Celebrity Cruises has reached out to guests booked aboard an upcoming Celebrity Edge sailing to notify them of an itinerary change that adjusts not only the days the ship will be in port, but also the amount of time spent in the planned ports. Guests may not be pleased with the change, but occasionally, such alterations are necessary.
Celebrity Edge Itinerary Change
Guests booked on the March 7, 2024 sailing of Celebrity Edge, a 6-night Tasmania cruise roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, have been notified that their itinerary has changed. While the ship will still be visiting both of the originally scheduled ports of call, the times in port have been adjusted for both stops and one port visit has shifted days.
Originally, the ship was to have departed Sydney on Thursday, March 7, and spent Friday, March 8 in Eden, Australia from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. A day at sea was next, followed by a lengthy overnight visit to Hobart, Tasmania from 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 10 until 5 p.m. on Monday, March 11. After another day at sea, the ship would return to Sydney on Wednesday, March 13.
Now, Celebrity Edge will be departing Eden two hours earlier on March 8, leaving port at 5 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. The call to Hobart will then be the very next day and is still an overnight visit – but doesn’t start until 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 and will end at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. The remaining two days are spent at sea.
Shore tours arranged through Celebrity Cruises are sure to be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the new schedule, or else cancelled and refunded if they cannot be rescheduled. Guests who have many independent tour arrangements will need to contact their tour operators directly for options.
The ship’s departure and return to Sydney are not impacted either in dates or times.
Dramatic Port Time Reduction
While guests will still be traveling to the same ports – Eden and Hobart – Celebrity Edge‘s time in port is drastically reduced. On the original itinerary, guests were to have a total of 43 hours of potential time ashore: 10 hours in Eden and 33 hours in Hobart.
With these revisions, however, the total time in port will be only 34 hours. Two hours are lost during the call to Eden, and 7 hours in Hobart.
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While one could argue that the overnight call in Hobart does still offer a significant amount of time for exploring the destination, it should be noted that the hours trimmed are during the first day of the visit.
Instead of having nearly two full days in Hobart, from morning to evening, the ship now arrives in the evening. Shore excursion opportunities may be fewer at that time, and many guests may not feel comfortable leaving the ship to explore the port later into the night.
Why the Dramatic Change?
Celebrity Cruises has not provided extensive details on why the ship’s itinerary has such dramatically reduced port time, other than a “port conflict” that has caused the change. This could be due to other ships at the ports of call, the availability of berth space suitable to different vessel sizes, or port operations that may limit ship or passenger movement through port facilities.
Even situations less closely related to the port itself can affect visits and cruise ship schedules. For example, Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess recently announced an itinerary change for the ship’s maiden voyage – not for berths, or port maintenance, or weather, but because a local cable car is undergoing scheduled maintenance, which dramatically affects the potential port experience for guests.
Cruise lines have to keep multiple factors under consideration when planning itineraries, and sometimes, unexpected issues do force such changes, whether weeks or months in advance or not until the last minute. While the changes may be disappointing to some, cruise lines do work to provide good experiences for every passenger.
With Celebrity Edge remaining homeported from Sydney through mid-April, it is possible that additional voyages may have similar adjustments. Guests booked on upcoming sailings will want to stay in close communication with the cruise line in case of itinerary notifications.
The 130,818-gross-ton Celebrity Edge joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in 2018 as the inaugural ship in the innovative Edge class. She can welcome 2,918 guests aboard per sailing, and is also home to more than 1,300 international crew members.