Celebrity Edge: $1 billion cruise ship heading to Australian for 2023-24 cruising season

Celebrity Edge, the $US1 billion, outward-facing ship with multi-floor suites and giant spa, will make its debut Down Under for the 2023-2024 cruise season.

Travelling the coastlines of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, six to 13-night sailings featuring 22 ports will depart Sydney and Auckland between December 2023 and April 2024

Celebrity Cruises vice-president and managing director of Australia and Asia-Pacific Tim Jones says while it's been said that Edge Series ships were designed with the new world of travel in mind, all ships were envisaged with more space well before COVID-19 was a consideration with an expansion of indoor and outdoor areas, larger accommodation and extra dining options.

"By partnering with designers who had not previously been involved in the cruise industry, they brought to life a completely new and different type of thinking," Jones says of the ship, which was launched in 2018 and helmed by Kate McCue, the first female captain of a cruise ship.

"Every inch of the ship, through its unique outward-facing innovation, is designed to bring guests closer to the sea and the destinations they're visiting … it's a luxury boutique hotel at sea."

In Australia the 2900-passenger ship will include overnight stops in Hobart and Cairns and a new port, Kangaroo Island. Every New Zealand sailing includes both the North and South Islands.

The South Pacific itinerary will take in New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Mystery Island, the uninhabited islet in the nation's Tafea Province

Features giving Celebrity Edge the edge include, for suite guests, access to The Retreat "our ship within a ship" with private restaurant and exclusive lounge and sundeck. Guests in the six, two-storey villas enjoy private plunge pools and the Infinite Verandah (also in staterooms) where, with the press of a button, the living space transforms into a balcony.

Edge has 29 bar and dining offerings and menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs while The Spa offers steam, float and salt rooms, heated tile loungers, Peloton bikes and F45 Training.

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But it's the Magic Carpet, the world's first cantilevered, floating platform at a height of up to 13 storeys over the sea, that's a point of difference on Edge, Jones says.

"Transforming from an embarkation platform, to an alfresco extension of our dining room at Raw on 5, the moveable platform is a first-of-its-kind, and an engineering feat."

Edge was the last ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet to sail in March 2020 as the global pandemic hit and then the first ship in the industry to sail from a US port in June 2021.

While Celebrity ships are now sailing with fewer guests for more space, Jones says it's impossible to predict if the need to sail with fewer guests will still be required in 2023.

"The measures we have in place meet the needs of the world right now and will continue to evolve in line with official health advice and requirements."

All Celebrity ships now sail with a fully vaccinated crew and require all guests who are eligible to be vaccinated.

Bookings open to Captain's Club members from October 13 , 2021 and to the public on October 15, 2021. See celebritycruises.com/au

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