Celebrity Cruises has taken delivery of its second Edge series ship, Celebrity Apex, in what is believed to be the first virtual delivery of a cruise ship. The naming ceremony of the new vessel by author Reshma Saujani has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Celebrity Cruises Executives accepted official command of Celebrity Apex via video conference with officials from Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France where the ship is currently docked.
In keeping with tradition, Captain Dimitris Kafetzis ordered the exchange of the French and American flags, while each country’s national anthem played in the background.
“Every delivery is unique just as every ship is unique. While the circumstances are quite unique right now, it’s fitting that such an innovative ship as Celebrity Apex would have a digital-age delivery,” said Lisa Lutoff Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises.
“The day is every bit as meaningful because I know the dedication and commitment from the shipyard team, the onboard crew and our Celebrity shoreside team that went in to bringing this ship to life. Celebrity Apex is a magnificent ship and I am so proud to welcome her into our family.”
The Chantiers de l’Atlantique also built Celebrity Apex‘s sister-ship, the 2,900-passenger Celebrity Edge which was delivered in late 2018.
“I look forward to calmer waters when we can welcome guests aboard the newest addition to our beautiful fleet. I have great anticipation for her first sailing out of Barcelona on 20 May,” Lutoff-Perlo added.
Celebrity Apex was originally slated to commence operation in April 2020, with a mini-season of five sailings to Northern Europe destinations and then spend the summer sailing seven- to 12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and halt in global cruise operations the April cruises have been scrapped. According to Celebrity Cruises’ website, Celebrity Apex‘s maiden voyage will now be a 10-night Spain, France and Italy Cruise and 20 May 2020.
Learn more about the ship at celebritycruises.com/au/cruise-ships/celebrity-apex