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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Due to the pandemic, Celebrity Cruises welcomed its latest ship via the internet

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2020 at 6:10 PM

click to enlarge The Celebrity Apex - IMAGE VIA CELEBRITY CRUISES
  • Image via Celebrity Cruises
  • The Celebrity Apex
As the world shifts to accommodate the current pandemic, businesses are still moving forward but in new and unique ways. Celebrity Cruises turned to the internet when it was clear that an in-person delivery of its latest ship was going to be impossible.

The Celebrity Apex made history with what is believed to be the world’s first virtual delivery of a cruise ship. Celebrity executives and officials at the French shipyard where the boat was built exchanged well wishes in the Zoom-like session, then watched a livestream as Captain Dimitris Kafetzis ordered the traditional flag exchange, lowering the French flag and raising the American with each country’s national anthem playing in the background. Richard Fain, CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean, called the virtual delivery “the most memorable delivery ceremony that I have ever been at.”

The ship is now technically in Celebrity’s hands. However, it is still unclear how long it may be before it makes its voyage to its 2020 homeport of Southampton before eventually making its way to Port Everglades later this year.



Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, noted that despite the unique delivery, the meaning behind the ceremony remains.
click to enlarge The Café al Bacio on the Celebrity Apex - IMAGE VIA CELEBRITY CRUISES
  • Image via Celebrity Cruises
  • The Café al Bacio on the Celebrity Apex
"While the circumstances are quite unique right now, it’s fitting that such an innovative ship as Celebrity Apex would have a digital-age delivery. The day is every bit as meaningful because I know the dedication and commitment from the shipyard team, the onboard crew and our Celebrity shoreside team that went in to bringing this ship to life. Celebrity Apex is a magnificent ship and I am so proud to welcome her into our family."
click to enlarge The Magic Carpet cantilevered platform - IMAGE VIA CELEBRITY CRUISES
  • Image via Celebrity Cruises
  • The Magic Carpet cantilevered platform
Celebrity Apex is the much anticipated second Edge-class sh
ip, and much like its older sister, the Celebrity Edge, Apex is a technological marvel, so the historic digital delivery seems appropriate. The 129,500-GT ship can hold nearly 3,000 passengers and has a top speed of 21.8 knots. More than two dozen culinary venues are found onboard. Like all Edge ships, the Celebrity Apex’s primary design feature is the ‘Magic Carpet,’ a cantilevered platform that can rise and lower thirteen stories along the side of the ship. The platform takes on many duties ranging from live music venue to bar to an area where guests can board and disembark from tender boats.

click to enlarge Once on Deck 2, Magic Carpet hovers within a hair above the ocean surface and becomes an extension of the Destination Gateway, a new area that becomes a luxury embarkation station - IMAGE VIA CELEBRITY CRUISES
  • Image via Celebrity Cruises
  • Once on Deck 2, Magic Carpet hovers within a hair above the ocean surface and becomes an extension of the Destination Gateway, a new area that becomes a luxury embarkation station
Keeping with its high-tech focus, the godmother of the Celebrity Apex is Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of international nonprofit Girls Who Code.

With more than a dozen ships scheduled to be delivered this year, the Celebrity Apex may soon be joined by many more virtual deliveries. The large number of new vessels may be the industry’s best bet to regaining vacationers who might be drawn to see the technological wonders. However, deep discounts are still expected across the industry for months, if not years, to come in an effort to help convince people that cruises remain a smart vacation option. It’s still unclear how the industry will look after coronavirus, but Celebrity Apex shows that it will continue even if it is forced to evolve in unique new ways.

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