MIAMI – June 30, 2011 – One expert driver is breathing a big sigh of relief after completing the initial stages of a 26-mile navigation – in reverse – on a luxurious, multimillion-dollar cruise ship, Celebrity Cruises’ sleek new Celebrity Silhouette. With less than five feet of room to maneuver at certain points, the challenging exercise began today under the direction of Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis, in order to move Celebrity Silhouette from shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, to the open sea in Emshaven, Netherlands.
Celebrity Silhouette will take more than 12 hours to complete the journey, the most complicated it is likely to ever encounter. The scale of the ship and the location of the shipyard require the Captain to steer the ship backwards from the yard, assisted by tugboats fore and aft, through the River Ems.
Preparations for the journey – termed a ‘Conveyance’– include removing power lines and railway tracks that normally pass over the river to allow the ship to traverse through. The journey also must be precisely timed to take place at high tide to ensure ample depth beneath the hull, and when weather conditions are calm enough to avert the possibility of wind causing the ship to touch the ground. The route along the River Ems includes various locks and other tight squeezes, traveling on an aqueduct over an autobahn (motorway).
Cruising at less than four miles per hour on the journey, Celebrity Silhouette joins three sister ships, also built in Papenburg, which made the same complex trip. After finishing work is completed in Emshaven, the Netherlands, Celebrity Silhouette will sail to Hamburg, where it will be named in formal ceremonies on July 21, 2011.
Celebrity Silhouette is the fourth of five stylish Solstice Class ships from Celebrity Cruises, and boasts a number of exclusive new features, including the Lawn Club Grill, the industry's first outdoor, interactive grill; The Hideaway, a high-tech location reminiscent of a childhood treehouse for guests to relax inside; The Alcoves, luxurious, private cabanas overlooking the ship’s lush lawn on the top deck amidst immense views of the sea; and the Art Studio, a space where experienced and aspiring artists can participate in hands-on instruction from experts in drawing, beading, sculpting and painting. The ship also will feature top-tier designer boutiques, exclusive restaurants and the hip Celebrity iLounge, offering guests classes on the use of iPads and iPhones, among other products, which also are available for sale through Celebrity’s industry-first Authorized Apple Reseller status.
Beginning July 23, Celebrity Silhouette will sail from Hamburg to Rome (Civitavecchia), where she will offer 12-night roundtrip cruises to the Holy Land through the summer, prior to presenting 12-night Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Cape Liberty, NJ, beginning in November.
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of the world’s top-rated premium cruise line, with spacious, stylish interiors; dining experiences elevated to an art form; personalized service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1; unexpected, trendsetting onboard activities, all designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity’s fleet currently consists of nine ships, with two additional Solstice Class ships scheduled to join the fleet: Celebrity Silhouette in July 2011, and Celebrity Reflection in Fall 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com.