Malala Yousafzai Christens Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades

The Celebrity Edge was officially christened during a Tuesday ceremony pierside in Port Everglades by godmother Malala Yousafzai.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Yousafzai was joined by all on board to “bless this ship and all those who sail upon her.”

The naming event brought together more than 3,000 guests, employees, crew members and students to commemorate the debut of Celebrity’s first new ship in six years and first new ship series in more than a decade.

“We are honoured that Malala agreed to be the godmother of this ship, a role that reflects centuries of maritime traditions,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Celebrity’s parent company. “We are especially proud because Malala’s example of relentless persistence and achievement is an inspiration to our crew, who have all worked so hard and made real sacrifices to build better lives for themselves and their families.”

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, added: “I am so very proud to have Malala Yousafzai as the godmother of Celebrity Edge. Malala embodies our commitment to opening the world through education and gender equality. Seeing her aboard our ship sends a powerful message to our crew who represent over 70 diverse nationalities, and our guests who we sail all over the world. The ceremony today was both touching and symbolic of what Celebrity Cruises stands for. I am grateful to Malala, her family and Malala Fund for embracing today’s events and look forward to continuing our work together around the world.”

“I’m fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn’t create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves. But to continue making progress for girls’ education, we need support from leaders in every sector. I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for their generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere,” said Malala Yousafzai, co-founder of Malala Fund.

Photo: From left: Richard D. Fain, Malala Yousafzai, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Capt. Costas Nestoroudis, christen Celebrity Edge at the ship’s Naming Ceremony.

Celebrity Edge arrives in Fort Lauderdale

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The $875 million Celebrity Edge arrived at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades after a 15-day transatlantic crossing.

To accommodate Celebrity Cruises’ first new ship in six years, Port Everglades spent $120 million to reconfigure and upgrade two older terminals into a modern terminal called T25.

Both the terminal and the ship sport high design and state-of-the-art technology. The terminal will operate an expedited arrivals process and a dedicated lounge for premium guests booked in The Retreat.

Chock full of new features, the Edge’s signature amenity is the Magic Carpet, a nine-ton movable platform cantilevered on one side of the ship, which can serve as a dining venue and a shore excursions departure platform.

“This has been more than four years in the making,” said Celebrity CEO Lisa-Lutoff-Perlo, who shepherded construction of the ship at the Chantiers de L’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, along with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. chairman Richard Fain and RCCL executive vice president maritime and newbuilding Harri Kulovaara.

The Edge, which will sail from Port Everglades during the winter on Caribbean itineraries, is designed to carry 2,900 passengers, the same general capacity of Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam, which debuts next month, and Virgin Voyages’ inaugural ship the Scarlet Lady, which is scheduled to arrive in January 2020.

Celebrity Edge Booking At ‘Significant Premiums’

Celebrity Edge

Just weeks ahead of the Celebrity Edge’s delivery, the new Celebrity Cruises vessel continues to drive earnings growth for Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The first new Celebrity ship in six years following the 2012 introduction of the Celebrity Reflection, the Edge represents the first of four in a new class of Celebrity vessels, at 129,500 tons with capacity for 2,900 guests.

“Demand for cruising is booming, and guests are willing to pay for innovation, quality, and design. The timing of (the Celebrity Edge) could not be better,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, speaking on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Thursday, October 25.

“She’s clearly worth the wait. The Edge has been booking at significant premiums for the winter Caribbean season and for our European season next year,” said Jason Liberty, CFO of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

“The demand for our new hardware, especially for Edge, which has really come high on at a premium, has been very strong and encouraging,” Liberty added

The Edge will debut at the state-of-the-art Terminal 25 at Port Everglades later this month. The terminal is just days away from being finished and will be the homeport for the Edge for her inaugural season of seven-day winter Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale.

Next summer the ship will transition to the European cruise market, with a crossing to Southampton where she arrives in the middle of May. From there, a repositioning voyage moves the ship to the Mediterranean for the summer season, where the Edge sails out Civitavecchia.