Celebrity Cruises has scheduled its largest European deployment ever for 2009 with five ships, including two new vessels. The line will visit 76 ports in 29 countries, five of which are new to Celebrity. Celebrity's 2009 Europe season includes six homeports, overnight stays in eight ports, and five cruise-tour options. Celebrity also will offer nine transatlantic sailings in 2009. The cruises opened for sale Thursday. "Our guests have told us repeatedly that Europe is where they want to be, and they want to be there in style," said Celebrity President and CEO Dan Hanrahan.
Two new ships will debut in Europe in 2009, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox. Joining them are Celebrity Century, which underwent a $55 million makeover in 2006, Celebrity Constellation, built in 2002, and Celebrity Summit, which launched in 2001. The six homeports are Amsterdam, Holland; Barcelona, Spain; Harwich and Southampton, England; and Rome and Venice, Italy. Celebrity's ships will explore Scandinavia and Russia, the Arctic Circle and North Cape, the Mediterranean, Israel and Egypt. Overnight port stays are scheduled for Alexandria, Egypt; Copenhagen, Denmark; Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey; Rome, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden; and Venice, Italy. Celebrity will make five maiden calls at Antwerp, Belgium, located on the River Scheldt, 50 miles from the sea; Ashdod, Israel's largest port; Haifa, Israel's third-largest city; La Spezia, Italy, on the Ligurian Sea; and Portofino, Italy.
Celebrity Century will offer seven-night Western Mediterranean sailings roundtrip out of Barcelona from Sept. 19 - Nov. 21, 2009. Celebrity's European itineraries have traditionally lasted 10 nights or longer, and this shorter offering is designed to appeal to those with less vacation time. From Aug. 18 through Oct. 23, 2009, Celebrity Equinox will sail 13- and 14-night "Ancient Empires" itineraries out of Rome, featuring calls on Ashdod, Haifa, an overnight in Alexandria, and ports throughout Greece, Turkey, and Italy. Beginning May 4, Celebrity Solstice will sail 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean roundtrips from Rome, calling on ports throughout Greece, Turkey, and Italy. The 11-night sailings include overnight stays in Istanbul.
Celebrity has increased the number of "Scandinavia and Russia" cruises roundtrip from Amsterdam, with nine of these itineraries scheduled between May and August 2009. These voyages feature an overnight stay in St. Petersburg and calls in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Denmark. The Century's 12-night "Arctic Circle and North Cape" itinerary, offered June 26 and July 8 from Amsterdam, features calls on seven Norwegian ports, including Geiranger, which the line hasn't visited since 2006.
Celebrity Constellation's 14-night transatlantic sailing from Harwich on Sept. 5, 2009, will feature a stop in Reykjavik, Iceland; the voyage, which ends in Cape Liberty (Bayonne), N.J., also features stops in France, Ireland, Scotland, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick. Beginning May 10, Celebrity Summit will alternate 12- or 14-night "Classical Mediterranean" and "Mediterranean Legacies" sailings between Venice and Barcelona, calling on ports in France, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Turkey, collectively.
Mediterranean cruise-tours include a new five-night "Venice, Florence and Rome" package featuring two nights in Venice, one night in Florence and two nights in Rome. The three-night "Italian Lakes, Verona, and Venice" cruise-tour includes two nights in Lago Maggiore's Stresa, one night in Verona, touring in Venice and a lake tour to the Borromean islands and the Shakespearean city of Verona. A four-night "Madrid and Barcelona" cruise-tour offers two nights in Madrid, two nights in Barcelona, city tours in both locations, and a visit to the ancient city of Toledo. Northern Europe cruise-tours include a four-night "Paris and London" package, and a three-night "Brussels and Amsterdam" package.