Celebrity Cruises’ newest vessel, Celebrity Ascent, has been officially christened at a naming ceremony at its home port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The ceremony was led by the ship’s co-godmothers, Captain Sandy Yawn, star of Bravo TV's Below Deck, and her sister Michelle Dunham, founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism. The sisters were joined by brothers and co-captains, Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis and Captain Tasos Kafetzis. The Greek brothers will jointly take the helm of the new vessel in a first for the brand and the cruise industry.
“Celebrity Ascent has been designed to feed our guests’ travel wanderlust and provide unique experiences they will covet and love,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, president at Celebrity Cruises. “Captain Sandy and her sister Michelle, co-Godmothering Celebrity Ascent, add another, and more personal dimension, to this already extraordinary ship. Their connection, combined with the brotherly bond of the ship’s captains, exemplifies the sense of welcome and warm hospitality we strive for on every cruise.”
The ship kicked off its inaugural Caribbean season on 3 December 2023 as it departed on its maiden voyage, a seven-night ‘Eastern Caribbean’ itinerary which will call at St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the Dominican Republic.
Celebrity Ascent will sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries until April 2024, when it will reposition to the Mediterranean for sailings from Barcelona, Spain and Rome, Italy.
“With each new ship, our ambition is to debut the ultimate vacation experience and Celebrity Ascent achieves this by raising the bar for premium travel,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, owner of Celebrity Cruises. “Her elevated design and new onboard experiences set her apart from competitors and serve as a new benchmark for the travel industry.”