New Celebrity Xcel Cruise Ship Reaches Major Construction Milestone

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Celebrity Cruises celebrated a significant milestone today as the fifth ship in its Edge series, Celebrity Xcel, marked its keel-laying in a special ceremony on June 13, 2024. The ceremony took place at Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France.

Coins are placed in a ship’s keel to bring good luck and protection to the vessel and its crew. Known a “keel-laying,” officials gathering for the occasion included Chanteriers de l’Atlantique’s General Manager Laurent Castaing and Celebrity Cruises’ President Laura Hodges Bethge.

Celebrity Xcel Keel Laying
Celebrity Xcel Keel Laying (Photo Courtesy: Celebrity Cruise)

As part of maritime tradition, coins were placed in one of the 44 blocks that will comprise the new 141,000-gross-ton Edge Class ship. The coins are engraved with the symbols of the Paris Olympic Games, taking place in France July 5 through 27, 2024, and NASA’s Saturn V rocket to “pay tribute to the values of team spirit, commitment and respect” as well as to the “innovative characteristics of the ship.”

Owned by Royal Caribbean Group, President and CEO Jason Liberty was also on hand for the event. He said, “Today we not only mark the start of construction, but we are laying the foundation on which countless memories will be created.

Liberty also attended the handoff ceremony of Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Utopia of the Seas, alongside Castaing, who exalted the close collaboration, saying, “We know and trust one another, and work in harmony to offer a unique and sustainable experience for passengers.”

Celebrity Xcel, which began construction with its steel cutting on November 7, 2023, at the same shipyard as its Edge-class sisters Celebrity EdgeCelebrity ApexCelebrity Beyond, and Celebrity Ascentcompleted in 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023, respectively, will be the first in Royal Caribbean Group’s fleet to feature a tri-fuel capable engine.

Celebrity Xcel Keel Laying
Celebrity Xcel Keel Laying (Photo Courtesy: Celebrity Cruises)

Each new ship also represents an opportunity to advance our journey to net zero and with Xcel we are building our first methanol-capable ship, which helps advance our transition to the energy platform or the future,” said Liberty.

Celebrity Xcel to Offer Innovative Luxury

Construction on Celebrity Xcel is set to be completed by November 2025, when the ship will begin offering 7-night itineraries in the Caribbean. Like Celebrity Ascent, the ship will sail from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.

A standout feature of Celebrity Xcel will be The Retreat, an exclusive area for suite guests offering a resort-within-a-resort experience, highlighted by a two-story sundeck.

The ship’s accommodations will be designed for modern tastes with guests able to choose from two-story villas with private plunge pools to stateroom with infinite verandas. 

Celebrity Xcel Cruise Ship
Celebrity Xcel Cruise Ship

The expended Rooftop Garden and Resort Deck will be additional notable features to enhance the outdoor experience for guests. The garden will provide a serene outdoor space while the deck will include unique cantilevered float pools. A redesigned Grand Plaza, spanning three decks, will provide an airy and open indoor space central to the ship’s design.

Read Also: Celebrity Cruise Ships – Newest to Oldest

At the ship’s aft, the multi-level Sunset Bar will offer panoramic views across a multi-terraced design. For dining, Celebrity Xcel will feature a new restaurant by renowned Chef Daniel Boulud to provide a fine-dining option at sea. Dining will also include the innovative Magic Carpet cantilevered platform, providing uninterrupted ocean views for passengers while they float above the sea.

Celebrity Xcel will also offer a variety of entertainment and activities as passengers enjoy alternating routes between the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands, as well as Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and St. Maarten.

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