Celestyal Cruises

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Celestyal Cruises
IndustryCruise line
HeadquartersNicosia, Cyprus
Area served
Eastern Mediterranean
ServicesCruise ship operator and chartering
ParentLouis PLC

Celestyal Cruises (formerly Louis Cruises and Louis Cruise Lines) is a Cyprus-based cruise line and the only cruise company based in Greece.[1] It is a subsidiary of Louis plc, founded in 1935 as the first travel agency in Cyprus. There are four ships under Celestyal's operation.[2][3] Celestyal runs an Eastern Mediterranean program traveling to Greek and Turkish ports as well as a Cuba program.[citation needed] 2017 was Celestyal's fifth year in Cuba.[4] The company has historically chartered several ships to Marella Cruises, previously Thomson Cruises.[5][6][7]


In September 2014, Celestyal Cruises was established.[8][9] It is a subsidiary of Louis plc, founded in 1935 as the first travel agency in Cyprus.

Celestyal renovated some of its fleet in 2015. 43 new balconies were added to the Crystal, and 227 outside cabins, 21 junior suites, and nine suites were refurbished on the Olympia.[10][11][12] The Crystal is used for cruises in Cuba and Greece,[13][14][15] and Olympia travels in Greece.[16][17]

At the 2015 Greek Tourism Awards, Celestyal received four awards, one of which was the Gold Award for Themed Events. It also received two Silver Awards and one Bronze Award. The following year, it won the Cruise Line Revelation Award at the Excellence Awards in Cartagena, Spain.[18] Celestyal received the Best Value Cruise Line of 2016 at Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Awards,[19] as well as four Greek Tourism Awards in 2016.[20]

In May 2017, Celestyal launched its redesigned website which was designed to include cruise information as well as company news and details for its value program, Celestyal Inclusive Experience.[21][22][23]

In September 2017, Celestyal announced a partnership with Hays Travel to expand its customer base across the UK, making its cruises available through Hays Tour Operating Limited.[24] Celestyal has also partnered with Air Canada Vacations, Transat, Hola Sun Holidays, Apple Vacations,[25] Iglu and Planet Cruise.[26]

In December 2017, Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Awards recognized Celestyal with Best for Service.[27][28] The Marella Spirit also received three Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Awards.[29] Also in 2017, Celestyal received five top Critic Cruiser's Choice Awards,[30] as well as five awards at the Greek Tourism Awards.[31]

In late 2017, Celestyal announced that it would be extending its cruise season in Greece to 10 months. The extension included seven-night Aegean cruises with overnight destinations in Mykonos and Santorini.[32][33] The following month, Celestyal announced its 2019 Greek islands itineraries leaving from Piraeus, which had longer stays with more destinations included Mykonos, Samos or Kusadasi, Patmos, Heraklion (Crete), Rhodes and Santorini.[34][33][35][36] The M/V Majesty was added to the Celestyal fleet in Greece for Aegean cruises in 2018,[37][38][39][40] when its charter to Marella Cruises, previously Thomson Cruises, ended.[3] In July 2018, it was announced that M/V Majesty was sold to the Israeli company Mano Maritime.[41]

Celestyal was featured in the final episode of the second season of Jane McDonald's Channel 5 show, Cruising with Jane McDonald in 2017.[42] McDonald went on a Cuban cruise that stopped in Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and Montego Bay, Jamaica with an overnight in Havana.[43][44]

Celestyal Cruises due to the COVID-19 pandemic has suspended all cruises since 13th of March 2020. [45]

A decision issued from the company was to extend the suspension further until 6th of March 2021 due to a ongoing uncertainty on travelling to Europe this summer. [46]


Current Ships[edit]

Ship Built Builder Entered service
with Celestyal Cruises
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Celestyal Crystal 1980 Wärtsilä Turku New Shipyard 2007 25,611 tons  Malta Operates cruises to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and the Caribbean. Celestyal Crystal fondeado en Santorini - panoramio.jpg
Celestyal Olympia 1982 Wärtsilä Hietalahti shipyard 2005, 2012 37,584 tons  Malta Currently operating on 3/4-day cruises from Greece. Kuşadası (3) (cropped).JPG
Celestyal Experience 1993 Fincantieri 2020 56,769 tons  Cyprus Ex-Costa neoRomantica. The ship was bought from Costa Cruises, joined in the end of August 2020.[47] Costa neoRomantica 2012 Hamburg 06.jpg

Former Fleet[edit]

