It is getting there. Celebrity Cruises´ long awaited prototype ship is finally becoming reality.
November 21, 2016 marked a monumental date in the history of Celebrity Cruises. After 8 years of the line´s last introduction of a standard setting ship class, Solstice class, the company´s well kept secret “Project Edge” finally made the step from concept to realization with the first steel-cut for what Celebrity Cruises calls a ship that “will be on the cutting edge of innovation and the leading edge of design”, as Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Richard D. Fain, stated at the event.
The first of the altogether four new builts with expected delivery date in Fall 2018 will be called Celebrity Edge. Its sister ship Celebrity Beyond is estimated to set sail in Spring 2020.The other two yet unnamed vessels will join the fleet in Fall 2021 and Fall 2022.
The powerful name is aiming to signal the “incredible experience guests can expect onboard Celebrity Edge and the entire Edge Class, changing the way travelers see the world. So the ship names are spot on and offer a sense of how Celebrity Cruises is looking into the future”.
What kind of edges are to be expected onboard is still kept in the hidden, but Celebrity Cruises CEO Lisa Luthoff-Perlo promised “to reveal more details soon, and travelers, trade partners and enthusiasts alike will not be disappointed – this ship is going to be amazing.”
What is even more thrilling to know at this time is how the ships will actually look like from the outside. I found this interesting video from the steel-cut event at STX France´s shipyard on YouTube by Paquebot that allows quite a good idea on what Celebrity Edge´s silhouette will look like. I also made a few screenshots from this video by Paquebot (sorry for the poor quality) that might allow a little speculation :). Copyright of these pictures lie with Celebrity Cruises, STX France and Paquebot.
A new bow design will give the edgy style that the ships will make stand out within the fleet.
If Celebrity stays with the current layouts, the forward upper part of the ship could house mostly balcony staterooms as well as spa and fitness facilities. There could also be penthouse style suites available on the top decks with a private Suite Class only area.
The silhouette of the top deck reveals lots of different shapes. Behind the forward construction and the mast on top, there seems to be some kind of a glass dome that might cover the ship´s main atrium. The rectangular construction in the center could arouse the idea of some sort of a panoramic outdoor movie theatre or a multi purpose outdoor sports court, i.e. .
The design of the funnel seems to be strongly based on that of the Millennium class vessels, but I am sure we will see either restaurants or other kind of facilities integrated into it.
The rear part of the ship, on the other hand, does show similarities to the particular shape of the Solstice class vessels with an angled design and the famous duck tail at the end.
With all the future unveilings about a surely most exciting new cruise experience for Celebrity Cruises, the exterior design highly resembles to what was introduced in early 2016 by German Carnival branch AIDA Cruises with the launch of their latest vessel AIDAprima.