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Published in: Cruise News



Expanding the season, Celestyal has added a total of 33 additional weeks of capacity with new itineraries in the Eastern Mediterranean, and is making its debut in the Adriatic late next year with the Celestyal Olympia.

“We want to go to year-round cruising as quickly possible. The first step was two new itineraries, the Eclectic Aegean and the Three Continents. The big news now is we are doing the Adriatic out of Venice,” said Chris Theophilides, CEO.

By 2020, both the Crystal and Olympia will be cruising year-round for the company.

“We are supporting it with an investment in distribution and we are seeing the results,” he continued.



Demand and bookings for the new itineraries have so far been phenomenal, Theophilides said.

“People are ready to go back to these marquee destinations that haven’t been on the map.”

The Eclectic Aegean voyage sails to Istanbul and the Three Continents cruise touches both the Holy Land and Turkey.

The Adriatic will thus add more deployment options for the company, starting with four week-long cruises next December.

“The Adriatic will start out seasonally … it’s a shoulder month opportunity for us,” Theophilides told Cruise Industry News.

“By choice we want to visit the Adriatic during the months when there is less traffic.”

Expansion in the U.S. is taking the form of more employees.



“We’re really gearing up and investing in North America,” Theophilides noted, pointing to a number of recent business development management hires.

“North America is growing but we want to take a balanced approach to the business. North America is 35 percent of our business, which is quite high.”

Growth is a reflection of Celestyal’s investment in the market, Theophilides said, noting that Europe was now growing, also the result of a sales and marketing push.

Turkey making its way back into itineraries from major North American cruise lines will resonate with Celestyal’s product, sending a stronger message to guests. The Crystal will call in Istanbul in November.

“There is pent up demand; people want to go back to these marquee destinations … the fact that other lines are coming back helps establish a sense of confidence.”

Turkey is also its own market for Celestyal, representing 10 percent of guest sourcing, with mini-turnarounds taking place in Kusadasi. Another nine percent of guests come from Greece, and more investments are following in both Australia and China to drive sourcing.

Investment continues in both vessels, with a recent suite refurbishment program completed aboard the Crystal as well as the launch of a new Premium Suite Concierge Experience for suite guests offering a number of perks.

“The clients of agents and specialists selling us typically opt for the upper category cabins,” Theophilides explained.



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