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12 Jan 2018

BY Tom Parry

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Celebrity chief: Could just be a 'matter of time' before UK receives Edge-class ship

It is only “a matter of time” before Celebrity Cruises bases one of its upcoming Edge-class ships out of the UK, according to the line’s president.

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Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said the decision could be made if demand from the UK market "continues at the rate it’s growing"

When asked how much demand the UK market would need to show in order to secure an ex-UK Edge-class season, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo told TTG: “For me it’s all about timing… we’re building four [Edge-class ships] and [the UK] market continues to grow.”

 

“If it continues at the rate it’s growing and if we continue to see this momentum building over time, I really just think it’s a matter of time [before] that happens, depending on which year and which ship,” she added.

 

“The other thing is that the UK is a really important market for a ship that is based out of the UK, but it’s not the only market for ships out of the UK.

 

“If we see strong demand from other markets such as the US, based on any itinerary we might do here out of the UK with one of the Edge-class ships, then I don’t think it’s too tough of a decision to put one of those ships here.”

 

Speaking at Celebrity’s Travel Agent Appreciation Awards in London on Thursday (January 11), Lutoff-Perlo said the line would be assessing potential future Edge-class deployments following Celebrity Edge’s first European season next summer.

 

The season will include a visit to Southampton for a two-night preview sailing for agents, before a 10-night Iberian Peninsula sailing, calling at ports in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

 

Jo Rzymowska, vice-president and managing director, UK & Ireland and Asia told TTG Celebrity was aiming to keep “between 80-100 cabins” for trade partners during the preview sailing on May 13, 2019.

 

Rzymowska said that the method of choosing which agents were given the chance to get onboard Edge would be “very much linked to our celebrity rewards programme”.

 

“It’ll be a mixture of those who haven’t been onboard before and reward winners,” she explained.

 

Lutoff-Perlo added that a shipyard visit to see Edge would be scheduled for “sometime in late September” allowing the line to take a small group of UK trade partners and media to see the vessel nearing completion.

 

The latest in a series of “reveal” events surrounding Edge is set to be held next month and will focus on the ship’s culinary offering, Lutoff-Perlo said, while that will be followed by another event in the UK in the spring.

 

“We’re looking at introducing more of the amazing work that [interior designer] Kelly Hoppen has done on the ship… that I’m sure will be a must-attend event,” she added.

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