Celebrity Cruises president and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo spoke to Harry Kemble about the UK market on board Celebrity Summit following its $25m revamp
Celebrity Cruises will not commit to deploying an Edge-class ship for a full season in the UK until Brexit is resolved.
Speaking on board the revamped Celebrity Summit in the Caribbean, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said there had been a lot of interest about when Celebrity Edge or Celebrity Apex would homeport in Southampton.
About 1,000 UK agents will have the opportunity to see Edge when the ship comes to Southampton for the Clia Conference in May and subsequent visits in the summer.
Celebrity Apex, the second Edge-class ship, will operate a mini season from Southampton next summer before repositioning to the Mediterranean.
Lutoff-Perlo said: “Launching Apex in the UK is a big vote of confidence from me in the market, and I hope it responds well.
“We are probably not doing as well as I thought we would and that has a lot to do with what is going on the UK at the moment.
“I keep being asked if we will put an Edge-series ship ex-UK for a whole season. It is really going to have to be a build-up to that.
“We really have to crawl before we walk, before we run, before we have an Edge-series ship sailing ex-UK to make sure that there is enough demand at the right rates.”
Lutoff-Perlo said business had been affected by Brexit, adding: “I am hoping there is a decision soon so that we can all carry on.”
‘Millennium-class of ships really needed this boost’
Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium-class ships “needed” the multimillion-dollar revamp, president and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said.
Two of the class’s four vessels, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Summit, have had the revamp, with Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Constellation to follow in 2020.
The upgrades are part of the line’s $500 million ‘Celebrity Revolution’ fleet modernisation programme that spans existing and yet-to-launch vessels.
Lutoff-Perlo said the “heavy and dark” design of the Millennium-class vessels was not in keeping with the fleet’s modern luxury offering.
“We have worked hard to talk about modern luxury and that [old] design does not fit that,” she said.
“The Millennium class of ships really needed this boost.”
Seven more ships, including all five Solstice-class vessels, will be refurbished by 2023 as part of the Celebrity Revolution programme. Celebrity Equinox will be next to go into dry dock, in May.
The upgrade programme
Celebrity Summit returned to service last week after 38 days in dry dock in the Bahamas. The upgrade programme…
• Cost $25 million
• Included the redesign of 50 suites
• Featured the creation of the Retreat Lounge for suite guests, with an exclusive sundeck and redesigned lounge
• Saw the addition of 30 new staterooms: 13 AquaClass Staterooms, seven Ocean View Staterooms and 10 Inside Staterooms
• Included updates to 1,071 staterooms
• Revamped the main dining room, Sunset Bar and other venues
Take a video tour of Celebrity Summit
See the new features on Celebrity Summit – and hear a live performance of I Love Rock ’n’ Roll – as Celebrity Cruises senior vice-president Dondra Ritzenthaler shows Harry Kemble around the ship.
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