Sydney capped off a massive week for the cruise industry, welcoming a second cruise ship never before seen in the harbour as Celebrity Edge made her way to the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
Launched in 2018, Celebrity Edge is the newest vessel from premium line Celebrity Cruises to visit Australia and is the first of the line’s four currently operating Edge class ships.
From the outside, even casual observers would notice this was no ordinary cruise ship, with the orange-ringed Magic Carpet standing out as the headline feature – a cantilevered floating platform which doubles as an embarkation station and a levitating entertainment venue at sea.
The ship has also done away with a staple of cruising – balconies – replacing them with a new concept known as Infinite Verandas. At the touch of a button, guests in balcony staterooms can extend their cabin all the way to the edge of the ship.
Elsewhere onboard are 29 restaurants, bars and lounges, featuring menus from Michelin-starred chefs bringing the best flavours from the world straight to guests’ plates.
Celebrity Edge will embark on 12 itineraries during her maiden season in Australia, including round trips to New Zealand as well as adventures into South Pacific ports in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Domestic cruising will also feature, with visits to the Great Barrier Reef and a wine themed cruise to Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania also on the schedule.
The line’s executive team, both local and international, were on hand to welcome Celebrity Edge to Sydney, including Celebrity Cruises President and CEO, Laura Hodges Bethge, who dashed to Australia from Fort Lauderdale where she had just performed similar duties for sister ship Celebrity Ascent.
“The Edge is the beginning of what was the new generation of ships for Celebrity Cruises,” Bethge said.
“It has been very exciting to see our newest and then the first that started it all over the last few days. It was my first naming ceremony with Celebrity Ascent.
“The ship is absolutely exquisite, but equally as exquisite as the one that you are on here today. It was very intentional for us to put Edge class in the Australian market.
“It’s really important for us to have our Edge series in each of our four core markets. We’re showcasing the best of what Celebrity Cruises has to offer to all of our customers around the world.”
Celebrity Cruises’ Managing Director of Australia and Asia-Pacific, Tim Jones, said Celebrity Edge stands apart from anything else at sea.
“With its contemporary interior and outward-facing design, travellers will have unparalleled views of the sea and the destinations they’re visiting, as they immerse themselves in this beautiful part of the world,” Jones said.
Port access in Sydney can be an issue for cruise liners but Celebrity Cruises has been able to successfully lock in its brand of longer itineraries during the Australasian summer.
Celebrity Edge has a maximum capacity of 2,908 passengers, with 1,500 on board for the cruise to New Zealand. The ship set off from Sydney on Saturday with numerous media, travel industry icons, some celebrities and of course Celebrity cruisers on board.
Traveltalk was lucky enough to be included in the mix of this inaugural cruise to Auckland.
It’s three days at sea to Auckland, so plenty of time to explore the ship and have a taste of the many activities available. And there are many. Laura mentioned that Celebrity cruisers are joiners, and they really are!
The day starts at 7am with a stretch at the fitness centre and finishes with Late Night Beats at 1am. In between, cruisers can fill their day with 97 other activities varying from quizzes, aqua dancing, lectures, card tournaments, game shows, live music and much more.
Read our account of the cruise in the February issue of Traveltalk Magazine.
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.