Categorized | Cruises

Celebrity shifts 2012 Mediterranean cruises from Middle East to Europe…

Posted on 14 October 2011


Five previously announced Holy Land sailings on Celebrity Silhouette in 2012 will now sail from Civitavecchia (Rome) or Venice.

Celebrity Cruises has modified several 2012 “Holy Land” cruises, shifting itineraries from the Middle East to European ports.


The new voyages will focus on fall wine vacations in France, Spain and Portugal. Other routings will visit Italy, Greece, and ports in the Adriatic.


While Celebrity made no mention of geopolitics in its announcement, cruise lines have struggled to fill sailings that include calls in the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of this year’s unrest in the region. The “Arab Spring” revolts in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, in particular, caused a sharp downturn in bookings for 2011 Mediterranean voyages that included calls in the countries, forcing cruise lines to reroute 2011 itineraries on short notice. Looking ahead to next year, Crystal Cruises recently dropped two 2012 cruises that included Middle East stops.


Several of the new Celebrity cruises are designed to appeal to wine enthusiasts. Next year it will run seven “Immersive Europe Wine Cruises” from Southampton, England, on the Celebrity Constellation, which completed a $40-million renovation last year. The 12-night cruises will run from Sept. 7 to Nov. 18, 2012, during the fall grape harvest season.


The trips will begin with three consecutive overnight stays: one each in Le Havre, France, allowing access to Paris and Normandy; Le Verdon, France, near Bordeaux; and Bilbao, Spain. It also features stops in Vigo, Spain, and Porto, Portugal. Passengers can visit wineries, participate in grape harvesting experiences, and see how Port wine is blended and aged.


The wine theme will continue on board with activities developed in partnership with local wineries, including Rioja tastings, Champagne brunches, Bordeaux samplings, and Port and food pairing dinners.


The cruises will be available for booking beginning Friday.


Other Celebrity changes include:

  • Five previously announced Holy Land sailings on Celebrity Silhouette in 2012 will now sail from Civitavecchia (Rome) or Venice, with some itineraries visiting ports in Greece, Malta, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia.
  • Four previously announced Mediterranean cruises on Celebrity Solstice in 2012, roundtrip from Barcelona, Spain, also have been modified and will offer more ports in the Western Mediterranean, as well as an overnight stay in Venice.

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