Celebrity Cruises is making cruise industry history with the appointment of two brothers as co-captains of Celebrity Ascent, the line’s newest Edge Series-class ship that will debut in late 2023. The Greek brothers are veteran Celebrity officers with more than 50 years of service to the cruise line between them.
‘Star-Powered Siblings’ at the Helm
Like ships that pass in the night, co-captains Dimitrios Kafetzis and Tasos Kafetzis will serve three-month rotating assignments on Celebrity Ascent. Their appointments mark the second time Celebrity Cruises has charted new territory on the bridge: The line in 2015 chose Kate McCue as captain of Celebrity Summit, making her the industry’s first female cruise ship captain.
Captain Dimitrios has been with Celebrity Cruises since 1990, his brother since 1998. The two will share the helm of the 3,260-guest ship, which is under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
Celebrity Cruises CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “Captain Dimitrios and Captain Tasos are our star-powered siblings, a maritime dream team. They have given so much to the Celebrity family over the years that we are like a second family. Seeing their emotional reaction to this appointment and understanding what it means to share this pinnacle of their career together was something I didn’t expect and will never forget.”
Lutoff-Perlo added: “This ship represents a monumental milestone for our brand, taking our innovative outward-facing design further than ever, and creating a whole new class of relaxed luxury resorts at sea. I am so proud to leave her in the hands of these expert mariners.”
The Pinnacle of Maritime Careers
Captain Dimitrios has spent his entire maritime career at Celebrity Cruises, starting as an Apprentice Officer onboard Celebrity Horizon in 1990. He graduated from the Merchant Maritime Academy of Syros-Athens. According to the cruise line, he was on the start-up teams for Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Apex, and served as captain of Celebrity Apex.
Captain Dimitrios said, “Nearly 35 years after Celebrity Cruises was founded in Greece, they will have not one, but two Greek captains taking the helm of their newest vessel in 2023 and I am honored for my brother and I to take this role, together. I am so proud for my family and proud of my brother. We look forward to welcoming everyone on board Celebrity Ascent this winter.”
Captain Tasos joined Celebrity after graduating from the Merchant Marine College, and was involved in the launches of Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Reflection. He most recently was captain of Celebrity Edge.
Captain Tasos commented, “Together, my brother and I share a love of the ocean, and a love for this company and our guests. To share a special moment together like this is something I could have only dreamed of.”
Construction Continues After Float Out
Celebrity Ascent, the fourth in the line’s Edge Series, reached a major construction milestone on January 21 when it was floated out of the shipyard. Work on the 140,600 gross ton vessel continues at her mooring location, prior to sea trials later this year.
Celebrity Ascent is scheduled to debut on December 3 in Fort Lauderdale following her repositioning from France. Her maiden voyage from Florida will be a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise, calling at St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Puerto Plata. Alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises will follow the inaugural voyage.
Celebrity Ascent will feature the same amenities and experiences as previous Edge Series ships, including two-story villa staterooms, two-story martini-shaped hot tubs, and the Magic Carpet, a cantilevered bar that sits on the edge of the ship, among other innovations. The ship will have 30-plus restaurants and bars, infinity plunge pools and private cabanas.