Celebrity Millennium

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Celebrity Millennium
Celebrity Millennium in Nha Trang, Vietnam, 2020
  • 2000–2007: Millennium
  • 2007–present: Celebrity Millennium
OwnerRoyal Caribbean Group
OperatorCelebrity Cruises
Port of registry
Yard numberR31[1]
Launched7 November 1999[1]
Sponsored byRobyn Roux[3]
Christened26 June 2000[3]
Acquired22 June 2000[2]
Maiden voyage1 July 2000[3]
In service2000–present
Statusin Service
General characteristics
Class and typeMillennium-class cruise ship
Tonnage90,963 GT
Length964.6 ft (294 m)
Beam105.6 ft (32 m)
Draught26 ft (8 m)
Decks11 (passenger accessible)
Installed power
Propulsion2 × 19 MW Rolls-Royce/Alstom Mermaid azimuth thrusters
Speed24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)
Capacity2,138 passengers

GTS Celebrity Millennium (formerly Millennium) is a cruise ship operated by Celebrity Cruises. She is the lead ship of her namesake class, whose ships are powered by gas turbines. Delivered in 2000, she is the oldest operating ship in Celebrity's fleet.


Planning and construction[edit]

In February 1998, Royal Caribbean signed a letter of intent with Chantiers de l'Atlantique to build two new ships, with an option for two more, that would make up a new class of ships, dubbed the Millennium class.[4] Designed to be an evolution from Celebrity's Century-class ships, these new ships were originally planned to measure 85,000 GT and have a guest capacity of approximately 1,900, and be delivered in June 2000 and January 2001, respectively.[4]

The ship was the first new-build vessel for Celebrity following the merger between it and Royal Caribbean, and also Celebrity's first new-build not built by German shipyard Meyer Werft.[1] She was launched on 7 November 1999 from the shipyard.[1] She set out for her first set of sea trials on 7 April 2000 and her second set on 21 April 2000.[1] She was initially scheduled to be delivered on 31 May 2000,[5] but her delivery was delayed to 22 June 2000.[2] She was christened in Southampton on 26 June 2000 by Robyn Roux, wife of French celebrity chef Michel Roux.[3] Her first port of registry was Monrovia, Liberia.[3]

Operational career[edit]

Following her christening, Millennium sailed her maiden voyage on 1 July 2000 from Amsterdam to Baltic ports.[3] Following an inaugural Europe season, she debuted in North America in New York in November 2000[6][7] before re-positioning in December to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to sail cruises in the Caribbean through the winter.[6] She sailed in the Mediterranean the following summer.[7] Since 2001, the ship has sailed extensively throughout Europe,[8] Australasia,[9] and the Caribbean.[10][11]

In May 2011, a female passenger in her sixties was declared missing when she failed to disembark at a port call in San Diego. Security cameras on the ship showed that she had jumped off the ship into the waters between Cabo San Lucas and San Diego.[12]

In December 2012, the ship debuted in Asia after arriving at her homeport of Singapore,[13] where the ship has been primarily deployed through the winter;[14][15] in the summer, she has primarily sailed in Alaska.[16]

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in February 2020, Celebrity cancelled all Asia cruises on Celebrity Millennium and re-deployed her to Los Angeles to sail complimentary cruises in March and April 2020 for first responders and military personnel.[17][18] However, all sailings were cancelled after the company halted operations on 13 March 2020.[19] The ship was berthed or anchored offshore near San Diego throughout much of the pandemic; after months of difficulty repatriating crew members, up to 480 crew members still remained on board the ship in May 2020.[20]

In summer 2021, Celebrity Millennium joined Celebrity Edge in becoming the second ship in its fleet to re-start North American Operations, offering few sailings out of St. Maarten prior to being repositioned to Seattle were in July 23 she became the 2nd ship worldwide to resume Alaska sailings.[21]

Design and specifications[edit]

Millennium's original hull livery featured a predominantly dark blue paint with yellow and white bands lining the vessel.[3] Upon delivery, she became the world's first cruise ship to use a turbo-electric COGES power plant.[22] The COGES plant consists of gas and steam turbines, with the latter being driven by steam generated using the heat from the exhaust of the gas turbines.[1] In this way, some of the otherwise lost energy is reclaimed and the specific fuel consumption of the plant is decreased.[1] Propulsion is provided by two "Mermaid" azimuth pod-propulsion units from Kamewa and Cegelec (now Alstom).[1]

The ship was also built featuring the Olympic Restaurant, a specialty restaurant that contained walnut wood panels that were used on RMS Olympic (sister ship to RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic) and removed and preserved when the ship was sold for scrap in 1935.[1][23]

In early 2019, the ship was refurbished during a 35-day dry dock in Singapore at the Sembcorp Marine shipyard in Sembawang.[24] Among the changes were 30 new passenger cabins.[24]

Recurring pod propulsion issues[edit]

