MIAMI, Dec 14, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Celebrity Cruises' Horizon will
move to the Island Cruises fleet in October 2005 under a six-year lease
agreement arrangement with the British-based cruise line.
Island Cruises, created in May 2000, is the brand name of Sunshine Cruises
Limited, a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and First Choice
Holidays PLC, one of the United Kingdom's largest integrated tour operators.
"Island Cruises has performed well in its first three years," said Jack
Williams, president and chief operating officer of Celebrity Cruises. "By
adding a ship, Island Cruises can continue to grow its brand and overall
presence in Europe and South America. Horizon has served our Celebrity
Cruises guests very well during the past 14 years and will continue to do so
for the guests of Island Cruises."
Since its first sailing in spring 2002, Island Cruises has attracted a
high number of first-time cruisers with its casual ambiance. The cruise line
offers informal, flexible and affordable cruise vacations with open-seating
dining and a relaxed dress code. It currently offers two transatlantic, six
Brazilian and three Mediterranean itineraries on the 1,740-guest Island
Escape. The line also offers combination cruise/hotel packages with 20 resort
hotels in Majorca, Sao Paolo and Rio De Janeiro, as well as air/sea packages
originating from 16 regional airports. Island Escape previously sailed as
Royal Caribbean International's Viking Serenade.
"We couldn't be happier about the expansion of our fleet, especially with
such a wonderful ship," said Michael Bayley, managing director of Island
Cruises. "We look forward to growing our cruise line and providing our guests
with even more alternatives for their cruise vacations."
Horizon will complete its current winter sailings to the Caribbean from
the Port of Tampa and its summer 2005 Bermuda sailings from the Port of
Philadelphia. The ship will be turned over to Island Cruises in late October.
It will then enter drydock in Freeport, Bahamas, where it will undergo
extensive refurbishment, including the addition of two restaurants, 59
staterooms and 50 balconies.
The ship will enter service for Island Cruises in December in Brazil under
a new name. The ship will sail from Brazil during winters and in the
Mediterranean during summers.
Horizon joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in May 1990 and was built by
Jos. L. Myer GmbH & Co. of Papenburg, Germany. It was refurbished in October
1998. The 47,000 gross-registered-ton ship carries 1,700 guests and 642 crew
members. Celebrity Cruises currently operates the ship primarily in Bermuda
in summers and in the Caribbean in winters.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that
operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined
total of 29 ships in service and two under construction. The company also
offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its
cruise-tour division. Additional information can be found on
http://www.royalcaribbean.com , http://www.celebrity.com or
SOURCE Celebrity Cruises
Leslie Katz of Celebrity Cruises, +1-305-539-6574