There’s been an announcement that Celebrity are ordering two new ships. (Well, actually, it’s the Royal Caribbean parent company which has made the order, to deliver to their Celebrity Cruises brand.) Here’s a link to the official announcement.
There are several interesting points in this announcement. First, that these ships are not following Royal Caribbean’s mania for size – indeed, at 117,000 tons they’re actually a smidgen smaller than the Solstice class, which ranged from 121,000 tons (the first three of the class) to about 125,000 tons (the last two). Passenger numbers are about the same, perhaps 100 more, but we don’t know yet if that figure of 2,900 guests is lower-berths only or full capacity. Secondly, these are the first new ships for Celebrity not built by Jos. Meyer at Papenburg – you have to go back to the Millennium class of more than ten years ago to find the last order not at Meyer Werft. (Indeed, the ships before that, the Century class, were built at Meyer’s.)
Finally, I’m not sure how a 117,000 ton ship will be able to deliver ‘small ship itineraries’. I can’t see it sailing up the Guadalquivir into Seville, for example, which is what small ships can do – larger ships, e.g. the Grand Princess class, at 110,000 tons a bit smaller than these new Celebrity ships, have to berth at Cadiz when they call at ‘Seville’. But we shall see.
(And how can something new, about which we know nothing, be ‘iconic’? Grrrr….)