In what has been a big week for Celebrity Cruises, the cruise line has officially taken delivery of its newest vessel, the highly anticipated Celebrity Ascent. The ship now belongs to the cruise line and is less than one month away from her debut to the world.
Celebrity Ascent Delivered
In a ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, Celebrity Ascent has been officially handed over to the cruise line and has now joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet as the fourth vessel in the innovative Edge class.
With spectacular and distinctive features over and above the other ships in the class, Celebrity Ascent is truly making an ascent to the top of the cruise line’s offerings.
Various cruise line executives were on hand for the ceremony, as well as the ship’s co-captain brothers, Captains Dimitrios Kafetzis and Tasos Kafetzis. Also at the shipyard were 1,400 international crew members who will provide spectacular service to everyone who sails on the new verssel.
“Celebrity Ascent is yet another example of innovation driving our mission to provide the best vacations responsibly. The ship continues Celebrity’s ambition to redefine premium travel and take it to new heights,” said Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO.
“I want to thank and congratulate the Chantiers de l’Atlantique team, our Newbuild and Celebrity Cruises’ teams and their partners for the vision, craftsmanship and passion that went into bringing this spectacular ship to life.”
Several events were part of the official ceremony, including signing the paperwork to change ownership of the vessel from the shipyard to the cruise line, changing the flags onboard the ship to indicate her new affiliation, and toasting the event in the ship’s three-story Grand Plaza.
“Celebrity Ascent features all the innovative and award-winning Edge Series signature experiences that launched a new era in cruise ship design, plus a few new enhancements, and I can’t wait to welcome our guests aboard,” said Laura Hodges-Bethge, Celebrity Cruises President.
“It is a true honor to welcome this ship to our fleet and I am so grateful to everyone involved with all that goes into launching a new ship.”
The delivery of Celebrity Ascent comes just one day after the cruise line announced the name and celebrated the steel cutting of the next and final ship in the Edge class, Celebrity Xcel.
New Innovations Onboard
While Celebrity Ascent has all the innovations of her three sister ships in the Edge class – Celebrity Edge (2018), Celebrity Apex (2020), and Celebrity Beyond (2022), she also has distinctive features of her own.
The ship has an expansive Retreat, the resort-within-a-resort area featuring a two-story sundeck exclusively for suite guests, as well as outstanding stateroom options that include two-story villas and infinite verandas that offer both indoor and outdoor spaciousness.
The Rooftop Garden has been expanded for more airiness and unparalleled vista views, and the Blu specialty dining restaurant for Aqua Class guests now features outdoor dining for an al fresco experience. Guests can also enjoy a newly designed Le Voyage restaurant by Chef Daniel Boulud.
Of course, the outstanding Magic Carpet – a transformational space cantilevered above the ocean and offering different experiences at different times of day – returns aboard Celebrity Ascent as the ship’s most visible and iconic feature.
“I am convinced that Celebrity Ascent will meet the same success as the other ships in the prestigious Edge Series. Its fine exterior and interior design and its exceptional seaworthiness make it an outstanding ship. Celebrity Ascent embodies the strong bond between the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Royal Caribbean Group and Celebrity Cruises teams,” said Chantiers de l’Atlantique General Director Laurent Castaing.
Sailing Aboard Celebrity Ascent
Following a couple of short initial voyages that will “break in” the new ship, Celebrity Ascent‘s maiden voyage is a 7-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary departing Fort Lauderdale on December 3, 2023, with visits to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Puerto Plata.
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The new ship will then offer varied 7-night itineraries, including voyages to the Bahamas, Mexico, and different Eastern and Western Caribbean ports of call.
On April 14, 2024, Celebrity Ascent will leave Fort Lauderdale on a 13-night transatlantic sailing to Barcelona to begin her first summer season in the Mediterranean, and she will return to her Florida homeport in late October 2024.