ATHENS – Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, on May 18 announced that its new flagship, the Celestyal Experience, will set sail beginning on March 5, 2022 with the seven-night “Three Continents” itinerary. The flagship vessel was added to the fleet in 2020, and it was earlier scheduled to be introduced this year. The 2021 scheduled deployment had to be postponed until next year due to the pandemic.
The “Three Continents” seven-night itinerary calling on Greece (Athens and Rhodes), Turkey (Kusadasi), Israel (Ashdod), Egypt (Port Said), and Cyprus (Limassol) offers all-inclusive pricing starting at $1,019, per person. In 2023, the Celestyal Experience will operate seven- and 14-night voyages year-round commencing on January 7 with the “Three Continents” itinerary. All 2022 and 2023 sailings will be available for booking from May 20, 2021.
Beginning on April 9, 2022, the Celestyal Experience will set sail on the “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary, a seven-night voyage which visits the historical city of Thessaloniki. It is the second largest city in Greece and offers guests stunning Paleo Christian and Byzantine monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, monuments to the famed Alexander the Great, and the chance to explore the city’s rich Roman and Sephardic Jewish heritage. Thessaloniki is also known as a gastronomic paradise, sitting at the crossroads for trade and drawing upon ingredients from all over the Mediterranean and Asia, which are served in the city’s renowned tavernas. Thessaloniki will also become an additional embarkation port due to ease of access for the Balkan and Northern Greece drive markets, as well as significant airlift offered from Northern and Western Europe. Some of the highlights of this itinerary are an overnight stay in Istanbul and a visit to the breathtaking hanging monasteries of Meteora.
This itinerary also includes the introduction of a visit to Kavala, the northern, centuries-old Greek port city on the Thracian Sea, often referred to as the “blue city” due to its crystal-clear coastal waters and legendary scenic sea views from the Bay of Kavala, with a picturesque historic town unfolding high atop the triangular Panagia peninsula. This charming old town is comprised of a mosaic of winding lanes of red-tiled houses and a Byzantine fortress known as the Kastro. Just nine miles from the center of the old town is the ancient city of Philippi, home to the first Christian church in Europe. Philippi became an important early Christian center following a visit to the city by Paul the Apostle in the year 49.
In 2023, due to increased demand, the “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary will commence on the Celestyal Experience on March 4 for six sailings and will return for a further ten sailings on October 28, this time on Celestyal Olympia, offering both Christmas and New Year’s departures for the first time. All-inclusive pricing starts at $1,049, per person.
On April 30, 2022, the Celestyal Experience will begin the “Idyllic Aegean” itinerary starting in Athens and visiting Rhodes, Crete (Agios Nikolaos), Santorini, Milos, Mykonos and Kusadasi (Ephesus), with all-inclusive pricing starting at $1,019, per person. On October 15, 2022, the Celestyal Experience will set sail on a one-time, special “Steps of Paul” itinerary tracing the footsteps of St. Paul, the Apostle, across the Mediterranean. Guests will join expert guides on a religious and historical journey with visits to St. Paul’s birthplace in what was once the Roman City of Tarsus. Guests will also visit St. Paul’s Tribune at the Vlatadon Monastery, Philippi, the prison where St. Paul and St. Sylas were held captive, and will have the opportunity to ride a cable car to the Acropolis in Pergamon as well as visit the ancient city of Ephesus. In 2023, the Celestyal Experience will offer additional “Idyllic Aegean” sailings commencing April 15 through October 14 when it will operate two seven-night “Steps of Paul” voyages.
Celestyal Experience will end the year in 2022 with two, exclusive holiday sailings, the ten-night Christmas special on December 17, 2022, priced at $1,459, per person starting from Piraeus and calling on Thessaloniki, Izmir, Rhodes, Limassol, Alexandria and an overnight visit in Haifa, Israel to spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the Holy Land, and the eight-night New Year’s sailing beginning on December 27 to ring in 2023 with visits to Heraklion, Santorini, Kusadasi (Turkey), along with an overnight stay in Istanbul, to take in the New Year’s Eve fireworks, and Volos. This sailing is priced at $1,299, per person. Both sailings can be combined for an amazing 18-night holiday event covering the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean starting at $2,529, per person. In 2023, these unique celebration sailings will take place on December 16 with an 11-night Christmas departure and on December 27 for the New Year’s celebration.
The Celestyal Experience has a capacity of up to 1,800-guests in 789 staterooms, 166 of which feature balconies, sea terraces and bridge-view verandas. The Celestyal Experience which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment will offer an intimate onboard guest experience with all the warmth of traditional Greek hospitality. The ship is also well-suited for visiting smaller ports, a key differentiator for Celestyal, with destinations that remain off-limits to larger vessels.
“As we begin to resume cruise operations this summer season, we are delighted to also announce our plans for the next two years, which includes the exciting introduction of the Celestyal Experience to our fleet. The Celestyal Experience embodies Celestyal Cruises’ commitment to an intimate, authentically Greek experience onboard a contemporary, well-appointed, mid-sized cruise ship. She will undoubtedly be instrumental in driving our continued growth,” said Celestyal Cruises’ Chief Commercial Officer, Leslie Peden.
All 2022 and 2023 cruises feature the award-winning Celestyal All-Inclusive Experience with unlimited classic drinks, all locally inspired cuisine on-board, entertainment, two shore excursions, port and service charges and gratuities included in the fare.
For more information or to book visit: https://celestyal.com/us/.