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Celebrity Ascent at the Chantiers d'Atlantique Shipyard ahead of the flag ceremony
Celebrity Ascent at the Chantiers d'Atlantique Shipyard (Image: Adam Coulter)

Celebrity Cruises Reveals 5th Edge-Class Ship Name, Celebrity Xcel, Takes Delivery of Celebrity Ascent

Celebrity Ascent at the Chantiers d'Atlantique Shipyard ahead of the flag ceremony
Celebrity Ascent at the Chantiers d'Atlantique Shipyard (Image: Adam Coulter)
U.K. Executive Editor
Adam Coulter

Last updated
Nov 7, 2023

Read time
2 min read

(8 a.m. EST) – Celebrity Cruises revealed the name of its fifth Edge-class ship, Celebrity Xcel, and took delivery of its new ship, Celebrity Ascent today (November 7).

Celebrity Xcel will debut in November 2025 in Fort Lauderdale, offering alternating 7-night itineraries between the Bahamas, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. The sailings are now open for sale.

It will also be the first ship to be powered by “tri fuel”, allowing the ship to process multiple kinds of fuel including methanol, and so cut down on carbon emissions.

“The Edge Series has shattered preconceived notions of cruising, and I am thrilled to announce our next bold step as a brand with Celebrity Xcel,” said Celebrity Cruises’ President Laura Hodges Bethge.

“True to her name, this next ship will ‘Xcel’ beyond her sister ships with entirely new experiences, yet to be revealed, but that will change the game all over again.”

Celebrity Xcel Will Have the Same Distinctive Features As its Sister Ships

Laura Hodges Bethge at the steel cutting ceremony for Celebrity Xcel
Laura Hodges Bethge at the steel cutting ceremony for Celebrity Xcel (Image: Adam Coulter)

Hodges Bethge was speaking at a traditional steel cutting ceremony for the ship at the Chantiers d’Atlantique shipyard in St Nazaire, France.

No details have yet been revealed about Celebrity Xcel – the name is a nod to the line’s Greek heritage – other than it will have the same distinctive features and spaces as its sisters, including the suites-only The Retreat, An expanded Rooftop Garden and the Magic Carpet, a cantilevered platform at the side of the ship.

Hodges Bethge was among a number of execs who flew over from the US to take delivery of Celebrity Ascent including the CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, which owns Celebrity Cruises, Jason Liberty.

“This has been a 10- year collaboration that began 2013,” he said. “It’s a journey and a tribute to the remarkable partnership of Laurent [Castaing, CEO of Chantiers d’Atlantique] and his incredible team here at Chantiers d’Atlantique.”

Liberty said added how proud he was of the work the line and the yard has done to deliver the goal of a net zero ship by 2035.

He added: “I look forward to following the ship’s progress can’t wait to welcome her in 2025.”

Celebrity Ascent Will Launch on December 3, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale

Celebrity Ascent Main Atrium and Martini Bar
Celebrity Ascent Main Atrium and Martini Bar (Image: Adam Coulter)

The steel cutting was followed by the flag ceremony on Celebrity Ascent, another traditional maritime ceremony in which flags are lowered and raised onboard a ship to indicate who it now belongs to (Celebrity officially took ownership of Ascent at a closed signing ceremony earlier in the day).

Ascent will feature a number of newly-designed features including an expanded rooftop garden, a second Daniel Boulud restaurant for the line, Le Voyage; and a new evening entertainment program with live performances and DJ sets.

The ship will have two captains – brothers Dimitrios and Tasos Kafetzis – and two godmothers – Captain Sandy Yawn of Below Deck fame, and her sister Michelle Dunham.

Celebrity Ascent will launch on December 1 in Fort Lauderdale and will operate 7-night Caribbean sailings throughout the winter season, before repositioning to the Mediterranean in summer 2024.

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