In a move that has been expected for some time, Celestyal Cruises- the new, more diversified offshoot of Louis Cruises- has acquired a third vessel to operate alongside Celestyal Cristal and Celestyal Olympia next year.
The niche, small ship Aegean specialist has taken on a three year charter of the Explorer, one of a pair of 24,000 ton, 590 foot long sisters originally built in Germany for the now defunct Royal Olympic Cruises at the start of the 21st century. At the time, these two ships were billed as being among the fastest cruise ships in the world, with speeds of around 28 knots.
For several years, the 2001 built ship- soon to be renamed Celestyal Explorer- has been operating on world wide itineraries as a floating semester ship. She will return to the Aegean under her new name in May, 2015. At this time, no itineraries or durations for the ‘new’ ship have yet been announced.
As built, the ship had a high passenger capacity of 846 passengers. Both sister ships were noted at the time for their long, low hulls and sleek, yacht like exteriors.
Her sister ship, recently sailing for Costa, was running a programme of Red Sea cruises that were abruptly curtailed this winter. She has now been sold to Chinese concerns.
Check back here for more details on the Celestyal Explorer as they become available.