Celebrity redeploys Constellation for winter 2020
Celebrity Cruises has become the second cruise line to drop sailings in the Arabian Gulf.
Celebrity Constellation was due to sail itineraries in Dubai and India in 2020-21 but it will now be redeployed to Tampa Bay, Florida and sail two Caribbean itineraries and another in South America.
The line’s Dubai and India sailings for this winter will still go ahead.
P&O pulled its Dubai and Arabian Gulf 2019-20 winter programme last week amid rising tensions with Iran.
P&O, which sails with a British flag, said it had sought advice from “external authorities” having been monitoring the friction between the West and Iran before deciding to scrap its programme in the region.
Last month, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz, which lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Celebrity said it had made its decision to redeploy Constellation due to demand from the trade and guests to return to Tampa and is protecting agent commission on all cancelled sailings.
President and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “Our guests and travel advisors have been asking us to return to Tampa since our last call there in 2007.
“While Celebrity Cruises fleet is undergoing a massive modernisation, the beautiful City of Tampa is also experiencing quite a renaissance. How fitting for our evolving brand to return to an evolving city with a completely revolutionised ship?”
Constellation is scheduled to undergo an upgrade in May 2020.
Tampa’s downtown waterfront is also undergoing a $3bn redevelopment and will feature new retail, offices, homes and hotels.
Port Tampa Bay president and chief executive Paul Anderson said: “In 2020 Celebrity Cruises will offer a variety of itineraries from Tampa that will include stops at exotic locations in southern and eastern Caribbean. The addition of this premium brand to the explosive growth that Tampa Bay is experiencing will add an extraordinary adventure to the many choices vacationers have in Tampa Bay.”
The three new itineraries on offer are: a 10-night Eastern Caribbean escape, calling San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Samana, Dominican Republic; an 11-night Southern Caribbean trek with visits to Key West, Florida; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and George Town, Grand Cayman; and an 11-night “Touch Canal” itinerary, sailing to Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; the Panama Canal; Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and George Town, Grand Cayman.