Cruise News – August 8, 2014
Cruise News – August 8, 2014
Celebrity Eclipse to Get Makeover
Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class Celebrity Eclipse is heading into dry dock in the spring – right before the ship begins its sixth summer season sailing from Southampton, UK.
Celebrity Eclipse will get enhancements already added to sister ship Celebrity Equinox, including a new Gastrobar serving premium craft beer and pub grub, which passengers will order using iPads. New poolside will be Slush, serving frozen drinks including of the loaded variety.
The ship will also be updated with a new private portrait photo studio and the casino will show off a restyled bar and new games. The redo coincides with Celebrity Cruises’ launch of Suite Class accommodations.
After its season in Europe, the ship is slated to spend the winter cruising from Miami.
Healthy Yard May Mean More Ships
German shipbuilder Meyer Werft bought a 70 percent stake in shipyard STX Finland. The move not only assures a future for Finnish shipbuilding but also means that the facility in Turku, Finland, which built the world’s largest cruise ships, Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, might once again see substantial contracts from North American cruise lines.
In Germany, Meyer Werft is currently building Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway-Plus ships. The much-anticipated float-out of Quantum of the Seas is scheduled for Saturday.
Meet the New Brand: Celestyal Cruises
Cyprus-owned budget line Louis Cruises is launching a new brand, Celestyal Cruises. Louis Cristal and Louis Olympia, currently sailing from the Greek ports of Piraeus and Lavrion, will cruise under the new banner beginning in 2015, officials said.
“By launching Celestyal, we are expanding the Louis Cruises portfolio, thereby reflecting the divine, real Greek experience that one enjoys when sailing with us,” said Kyriakos Anastassiadis, CEO of Louis Cruises. “We’ve also chosen this name to honor our ancestors, the Ancient Greeks, who were among the first peoples to use celestial navigation – by the third century BC, Greek mariners were using the Little Bear to navigate their ships.”
Last year, Louis Cruises introduced what it calls the “Kalimera!” experience, including themed programs focused on archaeology, Greek wine and food, history and music. Officials said the new brand would be a continuation of that experience.
Cruising destinations for Celestyal will include the Ionian and Adriatic seas and the Dalmatian Coast.
- Carnival Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Haiti to develop a cruise port on the island of Tortuga, off the country’s north coast. Officials said the planned expenditure of $70 million is the largest cruise industry investment ever in Haiti.
- Silversea Cruises’ all-suite expedition ship Silver Galapagos will be showing off a new, elegant blue and beige color palette following a one-month dry dock in Panama next month. Updated will be accommodations, corridors, and the Explorer Lounge. The 100-passenger ship underwent the first stage of its refurbishment last year, with enhancements including an outdoor Jacuzzi – a perfect spot for watching blue-footed boobies.
- A piece of cruise history will disappear when the nuclear-powered, Russian-flagged icebreaker 50 Years of Victory retires from passenger service next year. Poseidon Expeditions is selling passage on the expedition ship’s last cruise, a 14-day North Pole voyage, embarking August 10, 2015; fares are from $25,995.
— Fran Golden
Photos: Celebrity Cruises; Meyer Werft; Louis Cruises; public domain.