ATHENS — It will take a little longer than expected but Celestyal Cruises’ new flagship, the Celestyal Experience, will finally set sail beginning March 5, 2022.
The ship, which was added to Celestyal’s fleet in 2020, was previously scheduled to be deployed this year but was postponed due to the global pandemic. Upon its grand debut next March, it will sail the seven-night ‘Three Continents’ itinerary calling on Greece (Athens and Rhodes), Turkey (Kusadasi), Israel (Ashdod), Egypt (Port Said) and Cyprus (Limassol), with all-inclusive pricing starting at US$1,019 per person.
In 2023, the Celestyal Experience will then operate seven- and 14-night voyages year-round starting on Jan. 7 with the ‘Three Continents’ itinerary.
All 2022 and 2023 sailings will open for booking starting May 20, 2021.
“As we begin to resume cruise operations this summer season, we are delighted to also announce our plans for the next two years, which includes the exciting introduction of the Celestyal Experience to our fleet,” said Leslie Peden, Chief Commercial Officer. “The Celestyal Experience embodies Celestyal Cruises’ commitment to an intimate, authentically Greek experience onboard a contemporary, well-appointed, mid-sized cruise ship. She will undoubtedly be instrumental in driving our continued growth.”
The Celestyal Experience will carry up to 1,800 guests in 789 staterooms, 166 of which feature balconies, sea terraces and bridge-view verandas. It recently received an extensive refurbishment and is well suited to visit smaller ports, a key differentiator for Celestyal.
Here are some highlights for Celestyal Experience’s 2022 and 2023 seasons:
- Beginning on April 9, 2022, the ship will set sail on the ‘Eclectic Aegean’ itinerary, a seven-night voyage that visits Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. The itinerary also includes an overnight in Istanbul, a visit to Meteora’s ‘hanging monasteries,’ and a visit to Kavala, the centuries-old Greek port city often referred to as the ‘blue city.’
- In 2023, due to increased demand, the ‘Eclectic Aegean’ itinerary will commence on the Celestyal Experience on March 4 for six sailings and will return for an additional 10 sailings on Oct. 28, this time on Celestyal Olympia, offering both Christmas and New Year’s departures for the first time. All-inclusive pricing starts at $1,049 per person.
- On April 30, 2022, the Celestyal Experience will begin the ‘Idyllic Aegean’ itinerary starting in Athens and visiting Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Milos, Mykonos and Kusadasi, with all-inclusive pricing starting at $1,019 per person. On Oct. 15, 2022 the ship will sail on a one-time ‘Steps of Paul’ special itinerary that traces the footsteps of St. Paul the Apostle. Highlights include St. Paul’s birthplace in what was once the Roman City of Tarsus, St. Paul’s Tribune at the Vlatadon Monastery, and a cable car ride to the Acropolis. In 2023, the Celestyal Experience will offer additional ‘Idyllic Aegean’ sailings commencing April 15 through Oct. 14 when it will operate two 7-night ‘Steps of Paul’ voyages.
- Celestyal Experience will end the year in 2022 with two exclusive holiday sailings: the 10-night Christmas special on Dec. 17 priced at $1,459 per person and starting from Piraeus and calling on Thessaloniki, Izmir, Rhodes, Limassol, Alexandria and an overnight in Haifa on Christmas Eve; and the eight-night New Year’s sailing beginning on Dec. 27 with visits to Heraklion, Santorini, Kusadasi and an overnight stay in Istanbul to take in the New Year’s Eve fireworks. This sailing is priced at $1,299 per person. Both sailings can be combined for an 18-night holiday event covering the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean starting at $2,529 per person. In 2023 these celebration sailings will take place on Dec. 16 with an 11-night Christmas departure and on Dec. 27 for the New Year’s celebration.
- For those seeking shorter getaways and island-hopping cruises to combine with land vacations, the Celestyal Olympia will set sail on March 4, 2022 with the ‘Iconic Discovery’ and will continue with ‘Iconic Aegean’ on March 14 until Oct. 28. It will then return to ‘Iconic Discovery’ sailings between Oct. 31 and Nov. 25. The three-night ‘Iconic Aegean’ begins in Lavrion Port and Marina (Athens) and call on Mykonos, Patmos, Crete, Santorini and Kusadasi, starting at $489 per person. The four-night ‘iconic Aegean’ begins in Lavrion Port and Marina and calls on Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Kusadasi with prices starting at $599 per person.
All 2022 and 2023 cruises feature the award-winning Celestyal All-Inclusive Experience that includes unlimited classic drinks, all locally-inspired cuisine onboard, entertainment, two shore excursions, port and service charge and gratuities.
For more information go to https://celestyal.com/us/.