Celebrity Cruises has laid the keel for its fourth Edge-class cruise ship, with a coin ceremony held in keeping with maritime tradition to bring the new ship good luck and fair seas.
Celebrity Ascent will be near-identical to Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Beyond, and is due to enter service in 2023.
The coins were placed by Jason Liberty, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises; and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the shipyard where Celebrity Ascent is being built.
The coins were welded to the massive steel docking block forming the ship’s keel, onto which additional pre-built blocks will then be added as part of the ship’s years-long assembly process.
The laying of the keel marks the official start to building of the ship and is a major construction milestone, and a modern tradition is for the ceremony to be accompanied by suitably hyperbolic public statements by executives.
“Today, we celebrate the incredible Celebrity Ascent, a ship name that fittingly represents the climb, the rise and, ultimately, the upward trajectory of both Celebrity Cruises and the Royal Caribbean Group,” said Jason Liberty.
“It’s exciting to have our entire fleet back in the water, again, and moments like this reaffirm our bright future. We are grateful to all who have and will continue to lend their creativity and craftsmanship to this ship, as we work together to reach new heights in our industry,” he added.
When the steel cutting ceremony was held for Celebrity Ascent back in November, 2021, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, the President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises, hinted that the ship would feature a number of modifications compared to her sister ships, but no firm details have been released at present.
“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 said in 2021.
It should be noted that when Celebrity Apex, the second Edge-class ship, debuted in 2021, she featured a range of changes to her culinary line-up compared to Celebrity Edge, as well as other changes based on passenger feedback, including a redesigned theatre, fitness centre and Retreat.
“Bringing another magnificent Celebrity Edge Series ship to life is absolutely thrilling for me and another wonderful development for our guests,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo at the keel laying and coin ceremony.
“While exploring the wonders of the world, our guests will be surrounded by the wonders of our Celebrity world – forward-thinking design, culinary excellence, thoughtful well-being experiences, and our uniquely intuitive service. Celebrity Ascent will be the epitome of a relaxed luxury resort at sea,” she added.
Celebrity Ascent will debut in Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on December 3rd, 2023 for her inaugural Caribbean season of alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.