Celestyal Cruises has now got around to announcing a first set of itineraries for the recently acquired Celestyal Odyssey, originally built as the Olympic Explorer in 2002.
The 24,318 ton, 836 passenger ship will operate a series of three and four night itineraries from Athens, taking her to ports including Mykonos, Rhodes, Patmos, Kusadasi, Heraklion, and Santorini, beginning on June 8th through to July 10th, and resuming on September 11th through to October 16th.
In between, the Celestyal Odyssey will sail a new series of cruises that embark from both Izmir and Cesme in Turkey. While actual ports are yet to be announced, the line has stated that itineraries will feature a mix of old Aegean staples and some less visited, off the beaten track options. These will run right through July and August, and will also resume on October 19th.
The three and four night summer runs from Athens will complement the already popular, heavily booked itineraries offered by her larger fleet mate, the Louis Olympia. Typically, the three night cruises commence on a Friday before noon, and the four day ones kick off on Mondays. The extra day is typically spent in the beautiful port of Rhodes.
With a trio of smartly styled, ideally sized ships now in place for the summer of 2015 in the Greek Islands, the recently rebranded Celestyal Cruises will place an on board emphasis on Greek heritage, culture and cuisine to tie in with the myriad ports visited in the region. With an interior decor designed to enhance and illuminate the vast historical lore of these fabled waters, the Celestyal Odyssey will offer one of the best, most price effective and contemporary cruise experiences available to passengers in the region.
The Celestyal Odyssey features some 420 cabins, including a run of upper deck suites with private balconies, located amidships. She was originally built by Blohm and Voss in Hamburg, Germany, as one of a pair of very fast (27 knot) sister ships for the long since defunct Royal Olympic Cruises.
With a single, rakish funnel and long, low lines, the vessel has a sharp, artfully raked prow that gives her the appearance of a large private yacht. Her arrival reinforces the Celestyal brand to three, with the 24,000 ton Celestyal Cristal continuing to serve the seven day Greek Islands and Turkey cruise itineraries every Friday out of Lavrion.
Meanwhile, parent company Louis Cruises, continues to own and operate the veteran, 1968 built Louis Aura. At the present time, it seems likely that the former Norwegian Cruise Line veteran will go back out on charter, possibly to French interests.
As ever, stay tuned,