Celebrity Edge has set sail for Florida.
The first in a new class of ship from Celebrity Cruises left the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard on Sunday to make its way to Port Everglades where it will begin Caribbean service on Nov. 21.
The handover ceremony for the 2,918-passenger ship took place in St. Nazaire, France last week with officials from Celebrity Cruises as well as parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. on hand.
“Today is a very special day for all of us as we have been eagerly anticipating this moment for more than four years,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “There are so many aspects of Celebrity Edge that are more groundbreaking than we could have ever imagined, and it is all a testament to the hard work, creativity and talent of everyone who helped bring this magnificent ship to life.”
The 1,004-foot-long vessel’s unique features include the Magic Carpet, a large multi-use elevator of sorts that moves up and down the side of the 16-deck ship while playing the role of mass transportation, but also as an entertainment and dining venue.
Another unique feature on Edge is the three-story venue called Eden that will feature an 18-foot-tall wall of plants over a bar that uses ingredients from the plants in its drinks. The venue will act as relaxing lounge during the day and dinner theater venue at night with aerialists and musicians. Other features include martini glass-shaped jacuzzis, staterooms without sliding doors and two new suite categories.
The ship will continue sailing seven-night alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries until summer 2019 when it migrates to the Mediterranean. It’s one of five new ships debuting in Florida this year including the impending arrival of the largest ship in the world. Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas.
Celebrity Edge is the first of a new class of ship. The line’s last class of ship, the Solstice class, debuted more than 10 years ago. A sister ship, Celebrity Apex, is slated for delivery in spring 2020 with two more on order for 2021 and 2022.
Celebrity Apex had the ceremonial laying of its keel held on the same day as the Edge handover, marked by the lowering of a 762-ton block onto the traditional lucky coin that’s most always used in cruise ship construction.
“Thanks to the confidence Celebrity Cruises granted us and to the exceptional level of cooperation between our respective teams, we are proud to have designed and built one of the most innovative cruise ships ever,” said shipyard General Manager Laurent Castaing. “This achievement demonstrates once again our capacity to deliver right on time ships of the highest quality to our most demanding customers.
By Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel
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