Why Celebrity Cruises chose Greece for the world debut of its new ship Celebrity Apex (VIDEO)

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Why Celebrity Cruises chose Greece for the world debut of its new ship Celebrity Apex (VIDEO)Vice President of Celebrity Cruises for Europe, Middle East, and Africa Joanna Rzymowska with Tornos News publisher Giannis Giannakakis

Exclusive interview of Joanna Rzymowska, Vice President of Celebrity Cruises for Europe, Middle East, and Africa to Tornos News publisher Giannis Giannakakis, onboard the new Celebrity Apex cruise ship in Piraeus port, on June 4, 2021.

Celebrity Cruises relaunches its cruises in Europe on June 19, in a world debut of the brand new Celebrity Apex cruise ship from Greece.

During the luxurious seven-night circular cruise until September 2021, Celebrity Apex will depart from Athens and visit some of the most idyllic Mediterranean destinations, such as Mykonos, Rhodes, and Santorini in Greece along with Limassol in Cyprus and Haifa and Jerusalem in Israel.

The return of Celebrity Cruises to the Aegean becomes even more special given the Greek heritage of the company, as it was founded in 1988 by the Chandris family and later became a member of the Royal Caribbean Group.

These Greek roots are highlighted by the Vice President of Celebrity Cruises for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Joanna Rzymowska, in her exclusive interview with Tornos News.

It is pointed out that Celebrity Cruises has kept its Greek roots unchanged until today, as 70% of the naval officers in the entire fleet are of Greek origin. Today, more than 400 Greeks are employed on its ships, among them captains and first engineers.

The President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, stated on March 25, when the world debut of the ship was announced by Greece, the following:

"The Celebrity Apex is an exquisite ship and to finally start traveling in the beautiful Aegean, where it all started for our fleet, and after so long, acquires a special meaning. I look forward to finally living the experience of Apex and the Greek islands during the rescheduled cruise for my 30th wedding anniversary ".

She expressed her deep gratitude to the Greek government for the excellent cooperation, wishing the best in Greece, which is celebrating its bicentennial this year.

Ms. Joanna Rzymowska, in her interview with Tornos News, emphasizes that all the health protocols, which have been imposed in our country, are observed, stressing that all visitors and crew have been vaccinated. Furthermore, she points out that Piraeus was chosen as the first port of the company for this year due to the excellent air access from various countries, which allows many of its passengers from the United States and Europe to come here.

Read the full interview and watch the relevant video below:

Welcome to Athens and Piraeus. Are you here to present your new boat?

Thank you and it’s wonderful to be in Athens, it’s wonderful to be here aboard our new ship, Celebrity Apex. It’s her inaugural season and she will sail from Piraeus with guests onboard on the 19th of June to the wonderful Greek islands and our guests can’t wait. We have a wonderful crew who can’t wait to welcome our guests.

How do you think cruises to the Greek islands will perform this year?

It is really important that we have chosen Piraeus and Athens as our starting point for the newest ship in our fleet of 15 vessels. It is so important because there are flight opportunities for our guests from the United States and Europe and everybody loves the Greek islands. We know that sadly from the UK point of view at the moment Greece is not yet on the green list but we have great hope that it will be very soon on the green list. We’ve got guests from the US, guests from the UK, from Germany, from Italy, from France and Spain. There are going to be 14 rotations here during the summer season for seven nights to wonderful Santorini, to Mykonos, to Rhodes, and some also to Limassol, Ashod, and Haifa.

How many guests can this ship accommodate?

The total occupancy for two people in a room is 2900 guests so we can say that we have 1400 rooms and also 1400 crew, so there is a 2-to-1 ratio of guests to the crew which shows how important looking out for our guests and service are to us. When we start sailing this summer, because of the pandemic and the situation we have been in, we will be having a lower occupancy to make sure that we are following all of the very important protocols as well as social distancing. The space and life of this ship are phenomenal so we know our guests will have a wonderful time, a safe time but, more important than that, a great holiday.

Celebrity Apex features innovative exterior design and state-of-the-art spaces crafted by world-renowned designers

What protocols are you going to follow and how are these going to help your guests have a better stay?

We follow all the Greek government protocols, such as wearing a mask, except of course when our guests are enjoying our incredible cuisine. We are also making sure that all of our guests have a PCR test before they board the ship. All of our guests and crew are vaccinated and we are doing absolutely everything we can, in this respect. Health and safety have always been our number one priority, but what is really important is that our guests have a wonderful holiday and we are very confident that with the protocols that we have in place, we will also make sure that they will have a great holiday.

