Celebrity Cruises never stops innovating. We had a chat with our Celebrity cruises contact, market sales manager Carl Crews, about the exciting things Celebrity cruise lines had in store for the near future. Cruise fans, we think you’ll love what he has to say:
What’s new with Celebrity Cruises?
Carl: There’s exciting stuff happening in the Galapagos! We’ve been in the Galapagos for over 10 years, but we’ve only had one ship there, with 45 rooms for 100 passengers.
It’s as all-inclusive as you can get — the only purchase you would have to make is maybe buying a hat in the gift shop!
It’s an extremely popular cruise that pretty much just sold itself; we don’t run a lot of promotions on it. To meet demand, we just purchased two new Celebrity cruise ships in the Galapagos. They’ll come on board in the new year, with itineraries starting in early summer of 2017.
The first new Celebrity ship is called the Celebrity Xperience; it’s another small, all-inclusive yacht with 24 state rooms. The other ship is called the Celebrity Xploration — it’s a really unique catamaran, with just 8 rooms for 16 passengers.
We’re excited to increase our capacity by 65 percent once we have those cruise ships in service.
Why are the ships so small and intimate for these Galapagos trips?
Carl: We can’t have cruise ships much larger than this because of the tight regulations in the Galapagos. Plus, this is a region of the world where animals rule — and ultra-small cruising gets you right next to the action.
On our Celebrity cruises and excursions, you can get as close to the wild animals of the Galapagos as you can to your pet dog at home!
What kind of traveler is this cruise good for?
Carl: The active adult. Someone that’s adventurous, and perhaps pretty well traveled already.
The Celebrity Galapagos is a really unique destination — a lot of people don’t even know about it. And for those that do, chances are the Galapagos is on their travel “bucket list.”
Celebrity cruises has different speakers come on board, experts and naturalists. They share talks about the geology, wildlife, and history of this incredible destination — so this kind of cruise is also suited for people eager to learn.
I wish I’ve had the chance to do this, but I’ve only seen the pictures! The Celebrity Galapagos is definitely on my bucket list as well.
What is something you think many travelers don’t know about Celebrity cruises?
Carl: Sometimes, when I’m doing consumer nights, I hear questions from people who think our cruise line is something celebrities go on!
But mostly, I think many people don’t understand where we are in industry. There are mass market brands, like Carnival, and ultra luxury brands, like Crystal Cruises.
Celebrity cruises falls in between those two, in the “premium” category.
We have a huge focus on food and wine. In fact, we’re the only cruise line to have won an award from Wine Spectator Magazine — we just won it for the third straight year.
Often, travelers return to the same destinations on cruises again and again, so what makes the vacation different is what ship they choose and the service they receive on board — and we really do believe we do it better than anybody. And while we do have children who travel with us — especially in the summers on trips to Alaska and the Caribbean — you’re never going to see Shrek walking through dining room. It’s a relaxing, upscale experience.
What’s your personal favorite Celebrity cruise itinerary?
Carl: I haven’t had the chance to do this one, but if they came to me tomorrow and said I could do it, I’d jump on it — it’s the December sailing on the Celebrity Constellation, for New Years in Dubai. They spend more on their fireworks celebration than we do as a continent for 4th of July! And I think it’s a part of the world that’s on everybody’s bucket list.
What’s next for Celebrity cruise lines? Do you have any other big developments in the works?
Carl: There hasn’t been a premium cruise line in the Caribbean during the summer in the last ten years. That’s about to change — instead of heading over to Europe in the summer, the Celebrity Equinox will stay in the Caribbean all year round. We’re very excited about that.
Plus, the Celebrity Equinox cruise will be embarking on some unique sailings. In February, it will be sailing to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, where our guests can use the Equinox as their hotel. Then we’ll do the same cruise itinerary again in a couple of months for the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
A breathtaking stop on Celebrity’s British Isles sailing
In fact, we have a lot of unique sailings in the works. We do a British Isles itinerary, and next year we’re timing it with the British Open. We’ll also have a sailing through Paris next year for the French Open. Celebrity cruise lines prides itself on doing sailings that other brands can’t or won’t do.
Want to climb aboard the Celebrity Xploration or Xperience cruise when it sets sail next year? Get in touch with our planning experts to make your Galapagos dream trip a reality!
All photos courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.