Keel laying ceremony held for Celebrity Xcel

The keel laying ceremony has been held for Celebrity Cruises’ fifth Edge-series ship, Celebrity Xcel.

The longstanding maritime tradition took place at the Chantiers de ‘Atlantique shipyard in France on June 13 and saw president and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Group Jason Liberty, Celebrity Cruises president Laura Hodges Bethge and shipyard general manager Laurent Castaing lower the first steel block for the new ship.

Celebrity Xcel will enter service in November 2025 in the Caribbean, sailing seven-night itineraries alternating between the Bahamas, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Plata, Saint Thomas and Saint Martin.

Celebrity Xcel will be powered with the first tri-fuel capable engine, with the ability to use three types of fuel, including methanol, a first for the company.

The move is seen as an important stepping-stone on the company’s vision for net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Today we not only mark the start of construction, but we are laying the foundation on which countless memories will be created,” said Liberty.

“Each new ship also represents an opportunity to advance our journey to net zero and with Xcel we are building our first methanol capable ship, which helps advance our transition to the energy platform of the future.”

Hodges Bethge added: “We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Chantiers de l’Atlantique team for lending their craftsmanship to further elevate the innovative design and world-class features of our beloved Edge series ship.”

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