Following the inaugural Idyllic Aegean sailings in September, the Celestyal Journey continues in October with the unique “Steps of Paul” itinerary, calling on Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Istanbul, Dikili, Kusadasi, and Patmos, followed by the award-winning seven-night “Three Continents” itinerary, visiting Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, and Turkey.
Celestyal announce the official launch of the newest addition to our fleet, the Celestyal Journey. To mark this momentous occasion, we hosted two onboard events on the 14 and 15 of October in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki respectively, welcoming distinguished officials, esteemed trade partners and travel agents, valued partners, and prominent media representatives. The launch events showcased the vessel's remarkable features, highlighting the dedication of the company to deliver unmissable experiences and unforgettable journeys. Celestyal Journey represents a significant milestone for Celestyal, embodying the company’s commitment to providing guests with exceptional experiences that combine culture immersion with comfort, as well as bringing significant investment into our homeland, with 16m euros of the overall 26m euros capital expenditure sourced within Greece, related to the completion of the vessel’s upgrade works.
Both events were attended by a select group of distinguished officials, either physically or with a prerecorded message, including the following for Piraeus: Mr. Christos Stylianidis, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece, Ms. Andriana Zarakeli, Vice Mayor for External Affairs, Tourism, and European Programs in the Municipality of Piraeus, and Thanasis Karlis, Deputy Director of Marketing at the Piraeus Port Authority. Similarly, for Thessaloniki: Mr. Evangelos Kyriazopoulos, Secretary General of Ports and Maritime Policy and Maritime Investments at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece, Ms. Christina Goula, Deputy Regional Governor for Tourism of the Central Macedonia Region, Mr. Socratis Dimitriadis, Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Mr. Athanassios Liagkos, Executive Chairman of the BoD of Thessaloniki Port Authority, and Captain Gregory Tsagarakis, Harbor Master of Thessaloniki Port.
During the presentations, it was made evident that the cruise industry’s growth in Greece is poised to extend well into the future, offering significant opportunities and benefits to the national and local economy. Celestyal is playing a vital role in this, supporting local businesses, job creation, and the economic well-being of the communities connected to its operations in Greece with 136 million euros total annual contribution to the Greek economy. Also, with the calls of a vessel such as Celestyal Journey to the Greek ports, the conviction that these ports become more attractive for international travelers is further established.
To reiterate the above, there were speeches and greetings delivered by the officials invited at the events of Piraeus and Thessaloniki. Specifically, Mr. Christos Stylianidis, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece, stated: “I would like to welcome the newest addition to the cruising industry, the wonderful vessel, the Celestyal Journey, an example of innovation and technological progress, contributing to economic development, employment, and sustainable tourism. […] I am confident that the Celestyal Journey will contribute to strengthening the Greek
Shipping sector, serving the maritime community, and providing the opportunity to host many travelers from around the world, […] I want to congratulate the team at Celestyal for their contribution to the blue economy and for their commitment to green shipping, investing boldly in technology, innovation, and the upgrading of essential infrastructure. My best wishes to the ship’s Master, Captain Angelos Vassilakos.”
Following, Ms. Andriana Zarakeli, Vice Mayor for External Affairs, Tourism, and European Programs in the Municipality of Piraeus, stated: “Promoting tourism in our city not only benefits our local economy but offers us a unique opportunity to build strong bonds within our community and showcase the unique character of Piraeus. By investing in infrastructure, preserving our heritage, and projecting a modern identity, we aspire to create an environment that attracts visitors from around the world throughout the year. With these thoughts, I would like to wish the Celestyal Journey fair winds, to continue being hosted in our Piraeus, and being offering unique experiences to its passengers.”
While during his address, Mr. Thanasis Karlis, Deputy Director of Marketing at the Piraeus Port Authority, was extending congratulations to Celestyal for the refurbishment of the ship, he acknowledged that “the Port of Piraeus will welcome around 750 ships this year, of which approximately 2/3 are homeporting, meaning that this contributes to the increase in the economic footprint throughout the wider region. Of course, Celestyal holds a significant share of it.”
Also, Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, presents a distinct chance for Greece to enhance its standing on the international cruise stage, a point emphasized by the officials in their speeches at the local event. Mr. Evangelos Kyriazopoulos Secretary General of Ports and Maritime Policy and Maritime Investments at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece has sent a message in which he greeted the event, highlighting the importance of cruising in the development of Greek ports and the national economy. He stated: “The addition of another cruise ship, such as the Celestyal Journey, which will carry out cruises systematically, starting from various Greek ports, including Thessaloniki, contributes to the further development of this significant form of tourism in our country. It is encouraging that all the refurbishment work on the ship was done in Greece, creating jobs in the shipbuilding and repair industry, and supporting the preservation of ship maintenance and repair expertise in the Greek hands. I wish the captain and the crew fair winds and success to Celestyal in its business growth plans.”
