Celebrity Ascent will be a sister ship to Celebrity Edge, Apex and Beyond and is due for delivery in 2023.
The steel cutting ceremony was held at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in France, attended by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises; Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group; and Laurent Castaing General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
The company executives signed the ceremonial first cut of steel for the ship and said Celebrity Ascent was representative of the recovery of the wider cruise industry.
“The name of this new ship is very apropos as the industry rebounds, but also as Celebrity continues to lead the industry as an unmatched new-luxury brand and cruise line,” said Richard Fain, outgoing Chairman &CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises.
“Celebrity Ascent will take the industry to new heights as it pushes the boundaries of what people can experience on a ship and how they experience it,” he added.
Fain will not get to see Celebrity Ascent brought into service as chairman of the group, as he is due to retire in January.
Fain has led the Royal Caribbean Group through the most tumultuous years in its history during 2020, when the global cruise industry was forced into lockdown, and 2021 when it navigated the immense complexity of resuming service.
Now the steel cutting for Celebrity Ascent signals a new chapter for Celebrity Cruises, which was the first cruise line to restart cruises in the United States with Celebrity Edge on June 26, 2021.
Celebrity also formally launched the second Edge-class ship, Celebrity Apex, on November 2nd, 2021; and shared more details throughout the year on the series’ third ship, Celebrity Beyond, due in late April, 2022.
“What another wonderful moment for our brand, our company and our industry to be in this incredible shipyard making the traditional first cut of steel on this magnificent ship and signaling the bright future that lies ahead,” said Lutoff-Perlo.
“While I wish I could share what we have in store for this ship, I can tell you our ‘Ascent’ will be Celebrity Beyond’s sister ship in every way, and then some,” she added.
Celebrity Ascent is expected to make her debut in early 2023 and if she is closely based on Celebrity Beyond, she is likely to feature significant differences in design and onboard experience to Celebrity Edge, which has had her design tweaked based on passenger feedback.
A fifth Edge-class cruise ship is expected to be delivered in 2025, but Celebrity Cruises has not yet moved ahead with financing arrangements and the ship remains an option with the shipyard.