What are your predictions regarding your company’s performance this year in Greece?

We are positive, our heritage is Greek, after all, thank the Chandris family. We are living in a very strange world at the moment, we need things to go in the right direction, we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can as individuals so as to stay safe as well as move in the right direction and that is really important. We also think that this is a great opportunity for our guests to enjoy the beautiful Greek islands in another way, as they will see the land from the sea. To see these wonderful Greek islands that you have, it’s just stunning. When you are coming to Mykonos when you are coming to Santorini, it’s really special, so we are looking forward to that.

Given that cruise companies make a plan with a perspective of two or even three years, what do you expect for Greece in the coming years?

We know from all the demand curves that we are looking at and the consumer research that we do, that people cannot wait to go on a holiday. We have new ships in the pipeline, the cruise industry is growing and people can’t wait to spend time together as a family, with friends, enjoying wonderful cuisine and great service. We know that the Greek population is not traveling and we think that there is a great opportunity this summer to have our best ship, our flagship, here, based in Athens so that they can see it and experience it and then they may well decide to travel with us around the globe.

After the interview at the wonderful Eden Bar. From left: Giannis Giannakakis, Joanna Rzymowska, Ruth Marshall (Vice President Legal and Managing Director RCL Cruises), Andreas Stylianopoulos, owner of Navigator Travel & Tourist Services.

Why did you choose Piraeus as your first port this year?

We chose it because of the air-lift from the different countries and we know that a lot of our guests will be from the United States because they can travel here. We’ve got guests from a lot of European countries booked for later on, July and August, and we think that access to Athens and Greece will also play an important role.

What role does Greece play in the cruise programs for the Mediterranean in 2021?

Greece has always been key to our itinerary planning and our destinations and we see that when we have Athens and the Greek islands on our itineraries they are really, really popular. So many nationalities enjoy the wonderful hospitality, the wonderful islands, and the beautiful cuisine. So we know and we have seen it for years, and years and years that when we have Greece on the itinerary, those cruises go really well. So, we see Greece being a major part of our business, for the corporation of Celebrity Cruises going forward.

Navigator Travel & Tourist Services, representative of Celebrity Cruises for Greece

Celebrity Cruises is represented in Greece by the travel agency Navigator Travel & Tourist Services of Mr. Andreas Stylianopoulos, who in an interview with Mr. Giannakakis and Tornos News in early February revealed the new trends in cruising after the pandemic.

Navigator Travel & Tourist Services since its foundation in 1962, by Anastasios Stylianopoulos, until today, is the exclusive marketing and sales representative in Greece, Cyprus, and Bulgaria of the companies Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises.

Ms. Joanna Rzymowska and Mr. Andreas Stylianopoulos at Eden Bar

Tornos
  1. 30/07 16:33

    Revenue from Cyprus tourism shows small rise in May

  2. 30/07 14:16

    Minister: All competent authorities to coordinate to deal with heatwave in Greece

  3. 30/07 11:37

    Covid-19 vaccination appointment platform for children over 12 opens in Greece

  4. 30/07 10:29

    Olympic Yacht Show 2021 on October 1-5 at 'Olympic Marine' in Lavrion port

  5. 30/07 10:26

    UNWTO: Green hotel investments to #RESTARTTOURISM

  6. 29/07 15:54

    President of Hellenic Republic receives Greek, Cypriot and Egyptian students

  7. 29/07 15:26

    PM: The dynamism of the Greek-American community is encouraging

  8. 29/07 15:11

    Australian national with pending Interpol's red notice arrested on Mykonos island

  9. 29/07 14:19

    Special meeting on role of education against misinformation and fake news in Greece

