Celebrity Cruises has announced a restart to sailings in Europe this summer after revealing plans to base its newest ship, Celebrity Apex, in Greece.
The second vessel in the line’s Edge-class series, Apex will make its debut offering seven-night round-trip itineraries from Athens from 19 June.
Sailing until September, voyages include visits to Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Limassol, Haifa and Jerusalem.
Bookings open on 30 March.
Celebrity’s return to the Aegean pays tribute to the company’s Greek heritage after it was originally founded in 1988 by the Chandris family before later joining Royal Caribbean Group.
Echoing its Greek roots, around 70% of marine officers across Celebrity’s fleet hail from Greece - including Apex captain, Dimitrios Kafetzis.
Jo Rzymowska, vice-president and chief executive EMEA, said: “Whilst British holidaymakers will have to wait a while longer to experience our flagship until international travel opens back up, we hope to welcome them onboard later in the season. I for one will be first in the queue as soon as that day arrives.
"I can’t imagine a more perfect setting to finally launch our beautiful Celebrity Apex than the birthplace of the brand and with such stunning itineraries."
Celebrity will operate the same vaccination policy as it announced last week alongside news of its Caribbean restart from St Maarten.
All crew and guests above the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and passengers under 18 must provide proof of a negative PCR test.
President and chief executive, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, said: “Celebrity Apex is such an exquisite ship and for her to finally begin sailing in the beautiful Aegean, where it all began for our fleet, and after so long away, is incredibly meaningful. I actually can’t wait to finally experience Apex and the Greek Isles this September during my rescheduled 30th wedding anniversary cruise.
“This is a very special homecoming for Celebrity Cruises made possible with the strong collaboration of the Greek government. I extend my enduring gratitude and wish the well as they celebrate their country’s bicentennial today.”