Celebrity Cruises marked its 30th birthday this month (May 2020) by reflecting on its journey to push the limits of traditional cruising and create a unique modern luxury experience at sea. Established in 1990 by the Greece-based Chandris Group, the line became part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. seven years later in 1997. Celebrity Cruises now boasts 14 stunning ships and thousands of team members from over 60 countries.
Over the years, Celebrity Cruises has delivered a number of industry firsts and innovations including:
- Introducing specialty dining (2000)
- The creation of the modern luxury cruise category with the introduction of the Solstice Series (2008)
- The first solar panels at sea (2008)
- The first American female captain of a cruise ship (2015)
- The Magic Carpet, the first cantilevered dining venue on a cruise ship (2018)
- The first ship to replace plastic water bottles (2018); and
- The first all-female bridge and leadership team to command a cruise ship (2020); among many others.
“Having recently celebrated my 35th Anniversary with the company, my time at RCL predates the acquisition of Celebrity Cruises, giving me a unique perspective in watching Celebrity grow from day one. I was a District Sales Manager in New England, at the time, and Celebrity was a formidable competitor that really started to change the complexion of premium cruising,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “For me, Celebrity’s legacy will be setting modern luxury cruising standards that are Celebrity’s to own, and then resetting and raising the bar, again and again. It is that spirit of pioneering that continues to take the brand and our guest experiences to new heights – and I’m not just talking about the view from the Magic Carpet.
“As we look ahead to the post-pandemic world we will sail in, there is more progress to be made in our industry. I am confident Celebrity – and the entire RCL family – will continue to lead every step of the way. Our next 30 years will be even more incredible thanks to the ongoing support of our travel partners, our loyal guests, our Captains and crew, and our shoreside team members,” she added.
Since joining the RCL family, Celebrity Cruises has sailed to all seven continents and launched three series of ships. In 2000, the company introduced the Celebrity Millennium Series, the first new-build vessels for the brand following Celebrity’s acquisition by RCL. It was followed by the Celebrity Solstice Series in 2008 with five additional casually elegant ships emphasizing the intersection of indulgence and fun. More recently, in 2018, the Celebrity Edge Series was introduced to critical acclaim, with the first-in-series Celebrity Edge being named to Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places to visit list in 2019. In addition, the line began operating three smaller expedition ships that sail the beautiful Galapagos Islands including the 2019 debut of Celebrity Flora, the first purpose-built ship for the islands.
A special celebratory birthday tribute video highlighting some of Celebrity Cruises defining moments from throughout its 30 years can be viewed here: