Celebrity Cruises is climbing aboard the Port Canaveral bandwagon with the announcement it will homeport a ship at the Central Florida port for the first time.
Celebrity Equinox will spend the 2024-25 winter season sailing Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from the port.
Port Canaveral, now the world’s busiest cruise port based on 2022 passenger volume, will welcome the first Celebrity Cruises’ ship as a homeport, with cruises starting on December 3, 2024. Celebrity Equinox, a Solstice-class ship, was launched in 2009 and accommodates 2,850 guests.
With its first-time deployment to Port Canaveral, Celebrity Cruises will join several other major cruise lines that currently operate from the port or plan to base a ship there in the coming months.
With Celebrity Equinox, cruisers can choose from 20 7-night sailings with port calls to the Bahamas; Belize; Grand Cayman; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; and select Mexican destinations.
Celebrity Equinox cruises from Port Canaveral will continue to April 19, 2025, and two spring break cruises in March will call at Perfect Day at CocoCay.
A private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay was developed by Royal Caribbean and opened in 2019. It is reserved for guests of Royal Caribbean, but in 2024 will become available to some Celebrity Cruises’ ships, Royal Caribbean announced in June 2023. The two sister-brands are owned by Royal Caribbean Group.
“The demand for Celebrity Cruises’ sailings from our Port has been growing. Now, with Celebrity Equinox homeported here, there are great opportunities for even more cruise travelers to experience the cruise line’s high-quality experience, while experiencing the comfort and ease of travel provided by our Port,” said Capt. John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO.
The 122,000-gross ton ship was renovated in 2019, when the line’s signature experience called The Retreat was added. The space features a private indoor lounge, sundeck, and dining venue all reserved for suite guests.
Celebrity Equinox offers 10 restaurants and lounges, and the popular Lawn Club, an outdoor grassy area where guests can sunbath, watch outdoor movies, and enjoy other recreational activities.
Celebrity Cruises hopes to attract Floridians as well as out-of-state residents to the ship’s offerings from Port Canaveral.
“We are so excited to unveil this new program. As part of this expansion, we are thrilled to add Port Canaveral to our list of home ports – it is a perfect market to reach a wide mix of both in- and out-of-state travelers looking for fun in the Caribbean sun,” Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises, said.
Celebrity Cruises’ decision to deploy Celebrity Equinox to Port Canaveral means the line will have four ships sailing from Florida ports during winter 2024-25.
Celebrity Apex, the line’s second Edge-class ship that launched in 2019, and Celebrity Summit, a Millennium-class vessel that entered service in 2001, will be home-ported at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.
Cruisers aboard Celebrity Apex can choose from five new itineraries from October 23, 2024, to March 8, 2025. The sailings range from 6 to 7 nights and with port calls that include St. Maarten, San Juan, and Grand Cayman, and some Mexican destinations. Some cruises also will call at Perfect Day at CocoCay.
From February 25, 2025 to April 10, 2025, Celebrity Summit will offer five new itineraries ranging from 5 to 9 nights across the Western and Eastern Caribbean.
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“As one of Celebrity Cruises’ homeports, we are excited about the new sailings on Apex and Summit. In addition to the line’s ‘resort at sea’ experience, their cruise guests can expect to experience unrivaled customer service and ease of sailing at Port Everglades,” said Jonathan Daniels, Port Everglades CEO and Port Director.
The Millennium-class Celebrity Constellation, meanwhile, will sail a revamped schedule from Tampa’s Port Tampa Bay from January 2, 2025 to April 6, 2025.
Four new itineraries of 6 and 7 nights will feature port calls to Belize, Honduras, Key West, select Mexico destinations, and New Orleans during Mardi Gras season.
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