Celebrity Cruises bids farewell to an old friend this weekend. The 46,811-ton, 1,354-passenger Horizon -- Celebrity's oldest ship, which debuted back in 1990 -- will officially depart the fleet on Saturday when its seven-night Bermuda voyage wraps up in Philadelphia.
Celebrity is transferring Horizon to U.K.-based Island Cruises, where it will begin its new life with a brand-new name -- Island Star -- after an extensive refit (dining options will be increased from three to five, and concepts popular on the line's Island Escape, such as the British Pub, will be added). The ship will join Island Cruises in Brazil for the winter season, followed by a series of Mediterranean itineraries in Spring 2006 beginning with a 14-night sailing departing from Mallorca on March 25.
Though much beloved by veteran Celebrity cruisers, Horizon has been a challenge for the line marketing-wise because it lacked the contemporary amenities that made its Millennium-class ships so successful, such as balconies and multiple restaurants.
Horizon is the second ship to join the Island Cruises fleet. The line's first vessel -- Island Escape -- may be familiar to Royal Caribbean aficionados as the former Viking Serenade.