Celebrity Edge to sail in Europe in summer 2019

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Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive has told UK agents to “sell the hell out of Celebrity Edge” to ensure one of the next Edge-class ships is based in Southampton.

Speaking as she announced European deployment for Celebrity Edge in summer 2019, including a two-night cruise from Southampton for UK agents, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “It’s in agents’ hands. We have five Edge-class ships coming between 2018 and 2023 and depending on how the UK trade reacts to the first ship, then there’s always a chance I could deploy a future ship to Southampton.

“It’s in your hands. Sell the hell out of Celebrity Edge and you will leave me no choice but to bring a future one to Southampton.”

Jo Rzymowska, vice-president and managing director, UK & Ireland and Asia, said: “The fact that our president and chief executive is coming to London to make the announcement about Edge’s European deployment speaks volumes for how she views the UK cruise market. It’s hugely important to Celebrity Cruises.”

She added that Celebrity hadn’t staged an inaugural sailing for trade partners in Southampton since the launch of Celebrity Eclipse in 2010.

“Seeing truly is believing so this will give us the chance to show agent partners exactly why Celebrity Edge is so revolutionary and so unique,” said Rzymowska, adding: “Edge is such an outward-facing ship, connecting guests to the sea wherever possible, so we wanted to showcase her in Southampton in the spring rather than in the depths of winter.”

The next generation ship, which launches in October 2018, is Celebrity’s first new build for six years and first of a new class of vessel for a decade.

It will be showcased to the UK travel trade from May 13-15 in Southampton before setting off on a 10-night Iberian Peninsular cruise to Rome, calling at various ports in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

From there, it will offer seven, nine, 10 or 11-night sailings from Rome and Barcelona. Customers wanting to sail for 14 nights can book the two full cruises back-to-back and will call at only one repeat port during the fortnight.

Rzymowska said: “For the UK audience, we expect the 14-night open jaw sailing to be really popular. The only repeat port is Florence, so guests can go to Florence one way, and then Pisa the other.”

Ports of call include Monte Carlo, Capri and Mykonos, along with the likes of Ibiza and Valencia where Celebrity Edge will offer longer evening stays in port.

The ship will also visit two brand new ports – Nauplion in the Peloponnese region of Greece and Santa Margherita, on the Italian Riviera close to Portofino.

Rzymowska added: “We’ve taken a lot of time to really plan itineraries that will appeal to the modern luxury lover. In total, Edge will sail to 30 ports of call, to 10 countries with five overnights in one season [May-October].”

The announcement of Edge’s 2019 summer season in Europe takes Celebrity’s European deployment to five ships, and cements Celebrity’s commitment to the region and its European markets.

Edge’s summer 2019 European season will go on sale at 8pm tonight (Tuesday) and the operator warned agents to be ready for an anticipated surge in calls and bookings.

“We expect there to be quite a race for space for the high-end affluent suites on this ship,” said Rzymowska. She added that all of the line’s 2019 summer deployment would be released at the same time.

Celebrity Cruises has developed a range of supporting materials and assets for the trade to enable agents to promote the new itineraries on their websites. This will include a 20-page direct mailer that agents can over-brand and distribute to their own customers; digital guides, itineraries and images.

Rzymowska revealed a new shore excursion programme, offering in-depth, authentic and locally-inspired experiences, was being curated.

Lutoff-Perlo said: “The UK & Ireland is such a significant market for us that we wanted to celebrate the start of her summer season by offering guests the first scheduled European cruise direct from Southampton.

“To further support our key trade partners, we will also be hosting an exclusive 2-night preview, so that our beloved agents have the opportunity to experience Celebrity Edge first-hand.”

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Pitbull And Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrate Norwegian Escape’s Arrival To NYC In Spring 2018

Norwegian Escape’s Godfather and international music star, Pitbull, made a special appearance with Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Stuart at PHD Rooftop Lounge at Dream Downtown in New York to celebrate Norwegian Escape coming to homeport in the Big Apple in Spring 2018. 
 
The afternoon kicked off with guests enjoying delicious bites from Norwegian Escape’s culinary outposts, sipping on cocktails crafted from Pitbull’s very own vodka, Voli, and sampling a selection of Michael Mondavi Family Wines. Guests were able to “walk the plank” in a virtual reality segment of the largest ropes course at sea and pose for sharable photos with the ship’s celebrity Godfather Mr. Worldwide. 
 
The exclusive afternoon was topped off with an electrifying performance from For the Record: The Brat Pack™, one of Norwegian Escape’s award-winning Broadway-style shows. Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart and Pitbull took to the mic to say a few words to the guest and toast to the beautiful ship, Norwegian Escape, as well as discuss their joint support for Hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean. 
 
Click the image for Mr WorldWide (Pitbull) interview.
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When Norwegian Escape arrives to her new homeport in Manhattan next year, she will sail seven-day cruises to Bermuda during the summer months and seven-day cruises to Canada & New England and the Bahamas & Florida as well as a selection of longer cruises to the Western and Southern Caribbean during the fall/winter 2018/2019 season.
 
Norwegian Escape will be the brand’s largest ship to ever homeport from New York City at 164,600 gross tons and 4,266 guests. Norwegian Cruise Line has been homeporting year-round from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal since 2003.
 
Click the image to watch PitBull’s Freedom Video filmed on Norwegian Escape.
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About Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 50-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising.  Most notably, Norwegian revolutionized the cruise industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal cruise vacation on their schedule with no set dining times, a variety of entertainment options and no formal dress codes. Today, Norwegian invites guests to enjoy a relaxed, resort-style cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea with a wide variety of accommodations options, including The Haven by Norwegian®, a luxury enclave with suites, private pools and dining, concierge service and personal butlers. Norwegian Cruise Line sails around the globe, offering guests the freedom and flexibility to explore the world on their own time and experience up to 28 dining options, award-winning entertainment, superior guest service and more across all of the brand’s 15 ships.

Recently, the line was named “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the tenth consecutive year, as well as “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the fifth time and “North America’s Leading Cruise Line” for the second straight year by the World Travel Awards. Norwegian’s next new build, the highly anticipated Norwegian Bliss, will be delivered in April 2018 featuring many firsts-at-sea for the global market including the largest race track at sea, award-winning Broadway entertainment, two observation lounges for guests to enjoy stunning ocean and glacier views and more.  Norwegian will introduce an additional new “Breakaway Plus” Class cruise ship in 2019 and has four additional ships on order for delivery beginning in 2022, with an option to introduce two more ships in 2026 and 2027.

Carnival Fascination chartered to FEMA, San Juan departures canceled

Carnival Cruise Line said its ship operating out of San Juan, the Carnival Fascination, will be chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), wiping out four months of cruises.

The move came at FEMA’s request, Carnival said. The cruise line had been set to resume its normal seven-day cruise schedule from San Juan on the Carnival Fascination on Oct. 15.

Instead, Carnival said departures from Oct. 15 through Jan. 28 have been canceled. The Fascination will resume regular year-round cruising from San Juan on Feb. 18.

“We recognize how important vacations are, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption this late change in plans has caused our guests and travel partners,” a Carnival advisory said. “We value your trust in us and hope you understand that this decision was made after careful consideration of the great need to support the recovery efforts in the region.”

Carnival also modified Caribbean itineraries on a variety of ships through Dec. 31 that substitute new ports of call for visits that had been scheduled for St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

Carnival joins Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in chartering a ship to FEMA for hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2005, Carnival chartered three of its ships to FEMA for six months for emergency housing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.