today! Let's begin our story! Celebrity Cruises is quite a young cruise company. It was founded in April 1988 as an independent entity under a parent company, the Greek Chandris Group.
Chandris Line is a company founded in 1960. Its main market was the itineraries between Greece and Australia. By 1980, the company turned into the major cruise European company, and the Mediterranean Sea was added to the itineraries. By the end of the 1980s, the company decided to expand to the markets of North America, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
It is when the Celebrity Cruises company appeared.
Queen Frederica, one of the Chandris Line company’s ships.
By the way, here’s an interesting fact: all the ships of the company had the Greek letter chi on their funnels. The logo has remained the same for many years and has been preserved by Celebrity Cruises.
Chandris Line wanted to "capture" the Bermuda route, but the company and its old fleet lost a competition to existing companies, for example, Home Lines (it was absorbed by Holland America Line).
New modern Celebrity company got the government of Bermuda interested in it, and the route was opened for them.
The famous ocean liner SS Galileo Galilei was the first ship of Celebrity Cruises.
The ship was built in 1963 as the ocean liner, and in 1979, the liner was converted into the cruise ship.
In 1983, the ship was bought by the Chandris Group. She was slightly rebuilt, and the name was shortened to Galileo. The liner went on cruises in the Caribbean under the Chandris' Fantasy Cruises flag.
When the Celebrity Cruises company was created, it was decided to give the ship to it. Because of this, Galileo was sent to the well-known shipyard – Lloyd Werft in Germany.
The ship served the company until 1997; then she was sold to Sun Cruises and renamed to Sun Vista.
New Horizon was the second ship of the company. She was launched in November 1989.
The ship became quite successful and opened the new Horizon class of cruise ships.
After 2 years, the sister of Horizon, new Zenith, joined the company’s fleet.
Having three beautiful Celebrity Cruise Line ships, the company successfully operated on the cruise market.
However, it was not enough to dominate the market, so Celebrity continued to build new modern megaliners.
In 1995, the new ship, Century, was launched. She became the flagship of the Century-class.
In 1996, the new 76,000-ton liner, Galaxy, was built for the company.
In 1997, the Chandris family sold Celebrity Cruises to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. RCCL became Royal Caribbean International, and the parent company became Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
In the same year, the new Century-class liner, Mercury, joined the Celebrity Cruises ships. Then it was decided to sell the first ship, Meridian.
In 2001, the company launched the small cruise ship (or rather, a large yacht, after all, she has only a 2,329 GT tonnage), Xpedition. The ship operates on the Galapagos Islands and can accommodate only 96 passengers. The ship belongs to a subsidiary brand, Celebrity Expeditions.
With the advent of new ships, Celebrity Cruises began to get rid of the old ones.
Horizon was moved to the fleet of Island Cruises in 2005. The ship is still in service, but already under the flag of Croisières de France. This year the ship will join the fleet of Pullmantur Cruises under her original name.
At the same time the first liner of the new Solstice class was laid at the Meyer Werft. By 2007, 3 new ships of this class were announced.
Zenith was a part of Celebrity Cruises until 2007. Then the ship sailed under the flags of Pullmantur and Croisières de France. This year the ship, as well as her sister, will become a part of the Pullmantur Cruises company under her original name.
By the way, Zenith went to Pullmantur in exchange for two smaller liners – Blue Moon and Blue Dream. These ships were to enter the Celebrity Expeditions fleet under the name of Celebrity Quest and Celebrity Journey.
However, something went wrong, and it was decided to create a new luxury company – Azamara Cruises.
Ships are now known as Azamara Quest & Azamara Journey.
Almost at the same time (2008), the prefix Celebrity was added to the names of the company’s ships.
In 2008, the new liner, Celebrity Solstice, was launched.
Galaxy was sold to TUI Cruises and became known as Mein Schiff.
During the next two years, Celebrity Cruises was replenished with new liners: Celebrity Equinox (2009) and Celebrity Eclipse (2010).
In 2015, twenty years old Century was sold to SkySea Cruise Lines.
Now the company’s fleet consists of 10 ships: 4 liners of the Millennium class, 5 liners of the Solstice class and one small ship, Celebrity Xpedition.
In 2017, the fleet will be replenished by two small (very small) ships: Celebrity Xperience and Celebrity Xploration. They will operate in the Galapagos Islands.
Just a few weeks ago the company announced its new class of ships – Celebrity Edge. Obviously, they will open a new stage in the Celebrity Cruises history.
They will be revolutionary ships... We have already written about them.
Photo by Celebrity Cruises
If you did not read, you can watch the video.
That was such a short, but very rich history of Celebrity Cruise Line, one of the world’s most luxury cruise companies.
By the way, these are not hollow words, because in 2016 Celebrity Cruises was awarded the title of the "Best Premium Cruise Line" & "Best Europe Cruise Line" by Travel Weekly.