Celebrity Solstice Floats

August 12, 2008
In a major step toward completion, the hotly anticipated Celebrity Solstice, which officially debuts on November 23, was floated out Sunday at Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard. As befits the term, a "float out" is the step in the shipbuilding process in which the dry dock the vessel had been resting in is gradually filled with water until the ship floats on its own. Prior to its float out, Solstice had been perched on blocks, while the hull and exterior work was being completed.

Following the flooding of the space, Solstice was pulled by tug from the covered dry dock to a nearby floating dock, where the remainder of the outfitting -- focusing primarily on completing interior spaces, such as adding carpeting and decorating lounges -- will be completed by September 27.

The ship will then undergo sea trials, after which it will head across the Atlantic for a series of pre-inaugural sailings. The vessel will debut in November with a season of weeklong Eastern Caribbean cruises.

Solstice is the first of five of a new prototype for Celebrity Cruises, all boasting innovative onboard features like a hot glass show, the Lawn Club, an onboard bocce/putting venue with real grass and special spa cabins.

Stay tuned.

--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor