Celebrity Ascent has been named at a ceremony in Miami.
The ship, which is Celebrity Cruises’ fourth Edge-class vessel, was officially named by its godmothers Sandy Yawn, known for her role on TV series Below Deck, and her sister Michelle Dunham on December 1.
They were joined by Greek brothers Dimitrios Kafetzis and Tasos Kafetzis who are the ship’s co-captains, along with senior staff from Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean Group, agents, passengers and media.
Celebrity Ascent was set to depart on its seven-night maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, calling at Saint Maarten, Saint Thomas and the Dominican Republic.
Jason Liberty, president and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Group, hailed the design and construction of the ship, saying it is setting a “new benchmark for the travel industry”.
“With each new ship, our ambition is to debut the ultimate vacation experience and Celebrity Ascent achieves this by raising the bar for premium travel,” he said.
“Her elevated design and new onboard experiences set her apart from competitors and serve as a new benchmark for the travel industry.”
Celebrity Cruises president Laura Hodges Bethge said: “Celebrity Ascent has been designed to feed our guests’ travel wanderlust and provide unique experiences they will covet and love.
“Captain Sandy and her sister Michelle co-godmothering Celebrity Ascent adds another more personal dimension to this already extraordinary ship.
“Their connection combined with the brotherly bond of the ship’s captains exemplifies the sense of welcome and warm hospitality we strive for on every cruise.”
Pictured from left: Dimitrios Kafetzis, Jason Liberty, Michelle Dunham, Sandy Yawn, Laura Hodges Bethge and Tasos Kafetzis