On the heels of announcing the resumption of operations on May 29th with the Celestyal Crystal, Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travellers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, announces that it will deploy a second ship, the Celestyal Olympia.
Setting sail from Celestyal’s dedicated terminal at Lavrion Port & Marina (Athens), located just 16 miles from Athens Airport the new, seven-night “Legendary Archipelago” itinerary [insert link to itinerary on website] will operate from June 28th through August 30th.
As of August 30th, the Celestyal Olympia will operate her scheduled three- and four-night ‘Iconic Aegean’ and ‘Iconic Discovery’ itineraries from Lavrion Port & Marina for the remainder of the season.
The new itinerary“Legendary Archipelago” will call in Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, Agios Nikolaos (Crete) and Rhodes in Greece and Limassol in Cyprus with all inclusive pricing starting as low from just €699 per person. All departures will be open for booking on Friday, April 9th. Celestyal is the only cruise line calling on a regular basis to Thessaloniki this summer and this new embarkation/disembarkation port provides additional flight options from Western and Northern Europe as well as the added convenience for the drive markets of the the Balkans and Northern Greece. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and offers guests stunning Paleo Christian and Byzantine monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, monuments to the famed Alexander the Great and the chance to explore the city’s rich Roman and Sephardic Jewish heritage.
Thessaloniki is also known as a “gastronomic paradise”, serving as a crossroads for trade and drawing upon ingredients from all over the Mediterranean and Asia served in the city’s renowned tavernas. Guests can also take advantage of late night departures in Mykonos and Santorini, providing the opportunity to enjoy fully extended days on these iconic and popular Greek isles. Children up to 12 years old sail for free and pay only for taxes and port charges, while there are special prices for families with three or four children sharing the cabin with two adults.
The Lavrion Port & Marina is a similar driving time from the city center as the Piraeus Port. Celestyal will occupy a dedicated terminal facility at Lavrion, which will provide an enhanced and expedited embarkation and disembarkation experience for guests. The dedicated terminal will allow for the thorough implementation of Celestyal’s comprehensive and enhanced health protocols.
Greece has announced that as of mid-May it will welcome European travellers back as long as visitors provide proof of being vaccinated, or certified to have COVID-19 immunity or a negative PCR test 72-hours prior to departure from their home country and embarking their cruise. Celestyal Cruises will also require a negative PCR test within 72-hours prior to embarkation of the cruise. The company is currently awaiting further guidance from the relevant health authorities as to the waiving of this requirement for those that have been vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, Celestyal is working closely with the Greek health authorities in order to implement a crew vaccination programme that will see the crew on both of Celestyal’s vessels fully vaccinated prior to sailing. Furthermore, Celestyal Cruises will have PCR testing available on board for all guests requiring such, at their cost prior to disembarkation.
Chris Theofilides, CEO, Celestyal Cruises, stated: «As the vaccination programme picks up speed across Europe, we are optimistic that there will be a strong increase in demand for Greece as a destination, along with the positive progress towards the safe and healthy reopening of the country and cruising in May. We are thrilled to continue to innovate with new, curated and immersive itineraries such as the “Legendary Archipelago”, offering our guests the opportunity to enjoy distinct destinations in Greece and Cyprus, this summer, with safety. Based on our homeporting from the Lavrion Port & Marina and from the Port of Piraeus, we continue to contribute to the opening of new destinations in Greece and foster the true essence of the Greek culture and hospitality.»
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, e.g. intensive vare units, ventilators and PCR tests available on board.
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 Familiarization 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 specialized educational programs, 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 recognized as the biggest and most respected rating agency in the marine industry.