This August, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (parent company of the Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cruise lines) announced its intentions to purchase Madrid-based Pullmantur, a cruise and tour operator. Spain and Portugal have recently given their antitrust approvals, effectively giving the green light on a mid-November purchase date.
Does this news affect American cruisers? It does if you’re a Celebrity fan. Pullmantur’s Blue Dream will enter the Celebrity fleet in April 2007, after getting some upgrades in dry dock and changing its name to the Celebrity Journey. The 718-passenger ship will join the Celebrity Xpedition as part of the line’s small-ship Celebrity Expeditions sector. It will sail Bermuda cruises out of Bayonne.
In exchange, the Zenith will become part of Pullmantur’s fleet. The ship will sail its last Celebrity-flagged cruise on April 13, 2007, and join the Spanish line in June. The Zenith will carry mostly Spanish passengers on seven-night Mediterranean cruises.
If you already have reservations on the Zenith for Bermuda cruises in 2007, a Celebrity representative will be contacting you about transferring your reservation to the Celebrity Journey. Guests booked on these cruises can call 888-281-9343 to ask further questions about the ship swap. Celebrity will begin accepting new bookings on the Journey within the next few days.