Celebrity Cruises has announced that one of its newest Edge-class ships will be based in the UK for the first time. The 2,900-passenger Celebrity Apex will sail out of Southampton in 2024, offering a season of four to 13-night sailings to European destinations and a brand new itinerary to the Norwegian Fjords and Arctic Circle.
Luxury line Celebrity, which has 15 vessels in its fleet, has built up a reputation for innovative ships created by world famous designers and showcasing artwork, sculptures and gardens at sea. British interior designer Kelly Hoppen was part of the team involved with Celebrity Apex, which launched in 2019.
One of the most eye-catching features is the Magic Carpet. The glass-sided cantilevered platform projecting from the side of the vessel can be raised up and down between different decks and is variously used as a bar and restaurant.
Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the line’s Edge class, will homeport in Southampton from May to November 2024. It will replace Celebrity Silhouette, one of the older Solstice class ships which has spent six seasons sailing out of the UK and open up a new way for British passengers to explore Europe.
A brand new ex-UK itinerary is the 12-night Norwegian Fjords and Arctic Circle cruise which will visit the region’s capital Tromso, as well as Norway’s northernmost city, Honnigsvag. Another new addition to Celebrity’s itineraries from Southampton includes the Spanish island of Ibiza.
Announcing the news Lisa Lutoff Perlo, President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said:
“This truly is an exciting moment for us. Having one of our award-winning Edge series ships sailing from Southampton will offer an experience like no other from the UK, connecting guests to the world around them through the innovative outward-facing design and visionary spaces these celebrated ships are known for.”
Celebrity Cruises Vice President & Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Jo Rzymowska, added:
“The UK has always been integral to the success of our brand, and homeporting Celebrity Apex from Southampton underlines our commitment to this market and is testament to the strength of local consumer demand. There is huge appetite from UK guests who share our curiosity for people, places and cultures, and our passion for opening up the world through a love of travel. I’m looking forward to welcoming even more of our guests on board Celebrity Apex when she raises the bar for cruising from Southampton in 2024.”
Facilities on the ship include 29 restaurants and bars including the new Craft Social offering 40 hand-crafted beers, accommodation that includes two-storey villas with plunge pools, and The Retreat, an exclusive area for suite guests with a private restaurant, sun deck and 24-hour butler service.
Celebrity has pioneered many industry firsts at sea, including: the first use of solar panels on a cruise ship; the first to eliminate use of plastic water bottles; the first American female captain of a cruise ship; and first-ever all-female bridge and officer team.
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Celebrity Cruises