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Celebrity Eclipse on the Way to the UK

15 March 2010

Celebrity Eclipse

UK cruise lovers are a step closer to sampling the brand new 122,000-ton Celebrity Eclipse, which has set sail from the German dockyard where it was built for its new home.

The luxurious vessel set sail for Southampton where it will be based after its launch, although the journey is expected to be the most challenging ride of the vessel's life.

Due to the size of the 121-foot-wide ship, it will have to pass through a series of gaps with at times just a few inches to spare on each side and below.

However, through a process known as "conveyance", the ship will be guided through an innovative system in which the position of the moon will be carefully monitored to ensure tidal conditions offer a safe depth in which it can sail.

"Cruise ship captains generally do not expect to encounter the challenges the conveyance presents," explained Celebrity Eclipse captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis.

"Celebrity Eclipse is only a few feet slimmer than the narrowest lock we have to navigate, which isn't much room, particularly when the president of the company is onboard, keeping a close watch."

The captain and Celebrity Cruises' president and chief executive Dan Hanrahan are on board the vessel together with winners of the line's global Eclipse of a Lifetime sweepstakes.

Alongside a select group of travel agents and members of the press, the lucky winners had the opportunity to activate the very first cuts of steel for the next ship in the operator's line-up before experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime conveyance.

"This event is a vivid example of our 'Designed for you' brand platform, as it's an experience ideally suited for discerning cruisers like those who entered our sweepstakes," said Mr Hanrahan.

An estimated 1.65 million UK cruise holidays are expected this year, according to projections by the Passenger Shipping Association.

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