Inspired by guest interest, and to continue to offer the best vacation experiences in Europe, Celebrity Cruises has modified a portion of its European lineup in 2012 to present a series of new and distinct vacations designed to appeal to wine enthusiasts, as well as those who simply love the beauty and culture of the top-producing wine regions in Europe.
With six of its 11 ships (including the 2012 debut of Celebrity Reflection) sailing in Europe next year, Celebrity will have the newest hardware in the region, and the line’s already extensive itinerary portfolio in Europe – with new Venice homeport offerings and first-time Iceland and Fjords sailings – now will include seven exceptional wine-themed sailings showcasing Celebrity’s culinary leadership, and replacing several of the line’s previously announced Holy Land and Greek Isles/Turkey sailings from Istanbul in 2012.
From September 7 through November 18, 2012, spanning the height of the fall harvest season, Celebrity Constellation – which completed a $40-million “Solsticizing” renovation just last year – will present entirely new “Immersive Europe Wine Cruises” from Southampton, England. The new sailings will be open for booking beginning Friday, October 14, 2011.
Designed to offer vacationers rich experiences in the classic wine countries of France, Spain and Portugal, the new itineraries feature overnight stays in Le Havre (for Paris/Normandy) and Le Verdon (for Bordeaux), France, as well as Bilbao, Spain, allowing vacationers ample time to sip Champagne in the “City of Light,” taste robust Bordeaux in the land that bears its name, and relish fine Rioja wines. Guests also will have the opportunity to enjoy tours and tastings at some of the region’s most renowned wineries, grape harvesting experiences, and gain in-person insight into how Port wine is blended and aged in Porto, Portugal.
Celebrity’s onboard experience will reflect the flair and flavor of the region, too, with activities developed in partnership with local wineries, including Rioja tastings, Champagne brunches, Bordeaux samplings featuring up to five wines from well-known Chateaus, Port and food pairing dinners and more, including special events in the ship’s Cellar Masters bar, complete with its “Enomatic” by-the-glass wine serving system. A seasonal wine package featuring special selections from the region also will be added to Celebrity’s already popular package offerings.
“This new series of modern luxury vacations represents a perfect blend of Celebrity’s innovation and expertise in food and wine with the regions of Europe that have long been recognized for both,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “It’s a truly one-of-a-kind vacation. No other cruise line offers such an enormous breadth and depth of experiences in this highly-rated region during harvest season, and no other line can deliver it like Celebrity can, with our exceptional wine program, expertly trained sommeliers, Cellar Masters wine bars, and up to 500 selections of wine on every ship.”
After departing from Southampton, Celebrity Constellation’s new wine-themed 12-night itineraries begin with three consecutive overnight stays: one each in Paris (Le Havre) and Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France, and Bilbao, Spain, and also feature visits to Vigo, Spain and Porto, Portugal. The sailings depart roundtrip from Southampton September 7 and 19; October 1, 13 and 25; and November 6 and 18, 2012. A two-night cruise departing Amsterdam, Netherlands, on September 5, 2012, can be taken on its own, for an enticing little taste of Celebrity’s modern luxury offerings, or combined with the September 7 sailing to create a rich 14-night vacation. The ship’s 15-night transatlantic voyage from Europe to the U.S. now will depart Southampton November 30, 2012, with visits to Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), France; Lisbon, Portugal, and Tenerife, Canary Islands, ending in Miami, Fla.
At the same time, Celebrity is enhancing its presence in the Mediterranean on two of its award-winning Solstice Class ships – the new Celebrity Silhouette and flagship Celebrity Solstice – to offer experiences the line’s guest surveys indicate will be even more appealing, with more ports in both Italy and Croatia.