Greek-owned line Celestyal Cruises has increased its fleet to three with the acquisition of the 1,260-passenger vessel Celestyal Journey. Constructed at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard in 1993, it first sailed for Holland America Line as Ryndam, one of the line's Statendam or S-class ships. From 2015, it operated as Pacific Aria for P&O Cruises Australia. In 2019, P&O announced the sale of the ship to Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) which renamed it Ida Pfeiffer, however the line collapsed during the pandemic.
Following a $21 million refurbishment and technical maintenance overhaul in Piraeus, Greece, the ship will enter the next stage of its career as Celestyal Journey. It will replace Celestyal Crystal's itineraries beginning on September 2, 2023, and joins existing Celestyal Cruises fleetmate Celestyal Olympia with voyages around the islands of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Although Celestyal Journey is a traditional cruise ship, when it begins sailing for Celestyal it will be the youngest and most modern ship in the fleet. Celestyal Crystal and Celestyal Olympia were launched in 1980 and 1981 respectively and as older ships have few balcony cabins.
Celestyal Journey will offer far more cabins with verandas -- 120 in total -- and a higher number of premium staterooms. The rest of the accommodations comprise 352 oceanview cabins, 28 suites with larger balconies and one penthouse suite with a veranda. At total of 52 oceanview and balcony cabins can be inter-connecting for families and groups of friends.
The ship has nine passenger decks and the cabins, which are located across five, range in size from 182 square feet to the 937 square-foot penthouse suite which as a 189 square foot balcony.
The ship has a choice restaurants and bars, two pools including one with a retractable roof, a theater, sports deck, spa and fitness center. Full details of the onboard facilities will be announced at a later date.
Celestyal is known for providing passenger with a very authentic Greek and Mediterranean experience, both onboard and ashore. It is expected there will be performance venues for Greek music and dancing and local dishes will be showcased on the menus.
Celestyal Journey debuts on September 2, 2023 from Piraeus, Greece.
Celeystal Journey will sail year round destination-intensive voyages to the Greek Islands and Eastern Mediterranean, ranging from seven-night cruises to week-long and 14-night back to back sailings and special 19-night Holiday celebrations.
Celestyal Journey is 55,877 gross tons and carries 1,260 passengers at full capacity with 597 crew.
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