|Celebrity Cruises is getting in on the European cruising boom -- the line announced this week that it plans to debut its second Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Equinox, in Southampton next summer.|
Celebrity Equinox will sail its maiden voyage from Southampton on August 8, 2009, with a 10-night "Best of Europe" itinerary calling in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Gibraltar en route to Rome. The ship will then sail a series of 13- and 14-night "Ancient Empires" cruises from Rome featuring two new ports of call: Haifa and Ashdod, Israel. These voyages also include an overnight stay in Egypt's Alexandria.
After a trans-Atlantic voyage to Ft. Lauderdale, Celebrity Equinox will sail alternating 11- and 10-night "Ultimate Caribbean" voyages. Ports of call include Grand Cayman, Cartagena, Colon, St. Kitts, Barbados and St. Maarten.
Equinox will also offer the interesting onboard features that have been announced for Solstice. This includes The Lawn Club -- a dedicated area on the top deck of the ship featuring real, growing grass, where guests can play croquet or golf, or even have a picnic. The 122,000-ton, 2,850-passenger ship will also feature the "Hot Glass Show" -- a glassblowing studio.
The first of the five ships in this brand-new class, Celebrity Solstice, will make its maiden voyage December 14, 2008, on a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise.
--by Kelly Ranson, Associate Editor