Apex’s mini ex-Southampton season will lead the line’s largest ever programme of UK and Ireland deployment that summer, with Celebrity Silhouette also sailing from the port city.
Celebrity Reflection will be based out of Dublin.
It will be the first time Celebrity has had three ships homeporting in the British Isles during a single season and, as a result, will boost capacity by 25%.
Apex will sail a short pre-naming cruise in April 2020 for agents.
Jo Rzymowska, vice-president and managing director, Celebrity Cruises UK, Ireland and Asia, said the cruise would feature “significantly” more trade partners than will attend its Festival of Edge event next May to showcase Celebrity Edge when it visits the UK for a one-off voyage.
“Somewhere between 500 to 800 agents is what we would be aiming for,” Rzymowska told TTG.
Apex will then sail five ex-Southampton itineraries to the Mediterranean and northern Europe, ranging from seven to 10 nights, before repositioning to Barcelona and Civitavecchia (Rome) to continue its European season.
Celebrity’s summer 2020 programme will go on general sale on November 29, with trade partners given itinerary and pricing information from today (November 20).
Rzymowska said the line had wanted to give agents more time to prepare.
“We listened to what our agents needed, and that [extra time to prepare] allows them to get organised, plan campaigns, draw up pre-sale lists and really come out firing,” she said.
Agents will also be able to take advantage of Celebrity’s wave booking period deals which among them offer half price cruises for second guests, free drinks packages and savings of up to £700.
Returning to Southampton for a third consecutive season in summer 2020, Silhouette will be one of the first of the line’s ships to enter its $500 million Revolution upgrade programme.
Following its refit, Silhouette will feature two new suite categories and an outdoor lounge exclusively for suite-class guests.
Over In Ireland, Reflection will sail six itineraries including a new 10-night Irish Sea cruise calling into destinations throughout Scotland, Ireland and England and featuring Portland in Dorset for the first time.