Next, Ms. Christina Goula, Deputy Regional Governor for Tourism of the Central Macedonia Region, took the stage and referred to the successful collaboration model among all entities in the tourism sector, such as the Central Macedonia Region through the Tourism Directorate, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, and the Thessaloniki Port Authority. She said, “Throughout the years, we have an excellent collaboration, but most importantly, we share common goals and a common vision. We also collaborate with Celestyal through marketing initiatives and the organization of significant familiarization trips. I believe that in the coming years, we will find new ways and practices to promote this specific tourism product, which has a lot to contribute to our local market.”
Finally, Mr. Athanassios Liagkos, Executive President and Board Member of the Thessaloniki Port Authority, welcomed Celestyal, the Captain, and the crew of the Celestyal Journey at the new fully equipped Cruise Terminal ‘Megas Alexandros’ addressing his warm appreciation to the company being consistent in choosing the Port of Thessaloniki for homeporting the last three years. This offers passengers the opportunity to explore the city and the wider region and turns them into informal ambassadors of these unique and unforgettable experiences upon their return to their home countries. Among other things, he emphasized: “At ThPA S.A., our vision is to be more than just a port. Based on this, we implement investments that create significant added value for the organization itself and for all of its partners.”
Mr. Chris Theophilides, CEO of Celestyal Cruises, expressed his enthusiasm for the Celestyal Journey, its contribution to the growth of the Greek cruise industry as well as the future of the company. “On September 2nd, we marked a significant milestone in the evolution of Celestyal Cruises with the successful launch of our latest addition, the Celestyal Journey. This momentous occasion heralds an exhilarating era for us, reflecting our unwavering commitment to our customers and to Greece. The introduction of the Celestyal Journey signifies the dawn of a fresh chapter in our pursuit of investing and delivering an elevated, premium cruise experience to our guests. She takes to the seas as a testament to Celestyal's unwavering commitment to bolstering the growth of the cruise industry and tourism throughout Greece and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.”
Also, in attendance to witness the unveiling of the Celestyal Journey were trade partners and travel agents, who play a crucial role in the success of Celestyal Cruises, as well as media representatives. Our esteemed guests were given an exclusive tour of the Celestyal Journey, exploring its beautifully designed Dream Suites, spacious sun decks, elegant dining venues, and state-of-the-art wellness facilities. They were also among the first to experience the ship’s unique culinary offerings.
Discover more about the North Star of the Celestyal Fleet…
Celestyal Journey, as a mid-size ship, is uniquely positioned to uncover the finest experiences that Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean have to offer, exploring numerous remarkable locations.
The vessel offers 630 Dream Suites and Cosmos Cabins that serve as havens for relaxation as guests embark on their Aegean Sea adventures. Guests can also enjoy many more rooms with a view, boasting an impressive 280% increase in the number of Dream Suites with private balconies, and a first for Celestyal, the vessel introduces the exclusive Stargazer Penthouse Suite, providing the ultimate premium cruise experience. This suite features a spectacular living and dining area, a separate bedroom, a well-equipped kitchen, and a magnificent bathroom. As always, the beloved Concierge service of the cruise company remains available to provide an extra touch of journey magic for all Penthouse and Grand Dream Suite guests, whether it’s for special occasions or special requests.
In the realm of dining, the Celestyal Journey has taken our culinary offerings to new heights, boasting a remarkable selection of 7 new restaurants. These dining options encompass a diverse range of experiences, including an exclusive private chef’s table, captivating live cooking demonstrations, tantalizing Asian cuisine, delightful Greek grazing, and delectable fresh Mediterranean bites. Notably, two of these restaurants are thoughtfully included within our packages, ensuring all guests can savor these culinary delights. Additionally, two restaurants are exclusively dedicated to our Penthouse and Grand Dream Suite guests, although opportunities are available for other guests to partake in the evening’s culinary pleasures. For those seeking extraordinary dining experiences, Grill Seekers, our specialty restaurant, is also available for booking.
To elevate the evening experience further, we have doubled the number of bars and lounges on board, now featuring a total of 8. For a touch of sparkle and sophistication during the evening hours, we offer the exclusive Champagne Fizz Club. Moreover, guests can indulge their palates at our decadent wine cellar and tasting bar located on decks 7 and 8, ensuring a delightful selection of fine wines.
Putting emphasis on the cruise line’s Mediterranean style rest, the vessel offers an entire deck dedicated to the wellness of mind, body and spirit and a world of wellbeing – with stunning panoramic ocean views.
Recognizing the diverse needs that our guests may have, we have expanded our facilities to include two fully equipped conference spaces and a versatile multipurpose Amphitheatre, showcasing a wide range of uses from captivating entertainment shows to compelling business events.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.