When it comes to luxury cruising, no line does it quite like Celebrity Cruises. Established in Greece in 1988, Celebrity underwent a rapid fleet expansion, and now operates eleven of the world’s most luxurious ocean liners.
Those interested in travelling with Celebrity Cruises can discover the ins and outs of the cruise line in our comprehensive guide, which features a brief history of the brand, information on three of their ships and the availability of Celebrity Cruises in Australia.
History of Celebrity Cruises
Founded in 1988 by Greek shipping company, Chandris, Celebrity Cruises was initially created to offer luxury cruise holidays to Bermuda, but would later expand and offer cruise holidays to destinations across the globe.
Chandris Cruises created the Celebrity brand after the Government of Bermuda gave permission for two luxury liners to sail the islands – with unlimited access from April to October each year. At the time, Chandris operated only second-hand ocean liners, and thus needed to rebrand themselves to attract an upmarket clientele.
After lengthy negotiations with the Bermuda Government, Chandris were given permission to sail two Celebrity branded vessels on a five-year contract commencing in 1990. To adhere to the contract, Chandris rebuilt one of its existing ships and took delivery of a brand new vessel, before both ships made their debut sailing to the islands in late 1990.
After seven years at the helm of Celebrity Cruises, Chandris sold its stake in the brand to Royal Caribbean International – who later that year took delivery of three new Century class vessels to expand the Celebrity fleet.
By 2000, Celebrity Cruises had expanded yet again; after the arrival of four new ships gave birth to the new Millennium class vessel. These new ships became the fastest and most eco-friendly vessels in Celebrity’s fleet, thanks to their powerful and efficient gas turbine engines.
In 2006, Celebrity ordered the first of its Solstice class ships; a classification which was to be the most luxurious of any ship in the Celebrity fleet. By 2007, the cruise line had ordered a further three ships to join the Solstice class of luxury ocean liners.
After almost a decade of success and further expansion, the cruise line announced plans to create a whole new class of ship in December 2014. Working with French shipbuilders STX, Celebrity Cruises will create two brand new, 2,900 capacity, 117,000 tonne ships – in a bid to build on the luxury experience found aboard the brand’s Solstice and Millennium class vessels.
Celebrity Cruises’ Guests
Given the luxury experience offered on all Celebrity Cruises sailings, the cruise line tends to attract couples and solo travellers looking for a more refined, sophisticated cruise experience. From the exquisite dining to the plush staterooms, Celebrity work hard to ensure all passengers enjoy an indulgent and luxurious getaway – with a 24-hour concierge service, regular formal nights and complimentary shoeshine service for all Concierge Class passengers. If you’re looking for the height of luxury on your next cruise break, Celebrity could be the cruise line for you.
Celebrity Cruises’ Ships
After starting out with two relatively small ships, the Celebrity fleet expanded dramatically in its short history, and now comprises some of the world’s most innovative and luxurious cruise liners. Here, we take a look at three of the brand’s most beloved vessels, and explore some of the on-board facilities they offer.
As Celebrity’s biggest vessel, Celebrity Reflection is also its best – with a variety of luxury staterooms, fabulous entertainment facilities and unrivalled dining options available. The ship – which sails the Caribbean and Europe depending on the season – features over 1,500 luxury staterooms, twelve restaurants, a number of impressive entertainment venues and a host of on board retail opportunities including Bulgari, Michael Kors and Watch.
During its first season in 2013, Reflection undertook sailings around the Mediterranean, stopping at a number of sought-after destinations including Rome, Rhodes and Santorini. The ship is renowned for its lavish staterooms and award-winning attention to customer satisfaction, as well as its fabulous outdoor lounging areas.
Combining indulgent luxury with innovative technology, Celebrity Infinity is a state-of-the-art vessel, first launched in the summer of 2012. Infinity is the biggest of Celebrity’s Millennium class ships – with a capacity of 2,170 passengers and a gross tonnage of 90,940. The ship features over 1,000 staterooms, 80% of which offer views of the ocean.
Like all Celebrity ships, Infinity has a wide range of dining options, with nine on board restaurants – including Bistro on Five, Qsine and the Trellis Restaurant – and a 24-hour concierge service. Passengers will also benefit from a total of five brilliant entertainment and events venues, which host regular shows throughout the duration of a given sailing.
Celebrity Xpedition is a cruise ship with a difference. Built in 2001, Xpedition is an alternative to the line’s larger ships, providing tailor-made cruises to destinations around the Galapagos Islands. Sailings are designed to be more active than other cruise experiences, with special emphasis placed on a number of famous ports of call, including the Charles Darwin research facility.
The ship hosts just 97 passengers and 63 crew members – providing a personal, exclusive service and has just two restaurants: Darwin Restaurant and Beagles Buffet and Grill. Despite its small proportions, Xpedition is one of the most luxurious, high-class ships in the Celebrity fleet.
Celebrity Cruises in Australia
As a result of rapid expansion, Celebrity Cruises were able to expand the reach of their fleet to Australia, with two vessels currently offering sailings in Aussie waters. Celebrity Solstice offers 8 night sailings from Sydney to a number of Pacific Islands, including Lifou and Noumea; whilst Celebrity Millennium sets sail from Singapore before touring several Indonesian Islands on a fantastic 15-night voyage.
Does Celebrity Cruises sound like the cruise line for you? Then check out the dedicated Celebrity Cruises page on the Cruise 1st Australia website, where we list exclusive offers aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Australian sailings. If you require further assistance, contact the experienced Cruise 1st Australia team today on 1300 857 345.
Images sourced via Celebrity Cruises Media Center and Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Celebrity Cruises, Val D’Aquila, Tom Mascardo and John Solaro.