France’s Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire completed the handover today of the newest cruise ship in the world, Celebrity Beyond to Celebrity Cruises, part of the Royal Caribbean Group. At 140,000 gross tons, she is the largest cruise ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet expanding on the innovations contained in the Edge class first introduced in 2018.
Like the two earlier ships of the class, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, the new cruise ship features the unique silhouette of the class. They have a unique straight stem bow line along and a funnel in the shape of the company “X” logo, along with a cantilevered platform that rides along the starboard ship of the ships transforming from a tender platform at sea level to a bar and outdoor lounge area at the top of the ship. The class was also innovative in shipbuilding as they were entirely designed in 3-D.
The new Celebrity Beyond and a sister ship Celebrity Ascent, still under construction, however, are also enlarged versions of the original design. Each of the ships is approximately eight percent larger than the first ships. They are 69 feet longer for a total overall length of 1,073 feet. Passenger capacity aboard the vessels was also increased by nearly 13 percent with the addition of 179 more staterooms and suites for a total passenger capacity on each of the later ships of 3,260 passengers (double occupancy). The ship will be staffed by over 1,400 crew from 60-plus countries.
Lengthening the hull along with the addition of a 17th passenger deck was used to also create several new passenger amenities and expand other spaces versus the first ships of the class. Among the new spaces on Celebrity Beyond are an enlarged outdoor bar, celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s first restaurant at sea, and a new two-story outdoor deck reserved for passengers sailing in the suites. Other spaces such as the restaurant reserved for passengers in the suite were repositioned while other spaces such as the main lobby and outdoor decks were enlarged.
Celebrity Beyond is also notable because she is being launched as the line’s first new cruise ship to be commanded leaving the shipyard by American female captain Kate McCue. Given her first command by Celebrity in 2015, she was recognized as the line’s first female captain and the first American woman to command a cruise ship. She has become a role model and spokesperson for the cruise line, which prides itself on expanding opportunities for females in the industry. Celebrity reports it is the first cruise line to have females as a third of its deck officers, including women from Africa and other developing regions.
Celebrity Beyond, the third stunning ship in the award-winning Edge Series completes her float out in St. Nazaire France. This momentous occasion marks a key milestone in her construction. We can not wait for her to join the fleet in Spring 2022 #CelebrityCruises #CelebrityBeyond pic.twitter.com/GHRxmMwesI
– Celebrity Cruises (@CelebrityUK) April 1, 2021
“The delivery of Celebrity Beyond today marks our ongoing commitment to growth and innovation, ”said Jason Liberty, President and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. “This incredible ship, on this long-awaited day, signifies our commitment to investing in the future of the travel industry, as well as the ship building industry in Europe. We are so grateful to the Chantiers de l’Atlantique team; our Newbuild and Celebrity Cruises team; our loyal guests and trade partners, and everyone who has contributed their time, resources, creativity, and loyalty. ”
Construction of Celebrity Beyond started in January 2020 with the first steel cut in France. The first block was placed into the dry dock in November 2020. Float out from the dry dock was undertaken a year ago with the cruise ship completing sea trials in February 2022. Celebrity Beyond‘s maiden voyage will depart on April 27, 2022, from Southampton, England, with the ship operating a variety of Mediterranean cruises through early October before she then heads to the Caribbean.
The fourth ship of the series, Celebrity Ascentbegan construction with her first steel cut in November 2021. She is due to enter service in early 2023.