(4:10 p.m. EDT) -- Celebrity Cruises today announced that the line will be back Down Under after a two-year hiatus in late 2011 and early 2012, with Celebrity Century headed to the region for a winter season of cruises to Australia and New Zealand as well as Indonesia and French Polynesia. The new series of itineraries -- bookended by Hawaii cruises and two trans-Pacific voyages -- begins on October 2, 2011.
Century will offer some unique options, including the line's first circumnavigation of Australia (two combinable 18-night segments) with an overnight in Sydney, transits through three sounds and a stop in Bali. The full lineup features 10 itineraries, six departure ports (Sydney, Fremantle, Auckland, Honolulu, San Diego and Ensenada), and 36 ports in six countries (Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, French Polynesia, the U.S. and Mexico).
That's the good news. The bad news? These new itineraries replace previously scheduled 12-night Caribbean cruises from Baltimore. A Celebrity spokeswoman confirms that there are no plans at this point to replace Century in Baltimore with another ship -- which means the line will be abandoning yet another U.S. homeport. Earlier this year, it announced that Celebrity Mercury would be leaving the fleet for TUI Cruises in 2011, necessitating the cancelation of a series of Caribbean cruises from Charleston.
Travelers booked on Century cruises from Baltimore departing between November 1, 2011 and March 21, 2012 can cancel their booking for a full refund. Alternately, they can switch over to the same category of accommodations on a comparable trans-Canal cruise on Celebrity Infinity, October 28, 2011, or March 27, 2012; one of Celebrity Century's Hawaii cruises on October 2 or 17, 2011, or April 2 or 20, 2012; a 10- or 11-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Equinox in 2011; or a 12-night Caribbean sailing from New Jersey's Cape Liberty on the new Celebrity Silhouette, entering service in 2011.
Those who choose to shift to an eligible sailing will receive a $200 per stateroom or $400 per suite onboard credit. Holiday sailings are open only to guests currently booked on Celebrity Century's holiday cruise departing December 23, 2011.
Will you miss Baltimore as a Celebrity departure point -- or are you more excited about the new cruise options in Australia and the South Pacific? Join the conversation.
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor
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Celebrity: Bye, Bye Baltimore -- Hello Australia
July 19, 2010