LONDON, April 20, 2010: Celebrity Eclipse, the new GBP500 million cruise ship from Celebrity Cruises, will set sail from Southampton this evening (April 20) on a rescue mission to collect stranded UK holidaymakers from Bilbao, Spain. The voyage replaces the planned 2-day launch celebration cruise for VIPs originally scheduled to depart on Thursday (April 22).
Celebrity Cruises can now confirm that it is working specifically with TUI UK—the parent company of tour operators Thomson and First Choice—and also Thomas Cook and The Co-operative Travel Group (CTTG) on this sailing. By working with these four major tour operating brands we are able to maximise the help we can give. Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook and CTTG have the infrastructure in place to transport as many customers as possible, from across Spain, to Bilbao.
Unfortunately, we cannot help everybody. Celebrity Eclipse can only make one repatriation sailing and our Bilbao pick up will be restricted to customers of Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook and CTTG who have been allocated a space aboard the ship. We are advising customers of other tour operators to NOT turn up at the port in the hope of travelling with Celebrity Eclipse. Whilst we want to get as many people home as we can, we have to adhere to strict safety and security regulations. We are only able to transport customer travelling with First Choice, Thomson, Thomas Cook, and CTTG.
Celebrity Cruises understands that many more people have had their travel plans disrupted and we wish them a safe return home. Further travel advice is available from: