Celebrity Cruises’ new ship Celebrity Apex has competed its first sea trails ahead of its naming ceremony in Southampton next month.

The four-day test in the Bay of Biscay was conducted in the face of high winds and waves.

The sister ship to Celebrity Edge returned to the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France, after “far surpassing” performance expectations.

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The trial was overseen by more than 50 members of crew, including engineers and nautical experts.

“Despite the optimal trial conditions, including strong winds and waves, the second-in-series ship showcased a superior level of comfort and fuel efficiency,” the line said.

Celebrity Cruises president and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “The purpose of a sea trial is to test the functionality of the ship, but this wasn’t just any sea trial – and Celebrity Apex isn’t just any ship.

“In typical Edge series-fashion, the ship absolutely exceeded our expectations, performing perfectly in line with our above-and-beyond operating standards.”

Celebrity Apex will be the first Celebrity Cruises ship to be launched in the UK in more than a decade.

The ship will run a mini-season of five ex-UK sailings from April 1 following two pre-inaugural trips on March 28 and March 30 as a showcase to more than 1,000 agents.

The vessel will spend the summer running seven-to-12-night itineraries throughout the Mediterranean before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale in Florida for a winter season of week-long Caribbean sailings.