Celebrity Cruises has ordered two new ships to be built by the STX yard in France and scheduled for delivery in autumn 2018 and spring 2020.
According to last night’s announcement, the vessels, designated Project EDGE, will provide “small ship itineraries with large ship amenities” – although how this feat will be achieved remains to be seen.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO, said: “Our new class of ship will set the standard for premium world travel and deliver the next generation of modern luxury experiences that our guests know and love.”
STX France is currently building Royal Caribbean’s Oasis 3 and has been contracted to build a new class of cruise ship for MSC Cruises. It built Norwegian Epic and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. Bayley added: “STX designs and builds some of the most innovative and stylish cruise ships in the world. Project EDGE offers them the opportunity to set a new standard for modern iconic architecture.”
Celebrity said the vessels also represent a step forward in eco-friendly ship design, with improved fuel efficiency and extensive use of sustainable materials.
At 117,000 tons and carrying 2,900 passengers the new design is slightly smaller than the recent Solstice class. Four of the five Solstice ships are around 122,000 tons each and carry about 2,880 passengers. The most recent, Reflection (above), is 125,000 tons and can carry 3,050 passengers.
Celebrity, a division of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, also operates four Millennium-class ships built between 2000 and 2002, and carrying about 1,950 passengers each, plus a much smaller vessel, Celebrity Xpedition, carrying 90 passengers on cruises in the Galapagos islands.