Yesterday, Saturday 19th June saw Celebrity Cruises’ latest newbuild Celebrity Apex make her Greek debut with her highly-anticipated maiden voyage from Athens.
Celebrity Apex had originally been scheduled to enter service in late March 2020 however the global COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the cruise industry and delayed Celebrity Apex’s debut season and therefore her maiden season plans had to be rescheduled to Summer 2021 and a Greek debut.
The second in the Edge class of ships for Celebrity Cruises departed the Port of Athens last night at 8.30pm (Eastern European Summer Time) on her first seven night Aegean cruise.
It was truly an historic moment for Celebrity Cruises as the return to Greece saw Celebrity Cruises celebrate their proud Greek heritage. The Chandris family of Greece had established Celebrity Cruises in 1988 and would later become part of the Royal Caribbean group. Today, there is still a strong link between Celebrity Cruises and Greece with 70% of their marine officers across the fleet hail from Greece – with more than 40 Captains and Chief Engineers – including the Captain of Celebrity Apex Dimitrios Kafetzis.
A press release from Celebrity Cruises said:
ATHENS (June 19, 2021) – Excitement, anticipation, and awe. These three words captured the feeling of passengers and onlookers as Celebrity Apex, the world’s most anticipated new-luxury cruise ship, sailed out of the Port of Athens, today, to begin her maiden voyage and first summer season in the Aegean.
The much-anticipated sailing marks an historic moment for the company, which had originally planned to introduce its newest ship in late March, 2020. Guests and fans of the brand have waited ever-since with huge anticipation to experience the fleet’s new flagship.
That moment came as Celebrity Apex sailed gracefully out of port at 8:30p.m. Eastern European Summer Time, ushering in not only an important return to European sailing, but a new standard of luxury travel. With the vivid and vibrant backdrop of the azure Athens sky, Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the brand’s transformational, multi-award-winning Edge Series, set sail on a seven-night cruise of the historied Aegean, delighting those who have waited with patience for more than 15 months to explore the world by sea.
The company’s return to the Aegean is all the more poignant given Celebrity Cruises’ proud Greek heritage. Founded in 1988 by the Chandris family of Greece, the company later became a part of the Royal Caribbean Group. Celebrity Cruises is still rooted in its Greek origins today, with 70% of marine officers across the fleet, hailing from Greece with more than 40 Captains and Chief Engineers, including the Captain of Celebrity Apex, Dimitrios Kafetzis.
“After all this time, what a dream come true for everyone onboard this exquisite ship in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions. Her sail-away today is a meaningful moment for our guests, our crew and our company. I think we are all having ‘pinch me’ moments,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “Returning to sailing in the Aegean, where it all began for us, and after such a long time, is also very special for me and for the Celebrity Apex crew. Greece has always held a special place in our hearts, and, now, even more so, as we sail forward to experience all of its wonder, once again.”
Guests traveling on the Greek Islands and Cyprus itinerary will have the chance to visit the ancient city of Rhodes, with its stunning classical Acropolis and unparalleled Medieval architecture; the beauty and mythology of Mykonos; the incredible island of Santorini, a world heritage site and bucket list destination famous for the colorful blue and white palettes that pepper the architecture of this fascinating and historical coastal town. And finally, Limassol. Tucked away on the southern coast of Cyprus, it exemplifies all that is great about the unique island culture – with heavy influences from eastern neighbors, Turkey and Egypt.
“Today is a very proud day for me and one I will never forget. Not only do I return to sea, but I do so in my home country and with an incredible crew. I was born and raised right here in Piraeus, less than a mile from our Athens homeport, and grew up dreaming of sailing this coastline at the helm of a ship. I was born and raised right here in Piraeus, less than a mile from our Athens homeport, and grew up dreaming of sailing this coastline at the helm of a ship. It is truly an honor to captain the newest Celebrity flagship and to welcome our first guests back onboard,” said Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis.
Celebrity Apex sails with a vaccinated crew and at least 95% vaccinated guests. While Greece allows guests to freely explore its islands, a range of tours curated by Celebrity Cruises for all interests and price points are also available at every port of call, including Private Journeys and Small Group Discovery Tours for those guests preferring to explore the destinations with just members of their family or traveling companions.
The Apex of New Luxury at Sea
Like her industry-changing sister ship, Celebrity Edge, named one of TIME Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” in her 2019 debut season, Celebrity Apex features innovative outward-facing design and visionary spaces from world-renowned designers, connecting guests to the breathtaking world around them like never before. The ship’s onboard experience also stands apart from anything else at sea, and feeds today’s travel wanderlust with:
- The exclusive The Retreat® with its stunning accommodations, a private restaurant, and an exclusive lounge and sundeck to rival any high-end resort. In addition, a dedicated team of butlers, attendants, and concierges on-hand 24/7, ensures everything is taken care of while on vacation.
- Transformational accommodations, from modern two-story villas with plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living, all carefully curated and designed by the award-winning Kelly Hoppen.
- The Magic Carpet®, soaring cantilevered above the sea and offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.
- An unrivaled culinary repertoire of 29 distinct restaurants, bars, and lounges including the brand-new Craft Social Bar, connecting guests to the destinations they will visit like never before. Globally-inspired menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs bring the flavors of the world straight to the plate, providing an epicurean journey unmatched at sea.
Cruise with Confidence
Providing travel flexibility, Celebrity’s Cruise with Confidence policy allows guests who have booked by July 31, 2021, to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure on sailings through May 4, 2022, and receive a 100% credit for a future cruise.
Celebrity Apex guests will also experience Celebrity’s new ‘Always IncludedSM’ approach where Wi-Fi, drinks, and gratuities are always included in the cruise fare.
Guests are encouraged to regularly check the guidance on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience at CelebrityCruises.com/healthy-at-sea.
For more information on new sailings offered by Celebrity Cruises in 2021-2022, visit CelebrityCruises.com/2021-2022-cruises.
Source – Celebrity Cruises
Feature image © Celebrity Cruises