Celebrity Xcel’s keel-laying ceremony in France, with 2025 inaugural sail planned

Celebrity Xcel’s keel-laying ceremony in France, with 2025 inaugural sail planned
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Construction has commenced on Celebrity Cruises’ next ship, Celebrity Xcel, with a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

    An Edge Series ship, Celebrity Xcel will set sail in autumn 2025, with several new yet-to-be-revealed offerings.

    At the ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises, and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique lowered the first 739-ton steel block for the new ship in the dry dock.

    As part of the longstanding maritime tradition, executives from the cruise company and the shipyard placed newly minted coins on the first piece of steel to bestow good luck on the ship during both the construction process and future sailings.

    Nodding to the new calibre of excellence ushered by the brand’s Edge Series ships, the coin design commemorated another great innovation, NASA’s Saturn V rocket.

    “Today, we not only mark the start of construction, but we are laying the foundation on which countless memories will be created,” Liberty said.

    “Each new ship also represents an opportunity to advance our journey to net zero, and with Xcel, we are building our first methanol capable ship, which helps advance our transition to the energy platform of the future.

    “We can’t wait to debut Celebrity Xcel and her unrivalled guest experiences, living up to her name in every way with surprises that confirm ‘Nothing Comes Close’ to a Celebrity holiday,” Celebrity Cruises president Laura Hodges Bethge said.

    “We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Chantiers de l’Atlantique team for lending their craftsmanship to further elevate the innovative design and world-class features of our beloved Edge Series ships.”

    General manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Laurent Castaing, said the Edge Series was the result of a close collaboration with Celebrity Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique teams.

    “We know and trust one another, and work in harmony to offer a unique and sustainable experience for passengers.”

    Celebrity Xcel will advance Royal Caribbean Group’s decades-long commitment to sustaining the planet with the first tri-fuel capable engine.

    The new engine will provide fuel flexibility, with the ability to use three types, including methanol, a first for the company, and represents an important steppingstone on the company’s journey to Destination Net Zero, its vision for net-zero emissions by 2050.

    Celebrity Xcel will make her debut in November 2025 in the Caribbean, sailing her inaugural season from Fort Lauderdale, on seven-night itineraries alternating between the Bahamas, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. The sailings are now open for booking.

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