CELEBRITY ECLIPSE on her maiden departure from Le Havre. Photo and copyright Philippe Brebant 2010.

Icelandic ash plumes over the Atlantic deferred MaritimeMatters’ participation in the Southampton-based christening and inaugural sailing of Celebrity Cruises’ new Solstice Class vessel, the MV CELEBRITY ECLIPSE.  Hopefully, we will be able to provide a first-hand account of the ship and her myriad features when she comes to the U.S. later in the year.

In the meantime, the raves have been flooding in about the new Meyer Werft-built ship, which is essentially a clone of the magnificent 2008-built CELEBRITY SOLSTICE and her twin, the 2009-built CELEBRITY EQUINOX, albeit with a few new tweaks.   Shipping journalist/historian Peter Newall writes, “The CELEBRITY ECLIPSE was officially named at Southampton by her godmother, British yachtswoman Emma Pontin in recognition of her determination to beat breast cancer whilst continuing her sailing career.  In a spectacular naming ceremony in the Eclipse Theater, Emma Pontin cut a pink ribbon attached to a large blue champagne bottle that smashed into the forward funnel.”

French journalist Philippe Brebant, who contributed this image of the ship on her maiden departure from Le Havre added, “The amazing pink ribbon was over 400 meters long and Pontin was friendly to those attending.”

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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