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Celebrity Millennium sails after revitalisation

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Millennium set sail on Saturday from the Port of Miami following an extensive enhanced refurbishment that completed, the company said in a statement.

“Celebrity Millennium is the fourth and final ship to complete the cruise line’s $140-million investment programme, dubbed “Solsticizing”. Ships that have been enhanced now feature a host of venues and experiences guests love most on the newest Celebrity Cruises ships,” Celebrity Cruises said.

“Solsticizing has been such an exciting initiative for us – and more importantly, for our guests, as indicated by their response to each of our refurbished ships,” said Celebrity Cruises’ President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “Our Millennium Class ships already had a large and loyal following, having repeatedly ranked at the top of many of the world’s most prestigious consumer polls, and their original style, design and ambience served as significant inspiration for the design of the Solstice Class. So now, we’re bringing it full circle, incorporating on the entire Millennium Class what our guests enjoy most on the Solstice Class. It ties our whole fleet together in a very powerful way.”

 One of the many new features added to the refurbished ships is Celebrity Cruises’ AquaClass category of staterooms, with spacious, private balconies; exclusive access to the speciality restaurant, Blu; complimentary access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room in the AquaSpa; a personal Spa Concierge to book AquaSpa treatments; use of plush Frette bathrobes and slippers; enhanced personal care products, and in-room features including Hansgrohe shower heads, fog-free bathroom mirrors, aromatherapy selections, and daily deliveries of complimentary bottled water and teas. AquaClass and its host of features will be added to Celebrity Constellation in 2013.

 Another Celebrity Cruises exclusive – “Qsine,” the restaurant introduced on Celebrity Eclipse in 2010 and Celebrity Silhouette last year – is also dazzling guests on Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Millennium as a result of each ship’s make over. The first restaurant at sea to present a menu and wine list on an iPadTM, Qsine serves a blend of classic and contemporary dishes in custom-made table ware, such as spring rolls served in vertical springs, and popcorn shrimp in cinema-style popcorn boxes.

Other new on board features include:

·           The Celebrity iLounge, which debuted on Celebrity Eclipse and made Celebrity Cruises the industry’s first Authorised Apple Reseller

·           Celebrity Cruises’ “eXhale” bedding programme, in partnership with Reverie®, a leader in the field of luxury bedding

·           A new twist within Celebrity Cruises’ casually elegant bar, Michael’s Club, where its selection of fine whiskies, cognac, bourbons and scotches is now complemented with craft beers, including 50 international selections

·           The “cool,” ice-topped Martini Bar and Crush

·           The creperie, Bistro on Five

·           Café al Bacio and Gelateria

·           Cellarmasters wine bar, complete with the “Enomatic” state-of-the-art wine serving system allowing guests to select wines by the glass, at the touch of a button

·           New balconies added to the ship’s spacious Celebrity Suites

·           Additional oceanview and inside staterooms

·           An expanded collection of original, contemporary art

Celebrity iLounge, the eXhale bedding programme and the new Michael’s Club concept will all be added to Celebrity Constellation in 2013. 

The extensive refurbishment and enhancement initiative was completed within less than two years, with each ship completing the massive transformation over the course of an only three-week drydock period. Celebrity Millennium is currently on a Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego. Following a 5-night wine-themed cruise from San Diego to Vancouver on 27 May, the ship will offer seven-night Northbound and Southbound Alaska sailings between Vancouver and Seward (Alaska).

* During the Solsticizing of Celebrity Constellation in 2010, the Solstice Class-inspired specialty restaurant “Tuscan Grille” – an Italian-themed steakhouse – was added to the ship, within the space occupied by Qsine on her sister ships.

AIDAMar naming and Hamburg port anniversary attract 1.4 million viewers

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

A total of some 1.4 million people experienced a parade of four AIDA ships, including newcomer AIDAmar that was named in the port, on 12 May as part of the the 823rd anniversary of the Port of Hamburg, AIDA Cruises said in a statement.

 “The Port of Hamburg’s anniversary celebrations have set new standards with the world’s largest ship’s inauguration ceremony for AIDAmar. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the evening between the Grasbrookkai and the Fischauktionshalle. Thanks to the spectacular ceremony for AIDAmar, Saturday was also, in terms of visitor numbers, one of the busiest days ever in the history of the Port of Hamburg anniversary celebrations”, estimated Dietrich von Albedyll, Chairman of the Board at Hamburg Tourismus GmbH.

The cabins on board the four ships from the AIDA fleet had all been sold out far in advance, with more than 10,000 AIDA guests on the River Elbe to experience the event live. After the inauguration, the night sky above the Port of Hamburg was lit up by a spectacular firework display.

“Hundreds of thousands of people watching the inauguration of AIDAmar in Hamburg have experienced how fascinating and attractive cruise holidays can be. The huge public interest underlines the excellent prospects for the future of our growth sector”, said Michael Thamm, CEO-designate of the Costa Group and spokesman for the international cruise industry in Germany.

 The visitors in Hamburg were able to experience the inouguration spectacular at first hand via two large LED screens, with hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world following the christening live on the Internet. 

Maxim Vengerov to attend MSC Divina naming

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

MSC Cruises says the company and UNICEF have forged a strong partnership over the years and in recognition of this relationship, key representatives and guests of the charity will be involved in the naming ceremony of MSC Divina, which will take place in Marseille on 26 May 2012.

"Critically acclaimed classical performer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Maxim Vengerov will join MSC Cruises’ CEO Pierfrancesco Vago and MSC fleet godmother Sophia Loren for a question and answer session with international media that will follow a press conference. Joining an impressive line-up of international stars on stage for the evening’s main events, Vengerov will then deliver a speech before releasing hundreds of UNICEF balloons with the help of local children," MSC Cruises said in a statement.

Viking Line allows newbuilding option to lapse

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The board of Viking Line, the Finnish cruise ferry group, has decided to allow an option to build a second 58,000 gross ton lng powered cruise ferry at STX Finland in Turku to lapse, the company said in a statement. Viking Grace, which is currently under construction at the same shipyard, will enter service next year.