Celebrity Cruises has designed three new 12-night, port-intensive itineraries sailing roundtrip from one of Cruise Diva's favorite ports—Istanbul. Aimed at connecting cruise travelers with the Byzantine city of Istanbul and three new ports of call, Celebrity’s introduction of these new cruises in the early fall of 2011 marks the first time the cruise line has offered roundtrip cruises from the city on the famed Bosphorus Strait that connects Asia and Europe, a unique placement that has long intrigued travelers due to its multiple cultures.
Presented on the newly revitalized, 2,034-guest Celebrity Constellation, the “Greek Isles and Turkey” cruises, sailing on Sept 19 and Oct 1 and 13, 2011, will each begin with an overnight in port in Istanbul, before spending a day at sea. Then, guests will enjoy stops in Ephesus (Kusadasi), Bodrum and Marmaris, Turkey; Rhodes, Santorini, Athens (Piraeus), Mykonos and Chania (Souda), Crete, Greece, before spending one more day at sea and returning to Istanbul. Bodrum, Marmaris and Chaniain—new ports for Celebrity Cruises—are examples of ways the cruise line is designing unique experiences in exotic destinations to appeal to discerning cruisers.
The Istanbul itineraries will be bookended by Mediterranean sailings taking place on Sept 7 and Oct 25, 2011. On Sept 7, Celebrity Constellation will sail a 12-night itinerary from Amsterdam to Istanbul, featuring visits to Brugges, Belgium; Cherbourg, France; Vigo, Spain; Gibraltar, United Kingdom; Sicily, Italy and Athens. The 11-night October 25 cruise from Istanbul to Barcelona features an overnight stay in port in Istanbul, then visits to Athens; Naples, Rome, and Florence, Italy; Provence, France; and Palma de Mallorca. On Nov 5, Celebrity Constellation will reposition from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, Florida during a 14-night transatlantic voyage, featuring visits to Cartagena, Spain; Gibraltar; Madeira, Portugal; and Tenerife and La Palma, Canary Islands. Guests who wish to extend their Istanbul experience can combine the Oct 13 roundtrip Istanbul cruise, the Oct 25 Istanbul-to-Barcelona cruise and the Nov 5 transatlantic cruise, without repeating any ports except Athens, for a 37-night extravaganza.
Celebrity Constellation was recently the first Celebrity Cruises vessel to be “Solsticized,” or revitalized to include some of the most popular venues found on the line’s widely-heralded Solstice Class ships, including the tantalizing Tuscan Grille steakhouse; the vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five; a “cool” new ice-topped Martini Bar; the inviting Café al Bacio and Gelateria; Cellarmasters wine bar, complete with the state-of-the-art wine serving systems known as “Enomatics,” allowing guests to select and serve wines by the glass, at the touch of a button; more sumptuous suites, with all new furniture, flat-screen TVs, upholstery, bedding and carpeting; restyled staterooms, with entirely new carpeting, flat-screen TVs, upholstery and bedding; and new color schemes, carpeting and upholstery reflective of the Solstice Class’ stylish, modern design in every public venue. The revitalization is only part of Celebrity’s Designed for you platform, which–when combined with the brand’s Celebrity Life onboard experiences, more robust Captain’s Club loyalty program, and other brand enhancements–represents a nearly $200-million investment. Interested cruisers are encouraged to visit CelebrityCruises.com.