Months following her delivery, Millennium encountered problems with the bearings of her pod-propulsion system, which resulted in cancelled sailings for an emergency dry dock in December 2000 for repairs in Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia.[25] In July 2007, the ship's propellers were damaged after striking a submerged rock during an electrical malfunction near Villefranche-sur-Mer, forcing the cancellation of numerous Mediterranean sailings.[8] The damage was expected to negatively impact the earnings of Royal Caribbean by approximately $0.14 per share.[8] In August 2013, the ship encountered problems with the electrical parts of the pods' motors that caused the cancellation of her remaining Alaskan sailings and forced an emergency dry dock for repairs in September 2013.[26][27] The problem reportedly cost Celebrity approximately $13 million in lost ticket revenue[28] and an estimated total of $31 million with all incurred expenses combined.[27]

Numerous repairs that proved unsuccessful led Royal Caribbean to file a lawsuit against Rolls-Royce and Alstom in August 2003 for $300 million to recover lost revenue and the costs associated with the pods.[29][27] Royal Caribbean later settled the lawsuit in January 2010.[30]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cudahy, Brian J. (2001). The Cruise Ship Phenomenon in North America. Centreville, Maryland: Cornell Maritime Press. pp. 150–228. ISBN 0-87033-529-4.
  2. ^ a b Luneau, Dominique (24 June 2000). "" Millennium " : les coulisses de l'exploit". Le Monde (in French).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Crossley, Harley (2009). From Ocean Liner to Cruise Ship: The Marine Art of Harley Crossley. Stroud, United Kingdom: Amberley Books. ISBN 9781445623450.
  4. ^ a b "Giant Royal Caribbean Ship Order". Cruise Industry News. 3 February 1998. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  5. ^ Guimard, Emmanuel (25 May 2000). "CONSTRUCTION NAVALEMillennium". L'Usine Nouvelle (in French).
  6. ^ a b Major, Brian (31 August 2000). "Celebrity to dry-dock new Millennium". Travel Weekly.
  7. ^ a b "Millennium marks series of firsts for Celebrity". Travel Weekly. 22 December 2000.
  8. ^ a b c "Damage to Celebrity Millennium forces cancellation of sailings". Travel Weekly. 9 July 2007.
  9. ^ Kalosh, Anne (13 December 2014). "Celebrity's 2016-17 itineraries now on sale Down Under". Seatrade Cruise News.
  10. ^ "Celebrity Announces 2011-2012 Winter Season". Cruise Industry News. 22 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Celebrity Cruises Celebrates Strong Caribbean Presence by Designing New Sweepstakes Highlighting Solstice-Class Ships". PR Newswire. 7 May 2010.
  12. ^ Spagat, Elliot (4 May 2011). "Cruise passenger jumps overboard near San Diego, cruise line says". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Celebrity Millennium Home-Ports at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore". The Maritime Executive. 13 December 2012.
  14. ^ Souza, Ben (12 December 2017). "Celebrity Cruises Announces Exciting New Cruises for 2019-2020". Cruise Fever.
  15. ^ Souza, Ben (6 November 2018). "Celebrity Cruises Will Visit 280 Ports and 77 Countries in 2020-21". Cruise Fever.
  16. ^ Souza, Ben (12 December 2018). "Celebrity Cruises Announces More New Sailings for 2020-2021". Cruise Fever.
  17. ^ Trejos, Nancy (20 February 2020). "Celebrity Millennium cruises to benefit military, first responders". Travel Weekly.
  18. ^ Saunders, Aaron (8 March 2020). "Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises Redeploy Ships for Humanitarian Efforts". Cruise Critic.
  19. ^ Premack, Rachel (28 March 2020). "Royal Caribbean is halting new cruises for the next 30 days in the US amid coronavirus threat". Business Insider.
  20. ^ Weisberg, Lori (20 May 2020). "Cruise ship crew members disembarking in San Diego to fly to Barbados". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020.
  21. ^ Byers, Jim (11 December 2019). "Celebrity Cruises Unveils 2021-22 Sailing Season". TravelPulse.
  22. ^ "Celebrity Millennium". Ship Technology. 8 February 2001.
  23. ^ Mazorra, Arturo Paniagua (12 March 2002). "Celebrity Millennium". Tutto Crociere: The Cyberspace Cruise Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  24. ^ a b Saltzman, Dori (12 February 2019). "Celebrity Millennium Returns to Service After Multimillion-Dollar Refurb". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique confrontés à des vibrations sur le " Millennium "". Les Echos (in French). 13 December 2000.
  26. ^ Bevan, Shaun (22 August 2013). "Engine problems halt Celebrity Cruises' Alaskan voyages". South Florida Business Journal.
  27. ^ a b c Stieghorst, Tom (30 August 2013). "Celebrity recounts decisions after Millennium breakdown". Travel Weekly.
  28. ^ "Celebrity Millennium mechanical issue cost about $13 million in ticket revenue". Cruise Market Watch. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Celebrity Files $300M Suit Against Rolls Royce, Alstom Power Conversion". MarineLink. 7 August 2003.
  30. ^ Jainchill, Johanna (11 January 2010). "Royal Caribbean and Rolls-Royce reach settlement". Travel Weekly.

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