  10. 29/07 13:59

    Greece expects big money in attracting the elderly for wellness tourism

  11. 29/07 12:15

    Greek teachers projected to be next in line for mandatory Covid-19 shots

  12. 29/07 11:05

    Greece records 2,874 new Covid-19 infections and 15 fatalities on Wednesday

  13. 29/07 09:08

    IATA statement on UK recognition of vaccinated travelers from the EU and US

  14. 29/07 08:31

    Air cargo records strongest first half-year growth since 2017

  15. 28/07 15:17

    May international air cargo traffic 9.4% above Pre-COVID-19 levels

  16. 28/07 15:02

    Greece and European Union sign funding agreement for "Greece 2.0" plan

  17. 28/07 14:58

    Unvaccinated students carred from universities in Greece after autumn

  18. 28/07 14:52

    Minister: More than 5 milliion Greeks to be fully vaccinated on Thursday

  19. 28/07 14:42

    Greek Foreign Minister welcomes King Abdullah of Jordan to Athens

  20. 28/07 14:34

    Heatwave in Greece during the next days

  21. 28/07 12:46

    Zagori Mountain Running: 2,600 athletes from 27 countries took part

  22. 28/07 11:06

    Greek artist Tsarouchis show ‘Dancing in Real Life’ runs through July 31 in Chicago

  23. 28/07 10:37

    Ruins of ancient banquet hall discovered in Paphos of Cyprus

  24. 28/07 10:22

    Vision of the New Greece presented at AHEPA Supreme Convention in Athens

  25. 27/07 23:35

    Greece records 3,593 new Covid-19 infections and eight fatalities on Tuesday

  26. 27/07 21:48

    Greek state budget shows primary deficit of 9.1 billion euros between January-June

  27. 27/07 21:19

    Diplomats: Israel shows strong will to enhnace cooperation with Cyprus

  28. 27/07 21:08

    AHEPA’s 99th Anniversary Supreme Convention is in full swing in the Greek capital

  29. 27/07 20:15

    Greek Civil Aviation Authority adds self-test to domestic flight requirements for minors 12–17

  30. 27/07 17:38

    Greek Cultural Center hosts Music Production Class between August 24-September 21

  31. 27/07 13:51

    COVID-19's grip on Greece set to loosen in August

  32. 27/07 10:57

    Greek government announces minimum wage raise by 2%

  33. 26/07 21:52

    Vaccination appointments for children aged 12-15 to become available in Greece on Friday

  34. 26/07 21:40

    Greece-Cyprus-Jordan summit at Zappeion Megaron of Athens on Wednesday

  35. 26/07 21:01

    Management consulting firms more optimistic over economic developments in Greece

  36. 26/07 20:57

    AHEPA’s 99th Anniversary Convention commences with thanks and welcomes in Athens

  37. 26/07 19:53

    Covid-19 restrictions imposed on Greek island of Mykonos lifted

  38. 26/07 19:49

    Greece records 2,070 new Covid-19 infections and five fatalities on Monday

  39. 26/07 19:06

    IATA adds Environmental Sustainability program to its training curriculum

  40. 26/07 15:02

    Doors open for Greece's Covid-19 vaccinated but close for the unvaccinated

  41. 26/07 00:46

    Greece records 1,533 new Covid-19 cases and eight 8 fatalities on Sunday

  42. 25/07 21:51

    AP: Europe's summer tourism outlook dimmed by variants and rules

  43. 25/07 18:42

    Greece's COVID-19 unvaccinated people won't be barred from retail stores

  44. 25/07 15:55

    Study: Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines' effectiveness against the Delta variant

  45. 25/07 12:36

    Incentives to doctors and pharmacists to persuade Greek citizens to get vaccines

  46. 24/07 23:45

    IATA slams European Commission slots decision out of touch with reality

  47. 24/07 00:08

    No vaccinations needed but tests for Greece's tourism workers required

  48. 23/07 20:49

    The 5th Annual World Council of Epirotans Abroad on July 24 through Zoom

  49. 23/07 18:52

    Cyprus hοteliers say Israel's decision for travel ''a negative development''

  50. 23/07 18:43

    Greek government will pay doctors and pharmacists to give COVID-19 vaccines

  51. 23/07 16:38

    Greek Shipping MInister urges travelers to observe safety measures

  52. 23/07 14:46

    European Union greenlights €100 million to support health system in Greece

  53. 22/07 21:07

    Greek authorities will require COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers

  54. 22/07 20:55

    Greek Prime Minister: Mental health is of vital importance (video)

