-pounding sequence of zip-lines, rope swings and ‘bridges' suspended from platforms mounted in the serene forest
In Costa Maya, “Kohunlich and Dzibanche Mayan Ruins Combo” tour includes the majestic pyramids and manicured lawns at Dzibanche, plus the ancient multilevel Mayan city of Kohunlich, with its magnificent cahoon palms
In Cozumel, “Mexican Cuisine Workshop Tasting” allows guests to cook fine traditional Mexican cuisine, guided by an experienced chef, before enjoying their creations
From St. Lucia, “Coastal Cruise to the Pitons” presents the wonder and sights of Petit and Gros Pitons, which are over 2,600 ft. high.
From Machu Picchu to penguin-sighting, Celebrity’s South America and Panama Canal cruises are designed to highlight the region’s natural beauty and culture, and a variety of shore excursions offer a more in-depth experience.
In Peru, “Cuzco and Machu Picchu Adventure” includes intensive exploration of the lost city of the Incas
In Buenos Aires, “Estancia San Lorenzo Penguin Reserve and Punta Norte” tour pairs a visit to a Magellan penguin colony with lunch at a typical estancia
From Puerto Montt, “Petrohue River Rafting” is an exhilarating class III-IV rafting trip down the Rio Petrohue River, one of Chile's glacial rivers
In Colon, Panama, “Panama Canal Tour” lets guests experience the wonder of the Panama Canal from a different perspective – that of a ferry boat as it navigates the Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks and Gaylard Cut.