Malala Yousafzi christens Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades

Malala Yousafzi christens Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades
Richard Fain with Malala Yousafzai, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Celebrity Edge's captain Costas Nestoroudis (Image: Celebrity Cruises)

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai christened Celebrity Cruises’ new Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 4 December.

Yousafzai blessed the ship and her future sailors in front of more than 3,000 guests, employees, crew members and students in a ceremony hosted by designer Nate Berkus. Highlights of the event included two performances from Grammy-nominated recording artist Andra Day, as well as a custom-made, 18-litre bottle of Badoit French mineral water smashing across Celebrity Edge’s Parabolic Ultra Bow.

“We are honoured that Malala agreed to be the godmother of this ship, a role that reflects centuries of maritime traditions,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Celebrity’s parent company. “We are especially proud because Malala’s example of relentless persistence and achievement is an inspiration to our crew, who have all worked so hard and made real sacrifices to build better lives for themselves and their families.”

Now a student at Oxford University in the UK, Yousafzai was also interviewed by Celebrity Cruises’ president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. The two discussed the Malala Fund, which aims to provide girls around the world with an education and empower them to become leaders.

“Malala embodies our commitment to opening the world through education and gender equality,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “Seeing her aboard our ship sends a powerful message to our crew who represent over 70 diverse nationalities, and our guests who we sail all over the world. The ceremony today was both touching and symbolic of what Celebrity Cruises stands for. I am grateful to Malala, her family and Malala Fund for embracing today’s events and look forward to continuing our work together around the world.”

Celebrity Cruises also reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Malala Fund.

“I’m fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn’t create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves,” said Yousafzai. “But to continue making progress for girls' education, we need support from leaders in every sector. I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for its generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere.”

Celebrity Edge will depart Port Everglades for her maiden voyage on 9 December, before sailing an inaugural season of alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. The vessel will then reposition to the Mediterranean and offer various seven- to 11-night sailings from cities like Barcelona, Spain and Rome, Italy.

Three other Edge Class ships will soon join the fleet – Celebrity Apex in 2020 and two additional sister ships in 2021 and 2022.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Wednesday, December 5, 2018