This week, Celebrity Cruises president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo unveiled the third ship in the company’s industry-transforming ‘new luxury’ Edge Series – Celebrity Beyond. Designed to give guests endless opportunities to disconnect from the world, while simultaneously reconnecting with the world that surrounds them, Celebrity Beyond goes further than imagined possible for a cruise ship, creating a new world of wonder and luxury.
The launch also signifies an exciting opportunity and strong vote of confidence in the UK as Celebrity Beyond will depart on her 2022 maiden voyage from Southampton, on a 10-night Western Europe cruise visiting Bordeaux, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain. She will then offer a variety of Mediterranean journeys including nine-night Italian Riviera and France itineraries and 10-night Greek Isles itineraries until early October, when she heads to the Caribbean.
Inspired by a vision to take the cruise industry into the next era of luxury, Lutoff-Perlo assembled a dream team of modern lifestyle icons to bring to life extraordinary experiences that allow guests to connect with each other, the sea, and their journey. Celebrity Beyond showcases the design talents of multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; and lauded Paris-based design firm Jouin Manku; the innovation of British architect Tom Wright; and the culinary gifts of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud. The ship will also feature experiences and products from goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand’s new well-being advisor.
Redefining luxury again, Celebrity Beyond builds on the features and design of its award-winning predecessors Celebrity Edge (2018) and Celebrity Apex (2020) by creating innovative spaces that set the brand apart from others in the industry. Every element of Celebrity Beyond’s look and feel has been carefully curated with re-imagined spaces and more luxurious versions of the brand’s most popular signature spaces, including:
– The Retreat, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a new two-storey sundeck;
– Transformed accommodations from modern two-storey villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living;
– An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools;
– A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar redefining the ship’s aft;
– A first-ever Daniel Boulud fine-dining restaurant at sea;
– A boldly redesigned Grand Plaza spanning three decks, creating an airy and open indoor space;
– And, the return of the Magic Carpet, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.
“Celebrity Cruises has always been an innovator at sea, and now we have challenged the status quo with a vessel that goes beyond expectations, beyond imagination,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Celebrity Beyond shatters any and every preconceived notion of the cruising experience. This exquisite ship offers a journey at the intersection of elegance and approachability filled with what’s important to our guests today: forward-thinking design, culinary excellence, unparalleled well-being and incomparable service.”
“With Celebrity Beyond, we saw an opportunity to take the extraordinary features of Celebrity Edge – like the focus on the connection with the ocean and the grand spaces – and really amplify them,” said Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Group, parent company of Celebrity Cruises. “We focused on providing more openness, height and spaciousness throughout the ship’s most popular spaces. The end result is a next generation ship that embodies the intersection of architecture and design.”
The Retreat: A resort in and of itself
One of the most sought-after interior designers in the world, Kelly Hoppen CBE, has reimagined aspects of the design for The Retreat, the unrivalled and exclusive resort space for suite guests, including all new suites, and brought her globally renowned style to outdoor venues such as the Rooftop Garden and the main pool area on the Resort Deck.
The new, two-storey Retreat Sundeck will offer more unadulterated outdoor bliss and ways to rejuvenate in the fresh ocean air with secluded cabanas, chic new seating areas, additional water features and the exclusive Retreat Bar. The warm and inviting Retreat Lounge is a newly stylish space to unwind; while Hoppen’s new take on the adjacent private restaurant Luminae, now at the front of the ship, becomes a space where every corner provides a new experience with each visit, in keeping with the daily changing menu.
An array of contemporary suite accommodations featuring fresh colour palettes and design details by Hoppen await guests of The Retreat, including the redesigned two-storey Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, and Celebrity’s famous Iconic Suites, the largest in the fleet, offering better views than the captain’s quarters.
Connecting two worlds
Nowhere is more rejuvenating than the open sea, and Celebrity Beyond ensures guests are able to take full advantage of both the luxurious design of the ship while soaking in the world around them.
Perhaps best known for designing the world-famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, lead architect Tom Wright of WKK has expanded the exterior spaces on Celebrity Beyond, transforming them into serene outward-facing sanctuaries leveraging endless ocean vistas and breath-taking panoramas of the extraordinary places the ship will visit. His design both lengthens the ship by 20 meters and raises the ship to 17 decks tall, allowing for the reimagination of The Retreat, the Resort Deck, and the Rooftop Garden – outdoor spaces increasingly important to today’s traveller.
The main open deck, 40 percent larger than on previous Edge Series ships, features an enormous living Rooftop Garden designed by Hoppen and includes increased seating offering new private nooks and more spaces for movie watching, enjoying live music and outdoor dining at the expanded Rooftop Grill. A highlight of this area is Wright’s incorporation of two spectacular floating pools cantilevered six and a half feet over the side of the ship, taking guests beyond the water’s edge.
