THE post-pandemic timing for the launch of Celebrity Cruises’ new Celebrity Beyond could not have been more appropriate, according to the line’s President & CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. Speaking during a shakedown cruise out of Southampton, UK last month, Lutoff-Perlo said the name of the new ship was particularly apt because it symbolises how the whole travel industry is now moving “beyond” the last two torrid years of the pandemic.
Lutoff-Perlo has a laser-sharp vision for the Celebrity cruises brand, with its focus on relaxed luxury, wellness, cuisine and design part of her aspiration to leave a legacy which is to “stop people saying ‘cruising is not for me'”. And expanding Celebrity’s appeal beyond traditional cruisers is clearly part of the plan, with the pre-inaugural voyage packed with influencers and media from across a wide variety of sectors such as fashion, health, retail, design and more.
Beyond is the third vessel in Celebrity’s Edge-class series, and like sister ships Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex she boasts the “flying carpet” – a tangerine technological masterpiece which moves up and down the side of the ship to create different spaces with spectacular 270-degree views across the ocean. But appropriately Beyond has also been further enhanced, with the addition of an extra deck and a 20-metre stretch which has allowed even more versatility in terms of public spaces and staterooms.
Enhancements include a larger outward-facing pool deck, a redesigned Sunset Bar at the rear of the ship almost twice the size as on Beyond’s predecessors, adjacent to a gorgeous Rooftop Garden which includes new cantilevered float pools hanging over the water’s edge. World renowned chef Daniel Boulud – Celebrity’s Global Culinary Ambassador – has created Le Voyage, his first signature restaurant at sea, while the three-storey Eden venue boasts a bar, cafe and terraces wrapped around the spectacular Eden Restaurant.
Celebrity’s focus on wellness has also been enhanced on Beyond, which introduces new F45 fitness classes alongside the line’s Women in Wellness program, an ongoing partnership with movie star Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop lifestyle brand and a massive spa offering every treatment imaginable. Accommodation on board features a wide variety of options, including the two-storey Edge villas with a private plunge pool along with the Iconic Suite which promises “a view as good as the Captain’s”.
And speaking of the Captain, Beyond is helmed by social media sensation Kate McCue, who spent more than 300 days on board during the pandemic – passing the time by entertaining her hundreds of thousands of Instagram and TikTok followers. McCue’s appointment as Captain reflects Celebrity’s huge focus on diversity, with the cruise line keen to showcase maritime careers as an inspirational option for girls to consider.
Australians can experience Celebrity Beyond and her sister ships Edge and Apex in the Mediterranean over the coming months, while the cruise line is eagerly anticipating the first deployment of Celebrity Edge in Australasian waters in the 2023/24 summer season.