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New Celestyal Experience Cruise Ship to Debut March 2022 on “Three Continents” Sailing; Followed by Reimagined “Eclectic Aegean” Itinerary Introducing Kavala, Greece
ATHENS, GREECE (18th May 2021) – Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travellers to the Greek Islands and the Mediterranean, has announced that its new flagship, the Celestyal Experience, will set sail on 5th March 2022 on the seven-night “Three Continents” itinerary. The flagship vessel, which was added to the fleet in 2020, was scheduled to be introduced this year but was postponed until next year due to the pandemic. The “Three Continents” seven-night itinerary calling in Greece (Athens and Rhodes), Turkey (Kusadasi), Israel (Ashdod), Egypt (Port Said) and Cyprus (Limassol) offers all-inclusive pricing starting from £759 per person. In 2023, the Celestyal Experience will operate seven- and -14-night voyages year-round commencing 7th January with the “Three Continents” itinerary. All 2022 and 2023 cruises will be available for booking from 20th May.
Beginning 9th April 2022, the Celestyal Experience will set sail on the “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary, a seven-night voyage visiting the historical city of Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and offers guests stunning Paleo Christian and Byzantine monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, monuments to the famed “Alexander the Great” and the chance to explore the city’s rich Roman and Sephardic Jewish heritage. Sitting at thecrossroads for trade and drawing upon ingredients from all over the Mediterranean and Asia, Thessaloniki is known as a “gastronomic paradise”,with numerous delicious dishes served in the city’s renowned tavernas. Thessaloniki will also become an additional embarkation port due to ease of access for the Balkan and Northern Greece drive markets, as well as significant airlift offered from Northern and Western Europe. Some of the highlights of this itinerary are an overnight stay in Istanbul and a visit to the breathtaking ‘hanging monasteries’ of Meteora. This itinerary also includes the introduction of a visit to Kavala, the northern, centuries-old Greek port city on the Thracian Sea, often referred to as the “blue city” due to its crystal-clear coastal water and legendary scenic sea views from the Bay of Kavala, with a picturesque historic town unfolding high atop the triangular Panagia peninsula. This charming old town comprises a mosaic of winding lanes of red-tiled houses and a Byzantine fortress known as the Kastro. Just nine miles from the centre of the old town is the ancient city of Philippi home to the first Christian church in Europe. Philippi became an important early Christian centre following a visit to the city by Paul the Apostle in 49 CE.
In 2023, due to increased demand the “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary will commence on the Celestyal Experience on 4th March for six sailings and return for a further ten sailings on 28th October on Celestyal Olympia, offering both Christmas and New Year departures for the first time. All-inclusive pricing starts from £779 per person.
On 30th April 2022, the Celestyal Experience will begin the “Idyllic Aegean” itinerary starting in Athens and visiting Rhodes, Crete (Agios Nikolaos), Santorini, Milos, Mykonos and Kusadasi (Ephesus), with all-inclusive pricing starting at £759 per person. On 15th October, the Celestyal Experience will set sail on a one-time special “Steps of Paul” itinerary tracing the footsteps of St. Paul the Apostle across the Mediterranean. Guests will join expert guides on a religious and historical journey with visits to St. Paul’s birthplace in what was once the Roman city of Tarsus. Guests will also visit St. Paul’s Tribune at the Vlatadon Monastery, Philippi, the prison where St. Paul and St. Sylas were held captive, and will have the opportunity to ride a cable car to the Acropolis in Pergamon as well as visit the ancient city of Ephesus. In 2023, the Celestyal Experience will offer additional “Idyllic Aegean” sailings commencing 15th April through 14th October when it will operate two seven-night “Steps of Paul” voyages.
Celestyal Experience will end 2022 with two exclusive festive sailings: a ten-night Christmas special on 17th December 2022 starting from Piraeus, and calling in Thessaloniki, Izmir, Rhodes, Limassol and Alexandria with an overnight visit in Haifa, Israel to spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the “Holy Land” with prices from £1,089 per person; and an eight-night New Year sailing beginning 27th December with visits to Heraklion, Santorini and Kusadasi (Turkey), as well as an overnight stay in Istanbul for the New Year’s Eve fireworks and Volos, with prices from £979 per person. Both sailings can be combined for an amazing 18-night holiday voyage covering the entire Mediterranean with prices from £1,889 per person. In 2023, these unique celebration sailings will take place on 16th December with an 11-night Christmas departure and on 27th December for the New Year celebration.
The Celestyal Experience has a capacity of up to 1,800-guests in 789 staterooms, 166 of which feature balconies, sea terraces and bridge-view verandas. The Celestyal Experience, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment, will offer an intimate onboard guest experience with all the warmth of traditional Greek hospitality. The ship is also well-suited for visiting smaller ports, a key differentiator for Celestyal, with destinations that remain off-limits to larger vessels.
“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 very exciting introduction of the Celestyal Experience to our fleet. This ship is a game-changer for us and we can’t wait to welcome our guests onboard. The Celestyal Experience embodies Celestyal Cruises’ commitment to offering an intimate, authentically Greek experience onboard a contemporary, well-appointed, mid-sized cruise ship. She will undoubtedly be instrumental in driving our continued growth,” said Celestyal Cruises’ Chief Commercial Officer, Leslie Peden.
Extended Programme of Popular Three- and Four-Night Cruises on The Celestyal Olympia in 2022 and 2023
For those seeking shorter getaways and island cruises to combine with land holidays, the Celestyal Olympia will set sail on 4th March 2022 with the “Iconic Discovery” and will continue with the “Iconic Aegean” on 14th March until 28th October before returning to “Iconic Discovery” sailings between 31st October and 25th November. The three-night “Iconic Aegean” itineraries begin in Lavrion Port and Marina (Athens) and call in Mykonos, Patmos, Crete and Santorini in Greece and Kusadasi in Turkey, with prices from £369 person. Four-night “Iconic Aegean” itineraries beginning in Lavrion Port and Marina (Athens) and calling in Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini in Greece and Kusadasi in Turkey, cost from £469 per person. The winter “Iconic Discovery” itineraries take into account the shorter daylight hours and areas of interest during the time of the season. On both the three-night and four-night itineraries, Syros, a destination added last year, is featured and a full day in Santorini is also included on all departures. Syros is the administrative capital of the Cyclades and is one of the smallest islands within the group. With its resplendent pastel-hued villas cascading down the Ermoupoli hill, this island is rich in history and culture and provides visitors with a slice of Greek lifestyle without the crowds. Celestyal Cruises will be offering guests a Syros walking tour as an included shore excursion taking in the highlights of the island including Ermoupoli, which is known as the town of Hermes; City Hall, which was designed by German architect Ernst Ziller; the Apollo Theatre, which is a miniature version of La Scala in Milan and was designed by Italian architect Pietro Campo and the first shipyard in Greece which continues operating to this day. A second included shore excursion will be offered to the ancient city of Ephesus during the ship’s full day stay in Kusadasi, Turkey. The all-inclusive three-night “Iconic Discovery” itinerary costs from just £369 per person and the four-night “Iconic Discovery” itinerary cost from just £469 per person. In 2023, the “Iconic Discovery” itinerary commences on 3rd March with a three-night voyage.
All 2022 and 2023 cruises feature the award-winning Celestyal All-Inclusive Experience with unlimited classic drinks, all locally-inspired cuisine on-board, entertainment, two shore excursions, port and service charges and gratuities included in the fare.
For more information or to book visit: https://celestyal.com/uk/