Anything but plain sailing

Accommodating over 2,880 guests, Celebrity’s newest ship offers a host of innovations including an art studio, private cabanas and an outdoor interactive grill

The newest ship from Celebrity Cruises, the $800-million Celebrity Silhouette, was launched in August with a host of new passenger experiences from the cruise industry’s first interactive outdoor grill to an art space where budding Picassos can get hands-on with expert instruction.

The ship was built in Germany at the Meyer Werft ship yard in Papenburg and inaugurated at the beginning of August. Weighing in at 122,000 GRT (gross registered tonnes), measuring more than 315 metres long, and accommodating over 2,880 guests, the vessel began with a series of cruises throughout the eastern Mediterranean from Civitavecchia, near Rome.

Toward the end of the year, Celebrity Silhouette will sail to North America and offer cruises in the Caribbean throughout the winter from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Cosy elegance in the staterooms

Celebrity Silhouette is the fourth Solstice-class ship from Celebrity Cruises and boasts a number of exclusive new features:

• The Lawn Club Grill – the cruise industry’s first outdoor interactive grill;

• The Alcoves – private cabanas overlooking a real grass lawn on the top deck;

• The Hideaway – a high-tech tree house-like location for guests to relax inside;

• The Art Studio – a space where experienced and aspiring artists can participate in hands-on instruction from experts and

• The new Spa Vibes programme – face or body treatments which can be personalised choosing elements that will stimulate each of the senses including treatment room lighting, scent and sound.

Celebrity Silhouette launched the first interactive grilling restaurant afloat with the introduction of ‘The Lawn Club Grill’. Further developing the already popular Lawn Club experience, the speciality restaurant provides guests with the opportunity to grill their own meats and share barbeque secrets with the onboard chefs. In addition ‘The Alcoves’, eight exclusive, cabana-style private retreats, each designed for two to four guests, will offer complete seclusion within the Lawn Club area. Meanwhile ‘The Porch’, a Hamptons-styled intimate 48-seat restaurant is just the place for a casual breakfast or lunch.

‘The Hideaway’, a new sanctuary resembling an upscale, avant-garde tree house furnished with cozy lounging ‘nests’ is perfect for those looking to unwind, read a good book or try out a new Apple product from the Celebrity iLounge.

Additional new guest experiences include the innovative use of iPad menus in Qsine including interactive dinner menus and touch-screen beverage lists. For the more traditional, the new Afternoon Tea offers the ultimate indulgence as guests experience a truly world-class white-glove tea service, with Tea Forte loose teas served in custom-made Wedgwood bone china with elegant savouries and pastry accompaniments.

The Grand Cuvee dining room is an impressive venue

Celebrity Cruises is offering guests the opportunity to create original works of their own within The Art Studio through a new partnership with ArtCenter/South Florida. Located within the distinctive Lawn Club area on the top deck, the venue offers guests a wide variety of lectures, demonstrations and interactive classes including jewellery creation, sketching and painting.

Celebrity Cruises invites guests to relax and enjoy the world-renowned spa services onboard all 10 of its luxurious ships with a wide array of treatments – from bamboo massages and 24-karat gold facials, to a full medi-spa including acupuncture by AquaSpa. And Celebrity Silhouette has launched the new Spa Vibes programme which allows each guest to personalise their face or body treatment choosing elements that will stimulate each of the senses.

The ship also features designer boutiques from brands such as Michael Kors and Bvlgari, exclusive restaurants and an Apple-dedicated internet café – the Celebrity iLounge – offering classes in using iPads and iPhones.

Throughout the winter season Celebrity Silhouette will sail the Caribbean with various routes taking in Florida, Cococay, the Bahamas, Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, Philipsburg, St Maarten, Cozumel, Mexico, George Town, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Jamaica, Labadee, Haiti and several other Caribbean destinations with sailings running from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey.

From April 2012 the ship will be covering European routes taking in ports including Venice, Dubrovnik, Sicily, Malta, and Split and later in the year she will sail the Holy Land Cruise from Rome taking in Alexandria, Jerusalem, Athens, Naples and Capri.

There are also various other itineraries planned throughout the year with transatlantic sailings at the beginning and end of the season.

Celebrity Cruises’ five-ship Solstice-class fleet represents an overall investment of $3.7 billion, with all – including Celebrity Reflection, which launches in 2012 – built in Papenburg, Germany.

The line is the sister company to Royal Caribbean, which cruises the waters of the Arabian Gulf.