Celebrity Cruises Changing Multiple Itineraries for One Ship

A number of Celebrity Apex cruises are now being changed but the reasons could vary. Which sailings are impacted?

Celebrity Cruises has begun reaching out to guests booked aboard various sailings on Celebrity Apex about itinerary changes for upcoming voyages. Multiple cruises are impacted with changes such as adjusted port times, altered sailing routes, and changed ports of call.

While the majority of the adjusted cruises are in northern Europe, some Caribbean itineraries are also being altered and all guests booked on Celebrity Apex should be prepared for possible changes.

Itinerary Changes for Celebrity Apex

Guests booked on a variety of sailings for Celebrity Apex have been informed of itinerary changes for their upcoming cruises. The nature of the changes varies for different departure dates, but includes such alterations as adjusted times in port and alternative ports of call that result in different sailing routes.

For example, the ship’s July 8, 2024 departure – a 12-night “Norwegian Fjord Arctic Circle” sailing – has three port time changes, as well as a change in departure from Southampton, UK. Now, the ship will leave Southampton at 5 p.m. instead of at 4 p.m. as originally planned.

Three Norwegian ports on the itinerary have been adjusted with different times. Now, the call to Flam will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (originally 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.); Tromso will be from 1-8 p.m. (originally 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.); and Honningsvag from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (originally 12-9 p.m.).

In total, these changes amount to a loss of seven hours in ports of call. The other port visits – Stavanger, Olden, and Kristiansand – are not affected, and the cruise will still be sailing above the Arctic Circle as planned.

Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship
Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: The Hungarian Sailor)

Pre-booked shore excursions arranged through Celebrity Cruises are being automatically adjusted to the new port times as needed. Travelers who have made independent arrangements will need to contact their tour operators for cancellation or rescheduling as appropriate.

Why So Many Changes?

While the impacted sailings are several months away, Celebrity Cruises is not offering details about the need for the changes.

“Due to sailing speed restrictions, we’ve adjusted some of our arrival and departure times,” the notification email read.

The nature of the “sailing speed restrictions” has not been explained, but it is possible that new regulations in Norway are causing the adjustments. Many areas, particularly where delicate marine environments can be put at risk with increased cruise travel, are imposing such restrictions to safeguard local habitats and wildlife.

Read Also: Protests in Norway Over Environmental Damage Caused by Cruise Ships

Booked guests are also noting similar changes to sailings departing in both May and June, with some sailings swapping port visits as well as adjusting overall port times.

Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship
Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Aerial-motion)

What is more concerning, however, is that some travelers have also noted similar changes for Caribbean itineraries once Celebrity Apex repositions to Fort Lauderdale in November.

Speed restrictions to protect environments are less common in the Caribbean, though they are not unheard of. It is also possible there may be some technical issue with Celebrity Apex that requires slower sailing for maximum efficiency, though this has not been confirmed.

The 130,818-gross-ton, Edge-class Celebrity Apex is currently homeported from Fort Lauderdale, offering a variety of 7-night Caribbean itineraries. In early May, the ship will depart on a transatlantic cruise to move to Southampton for a season sailing Scandinavia, Norway, and northern Europe cruises, before returning to Fort Lauderdale in November.

Celebrity Apex is scheduled for dry dock in March 2025, and it is likely that any technical updates will be made at that time. Hopefully, if there is an issue with the ship, the small adjustments being made now will be sufficient so she does not need to be removed from service for emergency repairs.

While some travelers are sure to be disappointed in these minor port changes, a last-minute full cruise cancellation would be much more of a disappointment!

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