With the summer travel season approaching, Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, is encouraged by the continued progress being made in the containment of the global Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the ever-increasing and effective vaccine rollout throughout the world.
Being in continuous contact with European and Greek health authorities as well as the Greek government, Celestyal announces that it will resume operations on May 29th from Piraeus, Athens with its seven-night Idyllic Aegean itinerary. The start of the season was earlier planned for the end of April. The new recommencement date is in accordance with the recently announced Greek Ministry of Tourism roadmap to opening Greece to tourism and cruising for the 2021 season. The seven-night Idyllic Aegean itinerary starts as low as $729 per person, and will call upon Kusadasi, Rhodes, Santorini, Lavrion (for Temple of Poseidon), Mykonos, Milos and Crete.
The company will recommence operations with the Celestyal Crystal so as to utilize her ideal size. As more countries reopen with increasing demand, the company will announce the 2021 deployment of the remaining fleet in due course. Until such time the Celestyal Crystal will utilize two embarkation ports, Piraeus and Lavrion in Athens, providing the ability to offer shorter three and four-night Idyllic itineraries in addition to the seven-night sailing. The shorter three and four-night sailings will operate on a Wednesday from Lavrion and Saturday from Piraeus respectively.
“We are extremely encouraged by the increased global distribution and effectiveness of the vaccine and by the positive response we are receiving from our partners and guests around the world,” said Celestyal Cruises CEO, Chris Theophilides. “We will continue to monitor the positive progress of the healthy reopening of both Greece and cruising while continuing to liaise with the European and Greek health authorities to ensure that we continue to provide a safe and responsible operation for our guests, crew and the communities we serve. Everyone at Celestyal is extremely excited to return to sailing very soon and to extend our award-winning, warm and welcoming Greek hospitality.”
Guests currently booked on the cancelled late April through May voyages will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the amount paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 20 percent of the actual cruise fare paid. As an added element of flexibility and recognizing the prolonged effects of the pandemic, Celestyal has announced that it will allow guests currently holding FCCs as well as guests about to receive FCCs, as a result of the new recommencement date, the opportunity to apply the FCC towards Celestyal’s soon-to-be-announced 2023 itineraries in addition to 2021 and 2022 itineraries.
At Celestyal Cruises, our highest priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the communities we visit. As a member of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), we have pledged our commitment to adopt mandatory core elements of enhanced health protocols as part of a phased-in resumption of cruise operations.
Informed by leading scientists, medical experts, European and Hellenic health authorities, these protocols apply to the entire cruise experience. Our health and safety measures will be continuously evaluated and adjusted based on the current evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe as well as the availability of new prevention, therapeutics, and mitigation measures.
About Celestyal Cruises
Celestyal Cruises has fast built an award-winning reputation and recognition as the number one choice for cruise travellers to the Greek Islands and East Mediterranean thanks to its regional expertise and exceptional hospitality. The company operates three vessels, each one intimate enough to provide genuine and highly personalised services. The foundation of the company’s philosophy is built on a unique Greek heritage which combines outstanding hospitality with genuine cultural destination immersion and provides authentic, lifetime experiences both onboard and onshore.
In September 2020, Celestyal Cruises was honored for the second consecutive year at the renowned MedCruises Awards. The company was awarded first place in the category “Cruise Line with the Greatest Solidarity and Commitment during the Pandemic,” for its overall contribution to the local community, as well as to the industry as a whole, in light of the addition of a new vessel to its fleet during this critical period. In June 2020, Celestyal Cruises received three Tourism Awards in the largest and most prestigious competition for the Greek tourism industry. For the seventh consecutive year, Celestyal Cruises took top honours with three Tourism Awards: Platinum Award for Guest Experience Excellence, Gold Award for Familiarisation Initiatives for Special International Target Groups and Silver Award for Solo Travel.
In February 2020, Celestyal Cruises was honoured at the Cruise Excellence Awards for its “Three Continents” cruise, as the best cruise itinerary for 2019. In June 2019, Celestyal Cruises was recognised for its overall contribution and commitment to the development of the cruise industry in the Eastern Mediterranean region at the MedCruise Awards in Genoa. In December 2019 and 2018 respectively Celestyal Cruises received the U.K. Editors’ Picks Award for Best Service by Cruise Critic, the world’s largest cruise review site and online cruise community. In February 2018 Celestyal Cruises received four Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards: two first place awards, for Shore Excursions and Value, and two second place awards, for Service and Entertainment.
Celestyal Cruises is deeply committed to sustainability and ethical business practices. The company actively supports the local communities in the destinations it visits, particularly in the field of education. Since 2015, more than 2000 students on the Greek islands of Milos, Patmos, Samos and Ios have enjoyed a ‘journey to knowledge’, by attending specialised educational programmes, initiated by Celestyal Cruises. Additionally, Celestyal Cruises supports cultural NGOs to promote youth entrepreneurship, marine student development and child welfare.
The entire spectrum of Celestyal Cruises’ ship management, including technical, hotel and crew management, and offices, are certified in accordance with ISO 9001/14001 standards. The certifying authority is DNV-GL, which is by widely recognised as the biggest and most respected rating agency in the marine industry.