Sunday 21 January 2018

Celebrity Cruises becomes first major cruise line to call Dublin a 'home'

Cruise Control

Celebrity Silhouette. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Silhouette. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Sihouette's Lawn Club cabanas. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
The 2,880-guest Celebrity Silhouette. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Like to cruise, but hate to fly? Or just fancy setting sail from Dublin's doorstep? Your time is coming.

Celebrity Cruises is set to become the first major cruise line to home port in Dublin, with a "mini-season" announced for the city during 2018.

A state-of-the-art, Solstice Class ship will offer five Northern European cruises from Dublin Port between April and June of that year, it says.

Full details on destinations and prices have yet to be confirmed, but some 14,000 guests are expected to start their cruise holiday from the capital in a move worth an estimated €6 million to Dublin and the surrounding area, the company says.

“Calling Dublin home in 2018 is a major development to our European deployment," said Jo Rzymowska, MD of Celebrity Cruises UK and Ireland.

“Celebrity Cruises has enjoyed significant support from our travel agent partners and guests throughout Ireland for many years. Now we are saying thank you by basing one of the flagships of our fleet in Dublin for a mini season in 2018."

Celebrity Sihouette's Lawn Club cabanas. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Sihouette's Lawn Club cabanas. Photo: Celebrity Cruises

The move is a major boost to Dublin Port, which is set to welcome 180,000 cruise ship passengers this year, but has been working to build that calling business by developing the city into a 'home' or 'turnaround' port for major cruise lines.

With a €230 million redevelopment of its Alexandra Basin underway, Dublin will be in a position to welcome even the world's largest cruise ships by 2020.

“It has been a clear ambition of Dublin Port to attract a cruise line to offer our great city as a home port," said Pat Ward, the Port's Head of Corporate Services.

"That ambition is realised and Celebrity Cruises will be an important step-change in our history. The opportunities this new investment will bring are extensive."

The 2,880-guest Celebrity Silhouette. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
The 2,880-guest Celebrity Silhouette. Photo: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity's Solstice Class are the newest ships in its fleet, offering luxury staterooms, boutiques from brands like Michael Kors and Bulgari, extensive bars and dining concepts, a Canyon Ranch SpaClub and even Lawn Clubs with real grass.

Celebrity Silhouette, a 319-metre mega-ship capable of hosting over 2,800 passengers, was one of the higher-profile visitors to Dublin Port this season.

In 2017, its European itineraries range from €1,239 for an 8-night Western Mediterranean cruise to €1,429pp for a 12-night Scandinavian and Russia cruise.

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