Celebrity Cruises will resume cruising in Europe this summer with the brand-new, 2,910-passenger Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the ground-breaking Edge Series.
The 129,500-gross-ton ship – which was supposed to be christened in March 2020 – will make its debut in Greece beginning June 19.
The Celebrity Apex will operate seven-night sailings roundtrip from Athens through September 2021, visiting places such as Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, Greece; Limassol, Cyprus; and Haifa and Jerusalem, Israel. Bookings open on March 30. For details on the new Greek Isles cruises, click here.
Celebrity Apex will sail with all crew and guests above the age of 18 vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 with negative PCR test results. The announcement comes just days after Celebrity announced its Caribbean comeback with seven-night summer cruises departing from St. Maarten, also beginning in June.
The company’s return to the Aegean is made all the more special given Celebrity’s Greek heritage. Founded in 1988 by the Greek Chandris family, the company later became a part of the Royal Caribbean Group. Celebrity Cruises is still rooted in its Greek origins today, with 70 percent of its marine officers hailing from Greece; over 40 of these are captains and chief engineers, including the Captain of Celebrity Apex, Dimitrios Kafetzis.
“Celebrity Apex is such an exquisite ship and for her to finally begin sailing in the beautiful Aegean, where it all began for our fleet, and after so long away, is incredibly meaningful. I actually can’t wait to finally experience Apex and the Greek Isles this September during my rescheduled 30th wedding anniversary cruise,” said Celebrity President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “This is a very special homecoming for Celebrity Cruises made possible with the strong collaboration of the Greek government. I extend my enduring gratitude and wish them well as they celebrate their country’s bicentennial today.”
The company’s new “Always Included” approach includes Wi-Fi, drinks, and gratuities. And, Celebrity’s “Cruise with Confidence” program allows flexible cancellations and best price guarantees.
Like its sister ship, Celebrity Edge, named one of Time Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” in its 2019 debut season, Celebrity Apex features an outward-facing design. Highlights include The Retreat, an area with stunning accommodations, a private restaurant, an exclusive lounge and sundeck, and a dedicated team of butlers, attendants, and concierge on-hand 24/7.
Accommodations range from two-story villas with plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas. The Magic Carpet is a room cantilevered on the hull’s exterior that can move up and down above the sea, offering vistas with cocktails or dinner.
The ship has 29 distinct restaurants, bars, and lounges, including the brand-new Craft Social Bar, and globally inspired menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs.
A range of tours will be available at every port of call, including Private Journeys and Small Group Discovery Tours for guests preferring with just members of their family or traveling companions.
The ship will sail with comprehensive, multilayered health and safety measures leveraging expert guidance from its Healthy Sail Panel, Royal Caribbean Group’s Global Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer, and local Greek health and government authorities. Details on Celebrity’s health and safety measures can be found by clicking here.
In addition, guests must follow Greece travel requirements, which currently include presenting a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival in Greece. Details on additional health and safety measures will be announced at a later date.
Greece is welcoming the new ship to its shores.
“I am proud to be welcoming Celebrity Cruises back to its Greek roots on this special occasion of our country’s independence bicentennial and am eager for travelers to return to the unforgettable experiences of all of our destinations on one of the world’s newest ships,” said Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis. “The positive economic impact that tourism brings to our country cannot be underestimated, and I am very happy Celebrity Cruises is playing an important role in rebuilding this important economic pillar.”
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