Celebrity Cruises orders pair of 2,900-passenger ships

By Tom Stieghorst

Celebrity Cruises said it has ordered two 2,900-passenger ships from the STX France shipyard in St. Nazaire.

The ships are scheduled for delivery in the fall of 2018 and early 2020.

Celebrity’s most recent ship, the 3,046-passenger Celebrity Reflection, was delivered in the fall of 2012.The line recently agreed to send its oldest ship, Celebrity Century, to a new joint venture in China.

Celebrity’s parent, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said the ships are being built under the Project Edge name. RCCL said they will deliver small-ship itineraries with large-ship amenities.

“STX France designs and builds some of the most innovative and stylish cruise ships in the world, and Project Edge offers them the opportunity to again set a new standard for modern iconic architecture,” said Michael Bayley, presdient and CEO of Celebrity.

Contract costs for the ship were not disclosed. With the addition of the two new orders, RCCL said company-wide capacity is scheduled to increase by 2.4% this year, 5.5% next year, 6.7% in 2016, 3.8% in 2017 and 4.3% in 2018.

The 117,000-gross-ton ships will be part of a new class of vessels for Celebrity. the line currently operates five Solstice-class vessels, including Celebrity Reflection, and four Millennium-class vessels.

Celebrity competes in the premium segment with Holland America Line, which has a 2,650-passenger ship called Koningsdam under construction for delivery in February 2016.

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