Celebrity Edge has officially joined the fleet after a moving ceremony that saw the ship’s godmother, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, joined by all on-board to “bless this ship and all those who sail upon her”.
The naming event brought together more than 3,000 guests, employees, crew members and students to commemorate the debut of Celebrity Cruises’ first new ship in six years, and first new ship series in more than a decade.
Yousafzai, who is now a student at Oxford University, is the inspirational co-founder of Malala Fund, which advocates for a world where every girl can learn and lead by investing in local education activists, holding global leaders accountable and amplifying girls’ voices around the world.
She discussed those issues before the ship’s crew and guests in a one-on-one interview with Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
From girls’ education to the power of diversity, both share a profound passion and commitment to these important topics.
“We are honoured that Malala agreed to be the godmother of this ship, a role that reflects centuries of maritime traditions,” said Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises’ parent company.
“We are especially proud because Malala’s example of relentless persistence and achievement is an inspiration to our crew, who have all worked so hard and made real sacrifices to build better lives for themselves and their families.”
Celebrity Cruises is to partner with Malala Fund and support them in their mission to see the 130 million out-of-school girls around the world get the 12 years of free, safe, quality education they deserve.
“I’m fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn’t create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves.
“But to continue making progress for girls’ education, we need support from leaders in every sector.
“I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for their generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere,” said Yousafzai.
Foregoing the traditional champagne bottle at the launch, instead the naming ceremony saw a custom-made 18-litre bottle of Badoit French mineral water smashed across the ship’s bow.
The ship’s long-awaited inaugural season will now get underway, sparking a revolution in the cruise industry, with the ship’s cutting-edge design and first-at-sea offerings.