Why has Celebrity Edge been a magic carpet ride for Aussies?

LATTE chats exclusively with Susan Bonner

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Susan Bonner, VP and MD Australia/New Zealand Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited

It’s been a huge month for Celebrity Cruises. The delivery earlier this month of Celebrity Edge at Saint-Nazaire, France and the subsequent positioning of the “game-changing” ship to its home port of Fort Lauderdale has dominated interest globally, with the travel trade and consumers alike.

This week, Susan Bonner, Vice President and Managing Director, Celebrity Cruises ANZ, has been aboard the freshly minted 2,918-passenger vessel, which will commence commercial operations on 9 December with its maiden voyage of the Western Caribbean.

After teasing audiences around the world with artist impressions and renderings of the revolutionary Magic Carpet, Eden Lounge, Edge Villas and stylish Rooftop Garden, this week, the cruise line released its first batch of actual photos onboard. Accompanying the photos were comments from Bonner, who announced that Australian travellers are the third highest bookers of Celebrity Edge. Only the US and UK markets have more country-men and -women booked on this ship to date. It seems all the hype and publicity building up to this time has been worth every cent.

Taking a moment from her busy schedule in Florida, LATTE queried Bonner as to why she thinks Celebrity Edge has been so popular with Australian travellers, and what has drawn them to this new ship?

Edge has been uniquely designed so her “skeleton” is on the inside of the ship; the new structure means guests can get closer to the sea than ever before with expanded views and space. With the touch of a button, guests can create an “Infinite Verandah” in their stateroom, giving them 20% more living space and allowing them to walk right out to the water’s edge. This feeling of openness is carried through all spaces on the ship, like the spectacular Rooftop Garden, boasting extensive greenery, and even to the ship’s deck chairs, which face outwards, to the sea, instead of inwards,” Bonner explained.

“I think this is immensely appealing to Australians, who are renowned for their love of the ocean and the outdoors.

“Our trade partners are a major reason why Australians have already become so familiar with Edge. The agents have really embraced this as a truly game-changing ship, and have been encouraging clients that have never cruised before to try her out. The response has been amazing, and we’re looking forward to welcoming a large contingent of Aussies on Edge sailings next year,” Bonner said.

She said the trade has been a strong influence and have driven the majority of Edge bookings. “We’re incredibly grateful for their support, as always!”

The shoulder season, in early May and from August onwards, is very popular for Aussies, Bonner said.

Mediterranean sailings have proven to be the most popular for Aussies. “With ports like Bilbao in Spain, Mykonos in Greece and Naples in Italy, these itineraries offer the perfect cocktail of European highlights and hidden gems, with sea days on the most beautiful ship in the world!” Bonner boasts.

“Such has been the advanced interest, that a number of Caribbean and European sailings are sold out or are close to having sold out, including an 11-night Amalfi Coast round-trip, departing Rome 25 May 2019, and calling to Sicily, Valletta, Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Nauplion, Katakolon and Naples.

“Our cutting-edge suites are doing extremely well, with only three of our two-storey Edge villas remaining for the whole of the Europe season.”

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