The largest cruise ship to be officially named in Germany sailed into Hamburg earlier ahead of its naming ceremony on Thursday.
Celebrity Silhouette, the £500-million ship from cruise line Celebrity Cruises, was also built in Germany at the Meyer Werft ship yard in Papenburg.
Weighing in at 122,000 gross registered tonnes, measuring more than 315 metres long, and accommodating over 2,880 guests, Celebrity Silhouette is one of 120 cruise ships that will call in Hamburg in 2011.
Shipyard Meyer Werft estimates that more than 21,000 jobs in Germany are directly related to the building of Celebrity Silhouette.
For Celebrity Cruises, hosting the naming ceremony and launch celebration in Germany marks the significance of the European cruise market.
According to the European Cruise Council, over 5.5 million Europeans took a cruise in 2010, a ten per cent increase from the previous year.
Significantly, more than 90 per cent of those cruise guests (5.2 million) started their journeys in Europe.
Globally, over 30 per cent of cruisers are from a European country.
“We are immensely proud that our German-made cruise ship will enjoy its prestigious naming ceremony in Germany - a first for Celebrity Cruises,” explaind Celebrity Cruises president Dan Hanrahan.
“Celebrity Cruises has a longstanding partnership with shipbuilder Meyer Werft, and the celebrations in Hamburg are a gesture of thanks to all those involved in creating Celebrity Silhouette.
“As a global business, it’s exciting to officially launch our ships in destinations that are major markets for our brand.”
The new ship will be officially named at the Graasbrook Terminal in Hafen City, Hamburg on July 21st 2011 by Godmother Michelle Morgan, an American travel industry business leader.