Celebrity Cruises is to replace Celebrity Silhouette in Southampton with Edge-series ship Celebrity Apex for the entire 2024 season.
Apex will operate ex-UK sailings ranging between four to 13 nights from May to November 2024.
The ship (pictured) will offer a 12-night Norwegian Fjords and Arctic Circle cruise, calling into Norwegian ports Tromsø and Honningsvåg.
Ibiza – a new port-of-call for the line – will also feature in Apex’s 2024 programme.
Celebrity said it was announcing UK deployment two weeks ahead of the programme launch date following agent feedback.
It hopes this move will encourage customers to pre-register interest for 2024 itineraries on the 2,910-passenger ship.
Celebrity has outlined plans to host 600 agents on Apex next year ahead of its UK season, with a programme of ship visits and seminar at sea sailings.
In addition to marketing tools being made available through the line’s trade platform Celebrity Central, agents can also complete training modules focusing on Apex’s ex-UK sailings.
Via Celebrity Rewards, Celebrity will offer agents up to £20 per booking on all 2024 Apex bookings.
The line will also share “Be the first to book” banners to agents, which they can use on their own websites; fact sheets, talking points, other website banners and itinerary flyers.
Jo Rzymowska, Celebrity Cruises vice-president and managing director, EMEA, explained how basing Apex in the UK showed the line’s commitment to the UK.
She said: “The UK has always been integral to the success of our brand. Homeporting Celebrity Apex from Southampton is testament to the strength of local consumer demand, supported by our formidable travel partners.
“There is huge appetite from UK guests who share our curiosity for people, places and cultures, and our passion for opening up the world through a love of travel.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming even more of our guests on board Celebrity Apex when she raises the bar for cruising from Southampton in 2024.”
Lisa Lutoff Perlo, Celebrity Cruises president and chief executive, said: “This truly is an exciting moment for us.
“Having one of our award-winning Edge-series ships sailing from Southampton will offer an experience like no other from the UK, connecting guests to the world around them through the innovative outward-facing design and visionary spaces these celebrated ships are known for.”
Between November 1 and December 5, agents can earn up to £50 Celebrity Rewards points every time they make a 2023 booking. The booking incentive applies to any cabin category on any Celebrity ship.