Greek brothers, Dimitrios and Tasos Kafetzis, have been named co-captains of Celebrity Cruises’ fourth Edge Series ship, Celebrity Ascent, debuting later this year.
An industry first, the maritime brothers will usher in a new era for the cruise line, taking the helm of the brand’s newest resort at sea.
“Captain Dimitrios and Captain Tasos are our star-powered siblings, a maritime dream team. They have given so much to the Celebrity family over the years that we are like a second family,” said Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Seeing their emotional reaction to this appointment and understanding what it means to share this pinnacle of their career together was something I didn’t expect and will never forget.
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“This ship represents a monumental milestone for our brand, taking our innovative outward-facing design further than ever, and creating a whole new class of relaxed luxury resorts at sea. I am so proud to leave her in the hands of these expert mariners.”
Captain Dimitrios has dedicated his entire maritime career, spanning more than three decades, to Celebrity Cruises, having started as an Apprentice Officer onboard Celebrity’s very first vessel, the Horizon, in 1990. Today, he reaches the very pinnacle of the industry, being named take-out captain of the ship. Born in Piraeus, port of Athens, Greece, Captain Dimitrios has held his Master’s license since 2001. He has sailed aboard every different class of ship in Celebrity’s fleet, and was also part of the start-up teams for Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Apex, the latter of which he was also the take out Captain.
Captain Tasos grew up watching his older brother Dimitrios making a career on cruise ships, and realised he wanted to follow in his footsteps. After also graduating from the Merchant Marine College, he joined Celebrity Cruises in 1998, and over his more than 20-year career with the brand, has been involved in the opening of Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Reflection. Most recently, he has served as captain of Celebrity Edge, the first of Celebrity’s Edge Series, which launched in 2018.
The brothers will alternate their time on Celebrity Ascent in a three-months on-and-off rotation.
“Today is a momentous day,” said Captain Dimitrios Katetzis. “I am proud that after a more than 30-year career working exclusively with Celebrity Cruises, I can play a part in their history by captaining this fourth in the series – yet one-of-a-kind – Edge Series ship. Nearly 35 years after Celebrity Cruises was founded in Greece, they will have not one, but two Greek captains taking the helm of their newest vessel in 2023 and I am honored for my brother and I to take this role, together. I am so proud for my family and proud of my brother. We look forward to welcoming everyone on board Celebrity Ascent this winter.”
“Receiving this distinction with my brother and as part of the Celebrity Cruises family is an incredible honor for me and an emotional one, too,” said Captain Tasos Kafetzis. Together, my brother and I share a love of the ocean, and a love for this company
and our guests. To share a special moment together like this is something I could have only dreamed of. I can’t wait to sail away on this incredible ship with our guests onboard and my brother in my heart.”
The formal appointment of the Kafetzis brothers comes after Celebrity Ascent touched water for the first time this week after being floated out of the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
Debuting in December 2023, Celebrity Ascent will be the “twin sister” ship in every way to Celebrity Beyond, which debuted last spring to rave reviews and designed by a team of modern lifestyle icons including multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; lauded Paris-based design firm Jouin Manku; innovative British architect Tom Wright; and Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.
Celebrity Ascent is now mooring in her new location at the shipyard, where interior work on the ship will begin and continue over the next several months. The ship remains on track for launch in December 2023.