Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sorry, Baltimore: Celebrity Century Is Headed Down Under

After her 2011 season ends in Alaska, Celebrity Century won't be repositioning to Baltimore, Maryland as previously planned. Instead, like the iconic boomerang, Celebrity Cruises has announced plans to return to the Pacific and Down Under in 2011-12, with an enticing new series of vacations aboard Celebrity Century. The 1,814-guest ship is ideal for offering guests spectacular views of the scenic region, having been refitted in 2006 to add 314 new verandas, along with the elegant Murano restaurant and the truly "cool" Martini ice bar.

"This marks a significant expansion of Celebrity's diverse array of global vacation options," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "We're thrilled to return to Australia and New Zealand. It's a region our guests and trade partners around the world have said they wanted to experience again with Celebrity, pairing our award-winning dining, exceptional service and high style with the beauty, charm and diversity of the area. This move further exemplifies our 'Designed for you' platform, and how we fulfill what cruisers desire."

Marking the line's first return to the land Down Under in two years, Celebrity's exotic new Australia and New Zealand season—bookended by a series of vacation options in Hawaii—features a total of 36 ports in six countries: Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, French Polynesia, the U.S. and Mexico. The lineup includes 10 distinct itineraries, with six varied departure ports, including Sydney and Perth (Fremantle), Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Honolulu, Hawaii; San Diego, California, and Ensenada, Mexico.

Celebrity's new series begins Oct 2, 2011, with two consecutive 15-night Hawaii sailings from San Diego, followed by a 10-night Hawaii cruise from Ensenada to Honolulu. An 18-night "Pacific Jewels" voyage departs Honolulu Nov 11, followed by five 12- and 13-night New Zealand cruises between Sydney and Auckland, including a festive holiday sailing departing Sydney Dec 24. These offer a more destination-rich experience for cruisers, with only three days at sea, versus five on most competing lines' itineraries.

Cruisers also have the opportunity to experience a rare, 36-night circumnavigational voyage, a first for Celebrity, through two combinable 18-night sailings: One will sail around the southern portion of Australia, featuring an overnight stay in Sydney and transits through three sounds—Milford, Doubtful, and Dusky—in New Zealand's World Heritage-designated Fiordland National Park. The second of the combinable 18-night sailings takes cruisers around Australia's northern coast, and features a visit to the idyllic island of Bali, Indonesia—marking yet another first for Celebrity. The new series also includes two tantalizing, 18-night Trans-Pacific voyages visiting the French Polynesian islands and Hawaii. Among the ports Celebrity will visit for the first time are Geraldton, Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide, Albany, Bunbury, and Perth, Australia, in addition to Burnie, Tasmania, and Bali.

To complement the cruises and allow guests to delve deeper into the land Down Under, Celebrity has created a series of cruisetour packages, with details to be announced when bookings open for the entire slate of vacation options on Thursday, July 29. Celebrity also will announce details of an early booking incentive on that date.

Celebrity's new itineraries replace the previously announced series of 12-night Caribbean cruises from Baltimore on Celebrity Century. Guests with individual and group bookings that are named and deposited on Celebrity Century departing between Nov 1, 2011 and March 21, 2012, have the option to cancel their booking, or move to the same category of accommodations on a comparable Transcanal voyage on Celebrity Infinity, either Oct 28, 2011, or March 27, 2012; Celebrity Century's Hawaii sailings Oct 2 or 17, 2011, or April 2 or 20, 2012; 10- or 11-night Caribbean cruises on Celebrity Equinox in 2011, or entirely new 12-night Caribbean sailings from Cape Liberty, NJ, on Celebrity Silhouette, the line's fourth Solstice Class ship, entering service in 2011. Holiday sailings are open only to guests currently booked on Celebrity Century's double-holiday voyage of Dec 23, 2011. Guests with applicable bookings who opt to shift to one of the eligible sailings will receive a $200 per stateroom or $400 per suite onboard credit. Guests with reservations on the previously announced sailings on Celebrity Century from Baltimore in 2011-12 will be proactively contacted by Celebrity Cruises. Guests with questions specific to those bookings are welcome to call 1-888-281-9343.


Tina said...

Everybody seems to be following suit and offering the same thigns which takes the excitement away from it all being something new and different. There hasn't been much focus over the past couple of years on Australasia and when I first heard the news about Cunard heading down under I was really excited. Since then more and more cruise lines have announced plans to base in Oz and offer New Zealand and Australian itineraries. I think now, there is almost too much choice! And everybody is all doing too much of the same

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree, although living in Sydney I am thrilled with the additional cruise ships. They are all frequenting the same ports, which can make it some what repetitive. I look forward to sailing with both Celebrity and RCI.