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French shipyard cuts steel for Celebrity Cruises' next new cruise ship

07 Nov 2023
Elizabeth Wright

Celebrity Xcel, the fifth ship in Celebrity Cruises' groundbreaking Edge Class, is set to launch in November 2025. 

Xcel steel cutting 1

The ship's name was revealed during the steel-cutting ceremony at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Executives from Royal Caribbean Group and the shipyard were present. 

“The Edge Series has shattered preconceived notions of cruising, and I am thrilled to announce our next bold step as a brand with Celebrity Xcel,” said Celebrity Cruises’ President Laura Hodges Bethge.

Xcel steel cutting 3

“True to her name, this next ship will ‘Xcel’ beyond her sister ships with entirely new experiences, yet to be revealed, but that will change the game all over again.” 

Celebrity Xcel will be based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during her inaugural season


After her debut, Celebrity Xcel will sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 7-night cruises to the Bahamas, Mexico, and Cayman Islands, as well as Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.

According to Celebrity's website, the maiden voyage is slated to take place on November 18, 2025, sailing to Bimini, Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico. 

You can book your cruise onboard Celebrity Xcel by heading to Celebrity's website or through your trusted travel advisor. 

What features will be onboard Celebrity Xcel?

Magic carpet

In addition to some distinctive Edge Class features, there are some differences and enhancements that will make the experience onboard this Edge Class ship different from others. 

First, the ship will have an expanded Rooftop Garden and Resort Deck with unique cantilevered float pools. 

Fans of the Sunset Bar will appreciate the multi-level, multi-terraced bar at the aft of the ship similar to the one that can be found on Celebrity Beyond. The cantilevered Magic Carpet will also return to offer impressive views of the sea's horizon. 

Martini Bar on Celebrity Crruises

The three-story Grand Plaza will be redesigned, too, in order to create an open indoor venue. 

Of course, guests looking for a luxurious and upgraded cruising experience and splurge on a suite within The Retreat, Celebrity's ship-within-a-ship concept that will feature a two-story sundeck, as well as two-story villas with private plunge pools. 

RelatedWhat is the difference between The Retreat, AquaClass and Concierge Class on Celebrity Cruises?

What's a steel-cutting ceremony?

Xcel steel cutting 2

The steel-cutting ceremony for a brand-new ship is a maritime tradition and major milestone in a ship's construction process because it indicates that the groundwork has been set. 

Typically, executives from the cruise line, as well as shipyard personnel, are present. 

As of November 2023, there's no set date for the keel-laying ceremony, which is the next milestone and marks the official beginning of the ship's construction. 

Celebrity Ascent, the fourth Edge Class ship, is launching this month


Celebrity Ascent is set to join Celebrity's fleet as the fourth Edge Class ship, following Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex, and Celebrity Beyond. 

In addition to Edge Class favorites, this ship will have a few experiences that cannot be found on her younger sisters, including a completely redesigned Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud; expanded martini menu at the Martini Bar; three brand-new production shows; redesigned casino; and outdoor terrance at Blu, the exclusive restaurant dedicated to AquaClass guests.

RelatedCelebrity Cruises released details about its biggest ship yet: Celebrity Ascent

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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