On the Resort Deck, guests will enjoy a stunning asymmetrical space with a 25-yard lap pool surrounded by a terraced pool deck and new sunken seating areas designed by Hoppen.
Wright also designed the signature Edge Series Magic Carpet, a tennis-court sized cantilevered platform that scales the side of the ship and transforms from open-air lounge or restaurant hovering above the ocean along higher decks to a tender platform for going ashore on lower decks. Featured on Celebrity Beyond, it debuted on Celebrity Edge in 2018 and is still considered one of the most unique design innovations ever for a cruise ship.
Celebrity Cruises’ Edge Series design ambassador Nate Berkus stepped into the role of designer himself, to imagine one of the most anticipated venues on Celebrity Beyond – the Sunset Bar. Inside this space that is nearly twice as large as previous iterations, Berkus has created a chic, Moroccan-inspired escape that is reminiscent of a modern-day Casablanca.
Guests will enter through a pergola-covered entrance to enjoy one of the hottest spots at sea. With more conversation niches and covered enclaves to allow guests to connect in a more intimate way, the Sunset Bar’s cascading terraces will combine to provide the perfect place to soak in spectacular views and create unforgettable memories.
Luxury in every detail
The core of Celebrity Beyond’s vision of luxury is the Grand Plaza, a transformational place at the centre of the ship designed by Jouin Manku – the team responsible for designing the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower – and offering a different experience with every visit. Inspired by the piazzas of Italy that serve as life centres of towns where architecture and social connection become one, the Grand Plaza spans three decks at the heart of the ship, boldly declaring it is the place to see and be seen.
Larger than Grand Plazas on its sister Edge Series ships, the Celebrity Beyond Grand Plaza has an airier atmosphere with more room for intimate seating. The added space allowed designers to move the Martini Bar into the centre of the venue as a full, circular bar.
Hanging proudly above the new Martini Bar, the Grand Plaza’s iconic chandelier boasts a new, organic shape with hundreds of individual LED lights that cast an inviting glow at all hours, taking centre stage with talented bartenders at night during their exciting and theatrical Flash Flair Fusion performance.
Connected to the Grand Plaza is the top table of culinary excellence at sea, the new, intimate 50-seat restaurant by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Aptly named Le Voyage, travel is the inspiration for the globally inspired flavours within, designed to transport guests to the very places that inspire the Michelin-rated chef. Complementing the menu, world-class sommeliers will pair the perfect wine with every dish from Celebrity Cruises’ ‘most awarded’ wine collection at sea.
Also complementing chef Boulud’s world-class menu is the restaurant’s ambience, which is also the result of Jouin Manku’s creative talents. Intimate seating cocoons are surrounded by luminous portals highlighting the themes of journey and travel, while graphically lit ‘glass flutes’ provide layers of light and texture to create an enchanting experience. Providing a sense of occasion and flow, the Le Voyage experience begins with a dedicated entrance and concludes with a customised sweet prepared in Daniel’s own farewell boutique as guests are wished ‘au revoir.’
Rethinking wellness at sea
Luxury didn’t stop at the architectural design and culinary experience, but extended into how Celebrity Cruises thought of wellness on Celebrity Beyond. New to the ship are AquaClass SkySuites, an immersive living experience that helps guests find their centre. From floor-to-ceiling ocean views, private verandas, luxurious bedding and other wellness amenities, Celebrity Beyond has thought of everything to nourish its guests’ mind, body, and spirit on holiday.
Celebrity Beyond also sets sail with a new partnership with actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, serving as the line’s new well-being advisor. All Aqua Class guests across the entire Celebrity Cruises fleet (excluding Galapagos sailings) will be treated to onboard wellness offerings, including fitness kits from Paltrow’s modern lifestyle brand goop, aimed at enhancing self-care and collective well-being. Paltrow and her team at goop will also curate onboard wellness programming and participate in the line’s new Women in Wellness initiative.
Celebrity Beyond’s maiden voyage departs from Southampton on 27th April 2022. For more information on all of Celebrity Beyond’s inaugural 2022-2023 sailings, visit celebritycruises.co.uk/onboard/our-ships/celebrity-beyond/.
Like her industry-changing sister ships, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, the former of which was named one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places following her 2018 debut season, Celebrity Beyond will connect guests to the breath-taking world around them like never before. Celebrity Cruises’ onboard and onshore experiences stand it apart as a new luxury travel brand without comparison. For more information on all Celebrity Cruises’ offerings and to book the holiday of a lifetime, visit celebritycruises.co.uk.
Imagery courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.