Celebrity Cruises' newest cruise ship, the 2,850-passenger, 122,000 gt Celebrity Silhouette today set sail—in reverse—from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, in preparation for official naming ceremonies in Hamburg and its inaugural cruise this summer in Europe.
Maneuvering from the shipyard on the River Ems for 26 miles to the open sea in Emshaven, the Netherlands, is extremely complex. The 1,033 ft x 121 ft Celebrity Silhouette will take more than 12 hours to complete the journey under the direction of Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis. The scale of the ship and the location of the shipyard require the Captain to steer the ship backwards from the yard, assisted by tugboats fore and aft, through the River Ems.
Preparations for what is called the "Conveyance'" include removing power lines and railway tracks that normally pass over the river to allow the ship to traverse through. The journey also must be precisely timed to take place at high tide to ensure ample depth beneath the hull, and when weather conditions are calm enough to avert the possibility of wind causing the ship to touch the ground. The route along the River Ems includes various locks and other tight squeezes, traveling on an aqueduct over an autobahn (motorway).
Cruising at less than four miles per hour on the journey, Celebrity Silhouette joins three sister ships, also built in Papenburg, which made the same complex trip. After finishing work is completed in Emshaven, the Netherlands, Celebrity Silhouette will sail to Hamburg, where it will be named in formal ceremonies on July 21, 2011.
Celebrity Silhouette is the fourth of five Solstice Class ships from Celebrity Cruises, and features a number of exclusive new features, including the Lawn Club Grill, the industry's first outdoor, interactive grill; The Hideaway, a high-tech location reminiscent of a childhood treehouse for guests to relax inside; The Alcoves, luxurious, private cabanas overlooking the ship's lush lawn on the top deck amidst immense views of the sea; and the Art Studio, a space where experienced and aspiring artists can participate in hands-on instruction from experts in drawing, beading, sculpting and painting. The ship also will feature top-tier designer boutiques, exclusive restaurants and the hip Celebrity iLounge, offering guests classes on the use of iPads and iPhones, among other products, which also are available for sale through Celebrity's industry-first Authorized Apple Reseller status.
Beginning July 23, Celebrity Silhouette will sail from Hamburg to Rome (Civitavecchia), where it will offer 12-night roundtrip cruises to the Holy Land through the summer, prior to presenting 12-night Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Cape Liberty, N.J., beginning in November.
June 30, 2011