  55. 22/07 19:45

    Old Acropolis Museum in Athens being refurbished as exhibition space

  56. 22/07 19:34

    Greece records 2,604 new Covid-19 infections and five fatalities on Thursday

  57. 22/07 16:29

    Global travel largely on hold despite rise in May

  58. 22/07 16:02

    Greek FinMin launches e-platform for debt settlement for vulnerable households

  59. 22/07 15:40

    IATA: Aviation passengers confident in onboard safety

  60. 22/07 15:23

    Greek government: Vaccinations expected to exceed 10 million on Thursday

  61. 22/07 14:51

    IATA, IATAN and ARC to jointly offer tourism diploma courses for US travel agents

  62. 22/07 12:58

    International Air Transport Association warns governments on high cost of testing

  63. 21/07 22:48

    Russian Airlines to resume regular flights to Greece as of July 24

  64. 21/07 22:43

    Mandatory vaccination amendment submitted in Greek Parliament imposes large fines

  65. 21/07 22:32

    Greek Tourism Ministry clarifies indoor venue requirements for non-EU citizens

  66. 21/07 20:37

    Zagori Mountain Running 2021 schedule announced with top athletes visiting Epirus

  67. 21/07 18:54

    Greece records 2,972 new Covid-19 infections and three fatalities on Wednesday

  68. 21/07 18:54

    Greece records 2,972 new Covid-19 infections and three fatalities on Wednesday

  69. 21/07 16:52

    Greek island of Skiathos world’s third most beautiful film location

  70. 21/07 16:06

    Greek fans fly to watch Giannis Antetokounmpo soar to the top

  71. 21/07 15:17

    Greek PM: 120,000 young people between 18-25 have applied for the Freedom Pass

  72. 21/07 10:17

    Greece plans vaccinating 12-15 year-olds in campaign against COVID-19

  73. 21/07 00:13

    Foreign tourist arrivals in Greece reached 2.3 million already

  74. 21/07 00:00

    Sting to appear in Athens for two concerts marking his 70th birthday

  75. 20/07 22:52

    Greek PM announces plan to overhaul 'abandoned' Olympic Games complex

  76. 20/07 21:49

    The Greek Online School unveils results of its Greek language survey

  77. 20/07 19:44

    Greece records 3,565 new Covid-19 infections and nine fatalities on Tuesday

  78. 20/07 19:33

    3rd Balkan Forum at Thessaloniki to be organized on September 24-25

  79. 20/07 18:46

    WTTC responds to the relaxing of restrictions across the United Kingdom

  80. 20/07 18:40

    Greek Tourism Minister: Arrivals in June 50% up compared to July 2020 reopening

  81. 20/07 18:09

    Conde Nast Traveller presents 13 restaurants in Santorini

  82. 20/07 15:36

    IATA welcomes further easing of border restrictions by Canadian authorities

  83. 20/07 13:25

    Jet2 Group: Britons start holidays in 40 destinations without quarantine

  84. 19/07 22:41

    Greece records 1,834 new Covid-19 infections and eight fatalities on Monday

  85. 19/07 20:13

    Appointments platform opens on Tuesday for people being vaccinated at home in Greece

  86. 19/07 17:21

    Greek PM on Messinia tour: Vaccination of children will not be obligatory

  87. 19/07 15:24

    Cyprus residents travelling abroad record sharp annual spike in June 2021

  88. 19/07 14:17

    Tourist arrivals record rise in Cyprus during June 2021

  89. 17/07 21:58

    Germany declares Greece and Netherlands 'risk areas' for Covid-19 infections

  90. 17/07 17:59

    AHEPA’s Supreme Convention returns to Hellenic homeland in 2021

  91. 17/07 15:39

    Greek island of Mykonos under curfew to Monday over rise in Covid-19 cases

  92. 17/07 15:02

    Boat travel requirements recapped by Shipping Ministry in Greece

  93. 16/07 14:45

    WTTC: Approved vaccine inconsistency could delay the restart of international travel

  94. 15/07 20:33

    4th Investors Forum 2021 in Athens: Four ministers outline government's work and outlook

  95. 15/07 19:35

    Greece in USA’s The Right to Breathe exhibition to last from July 14 to October 8

  96. 15/07 18:22

    Greece records 2,794 new Covid-19 infections and six fatalities on Thursday

  97. 15/07 18:01

    Greece forbids entry to more foreign nationals in updated health notam

  98. 15/07 17:31

    Greek Finance Minister reveals plan to increase number of tranches of pandemic debts

  99. 15/07 17:06

    First International standard on accessible tourism for all announced

  100. 15/07 16:10

    15 Italian youngsters self-isolating on Ios island after five test positive for Covid-19