Celebrity Cruises is to host a series of ship visits for agents on soon-to-launch ship Celebrity Apex this summer.
More than 1,000 agents have already bagged a spot on the new Edge-series ship’s two pre-inaugural sailings on March 28 and March 30 departing out of Southampton.
But the line said it wants to offer even more opportunities to the trade to see the ship, which will operate a mini-season of ex-UK departures to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
Celebrity’s director of sales, UK and Ireland, Claire Stirrup said agents will be invited on up to six ship visits from April with final dates to be confirmed.
The ship’s naming ceremony will take place in March in Southampton.
“We appreciate not all of our trade can make those [pre-inaugural] dates,” she said. “We have got two ship visits on Apex on sailings out of Southampton and then [Apex] will move into Europe and then through the summer we are going to have some more ship visits in Ibiza and Barcelona.
Stirrup added that agents would be given the opportunity to see suite-class area The Retreat on Apex and enjoy a meal at its exclusive dining venue, Luminae.
Agents will also be hosted on Celebrity Silhouette in Southampton in May after emerging from dry dock.
Jo Rzymowska, Celebrity Cruises’ UK and Ireland boss, said the line was feeling “cautiously optimistic” about its sales performance during wave season.
“We had a good start between Christmas and New Year which is always a good indicator,” Rzymowska said. “If it continues as it is we feel that we will have a strong year.
“The exciting thing is we are getting good trajectory from Europe and Southampton. It is a great spread which is really key for us.”
Asked how Celebrity Apex would compare to Celebrity Edge, Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president, sales, trade support and service, said: “One of the things that we have tried to do is keep it constant.
“Consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We have made some changes and additions. Like anytime you launch a new ship, you make baby changes.”
Ritzenthaler said any product changes would be revealed by the line over the next month.
“We’re a perfect fit for multi-generational travel,” she added. “When you’re on a Celebrity ship, parents, grandparents and kids can all have a great time because we provide a modern luxury experience.”
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