There is reason to celebrate at Celebrity Cruises, as the cruise line christened its newest Apex-class cruise ship in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale: Celebrity Ascent. The unveiling was done during a special naming ceremony, with the ship’s godmothers and twin captains in attendance.
The fourth ship in the Edge-clas series of groundbreaking cruise ships, Celebrity Ascent was handed over to Celebrity Cruises on November 8 of 2023. She has recently completed a series of shakedown cruises and will set sail on her maiden voyage on December 3.
A Ceremony Filled With Modern Maritime Traditions
Celebrity Cruises has officially named its newest cruise ship, the 3,260-passenger, 140,600 gross-ton Celebrity Ascent. The vessel was introduced to the world during a glittering naming ceremony that was filled with maritime traditions with a modern touch.
Celebrity Ascent is the first cruise ship in the world to feature two godmothers, who are also sisters, and two Captains, who are also brothers. Co-godmothers, Captain Sandy Yawn, from the well-known TV series Below Deck, and her sister Michelle Dunham, the Founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism, headlined the ceremony.
The ceremony featured the breaking of a champagne bottle against the ship’s hull under the watchful eye of Greek brothers Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis and Captain Tasos Kafetzis, who will act as the Co-Captains of the vessel, a first in the industry.
“Celebrity Ascent has been designed to feed our guests travel wanderlust and provide unique experiences they will covet and love,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, President at Celebrity Cruises.
“Captain Sandy and her sister Michelle, co-Godmothering Celebrity Ascent, add another, and more personal dimension, to this already extraordinary ship. Their connection, combined with the brotherly bond of the ship’s captains, exemplifies the sense of welcome and warm hospitality we strive for on every cruise.”
Construction for Celebrity Ascent started on November 17, 2021, and the vessel was handed over by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard of St. Nazaire, France, nearly two years later, on November 8, 2023. She arrived in Fort Lauderdale on November 30.
Pioneering Design and Slight Differences
Although Celebrity Ascent is the fourth in the Edge-class series, following Celebrity Edge (2018), Celebrity Apex (2020), and Celebrity Beyond (2022), there are some distinct differences in her design. She is around 20 meters longer than the original Celebrity Edge, with more space, particularly on the outside decks, and features even more luxury amenities onboard.
“With each new ship, our ambition is to debut the ultimate vacation experience and Celebrity Ascent achieves this by raising the bar for premium travel,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. “Her elevated design and new onboard experiences set her apart from competitors and serve as a new benchmark for the travel industry.”
The Rooftop Garden has been revamped to offer a more open and panoramic environment. For Aqua Class guests, the Blu restaurant now includes an option to dine outdoors. Additionally, there’s a fresh take on the Le Voyage restaurant, masterminded by Chef Daniel Boulud, featuring a new design and menu.
Celebrity Ascent To Offer Range of Eastern and Western Caribbean Cruises
Following the naming ceremony, Celebrity Ascent will spend two days in Fort Lauderdale, in preparation for her maiden seven-day voyage setting sail on December 3, 2023. Ports of call on the official maiden cruise include Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Puerto Plata.
Upon returning to Fort Lauderdale on December 10, Celebrity Ascent will spend the winter alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Nassau, Tortola, St. Kitts, and more.
On April 14, 2024, Celebrity Ascent will sail on a Transatlantic voyage to Europe, after which she will spend the summer cruising the Mediterranean from Barcelona, Piraeus, and Civitavecchia, to ports such as Naples, Mykonos, and Santorini.