The second Edge-class cruise ship from Celebrity Cruises will be christened as Celebrity Apex in Southampton and cruise roundtrip from the UK port for a mini-season in 2020.
The announcement was made during a shipyard tour of the new Celebrity Edge ship, which is nearing completion ahead of her November delivery this year.
This means that Celebrity Cruises will have Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Apex cruising from Southampton, the first time the cruise line has had two ships based in the UK.
“When Celebrity Apex launches in Southampton in 2020, it will be another incredible moment for our company and for the UK and Ireland market, especially as it will be 10 years since we last named and operated a brand-new ship in the UK,” said Celebrity’s president and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
Celebrity Apex will be the second of four planned Edge-class cruise ships and is scheduled for launch in the spring of 2020.
She will be almost identical to Celebrity Edge, carrying 2,900 passengers and featuring the Magic Carpet movable deck cantilevered off the side of the ship.
She will also have cabins with ‘infinite’ balconies designed to blend indoors and outdoors with bi-fold doors and a Resort Deck with a large pool flanked by sculptural trees and two Jacuzzis in the shape of martini glasses that overlook the deck below.
While the Southampton debut for Celebrity Apex is exciting news for the UK cruise market, Celebrity Cruises still sees the Mediterranean as its most popular homeport region.
Celebrity Edge will debut in the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic to sail roundtrip from Rome and Barcelona, while Celebrity Apex in 2020 will also be repositioned to the Mediterranean after her Southampton mini season.
This is good news for Middle East cruise passengers, who prefer the Mediterranean over all other cruise markets.
“Most locals of the Middle East will book their cruise as an add-on to their annual summer holiday in Europe,” says Rosemary McNulty, General Manager & Director of Cruise Business Development Middle East at Dubai-based Discover the World Marketing. “So the majority of Middle East cruise passengers prefer to fly to Europe and board the cruise ship in one of the Mediterranean or Northern European cruise hubs.”
Celebrity Cruises will also be homeporting the refurbished Celebrity Constellation in the Middle East again during the coming two winter cruise seasons.