Ship Built Builder In service
with Celestyal Cruises
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Majesty 1992 Wärtsilä Marine/Kvaerner Masa-Yards 2008–2018 40,876 tons  Malta Now named MS Crown Iris for Mano Maritime. Louis Majesty Rhodes.jpg
Celestyal Odyssey 2000 Blohm + Voss 2015–2016 24,318 tons  Malta Now named MV Glory Sea for Diamond Cruises. Explorer IMG 9891 (14351764521).jpg
Celestyal Nefeli 1992 Union Navale de Levante 2016–2017 19,093 tons  Malta Now named Gemini for Blue World Voyages. Gemini 2011 (cropped).jpg
Marella Spirit 1983 Chantiers de l'Atlantique 2002–2003 33,930 tons  Malta It was chartered to Marella Cruises until 2018; previously Thomson Spirit, Patriot, Spirit, and Nieuw Amsterdam. Sold for scrap at Alang under the name Mare S in 2018 ThomsonSpirit.jpg
Princesa Marissa 1966 Hietalahti shipyard 1987–2008 10,487 tons  Cyprus Previously named Prisessan and Finnhansa. Scrapped at Alang under the name Prince in 2008. MS Princesa Marissa on 2004-05-27.jpg
Princesa Amorosa 1956 Harland & Wolff 1994–2002 ? tons  Cyprus Previously named Scottish Coast, Galaxias and pink. Scrapped at Alang under the name Rosa in 2002.
Louis Aura 1968 AG Weser 2006–2017 15,781 tons  Malta Previously named Starward, Bolero, Orient Queen and Aegean Queen. Scrapped at Alang under the name Aegean in 2018. Louis Aura in Tallinn Bay 13 June 2015.JPG
Sea Diamond 1986 Vuosaari shipyard 2006–2007 21,484 tons  Greece Previously named Birka Princess. Sank near Santorini on 2007. Sea Diamond and Sky Wonder (Sea Diamond).jpg
Sapphire 1965 Cantieri Navale Felszegi 1996–2012 12,263 tons  Malta Previously named Italia for Costa Crociere sold for scrap at Alang under the name Aspire in 2012. Sapphire in Malaga, Spain.jpg
Princessa Victoria 1936 Harland & Wolff 1994-2004 15,007 tons  Cyprus Previously named Dunnottar Castle, sold for scrap at Alang under the name Victoria in 2004. MV The Victoria alongside Fort de France Nov 06 1985.jpg
Princessa Cypria 1965 Cantieri Navali del Torrino e Riuniti S.P.A. Riva Trigoso Genova 1988-2005 ? tons  Cyprus Previously named Princess Marghethe, sold for scrap at Alang under the name Princes in 2005. "Poseidonia" - Eleusis, 2004.jpg
The Emerald 1957 Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock 1996–2012 26,431 tons  Greece Previously named Santa Rosa. Sold for scrap at Alang in 2012. Emerald barbados (4332282732) (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Ausonia 1956 Cantieri Riuniti dell' Adriatico 1998–2006 11,879 tons  Greece Previously named Ausonia. Sold for scrap at Alang under the name Winner 5 in 2006. "Ausonia" - Genoa, 1989.jpg
Serenade 1956 Chantiers de l'Atlantique 1999–2008 14,173 tons  Bahamas Previously named Jean Mermoz. Sold for scrap at Alang under the name Serena in 2008. Patmos2005 (cropped).jpg
The Calypso 1967 Fincantieri 2000–2013 11,162 tons  Greece Previously named Canguro Verde. Sold for scrap at Alang under the name Caly in 2013. The Calypso cruise ship at Rhodes, Greece 2008.jpeg
Perla/The Aegean Queen 1971 Cantiere navale di Riva Trigoso 2004–2008 16,710 tons  Greece Previously named MS Southward. Sold for scrap at Aliağa, Turkey in 2013. "Southward" - Miami, 1986 (cropped).JPG
Coral 1971 De Rotterdamsche Droogdok, Rotterdam, Netherlands 2004–2013 14,194 tons  Greece Previously named Cunard Adventurer. Sold for scrap at Alang under the name Cora in 2014. GOLDEN HORN ISTANBUL TURKEY JULY 2011 (6017563126).jpg
Aquamarine 1970 Hietalahti shipyard 2005–2010 18,346 tons  Greece Previously named Nordic Prince. Sold for scrap at Alang, India in 2015. MV Aquamarine off Patmos (cropped).jpg
Ruby 1974 Navali Mechaniche Affini, La Spezia, Italy 2007–2007 17,593 tons  Cyprus Previously named Cunard Countess, after named Ocean Countess. Sold for scrap at Aliağa, Turkey in 2014. Ocean Countess 2009 Quail Cruises.JPG


  1. ^ "Celestyal Cruises' 2017 sailings offer a "different way to see Cuba"". Travel Week. 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Celestyal Cruises partners with Hays Travel". Cruise Trade News. 12 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Celestyal Expands Aegean Program, Cuba Goes Seasonal". Cruise Industry News. 24 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Celestyal Cruises Reports Cuba Is Running Smoothly". Caribbean News Digital. 10 July 2017.
  5. ^ Bond, Mary (6 July 2017). "Thomson Spirit to stay for another year 'due to popular demand'". Seatrade.
  6. ^ Shawn Dake (6 March 2012). "Louis And Thomson Swap Majesty For Destiny". Maritime Matters.
  7. ^ Soo Kim (10 October 2017). "Thomson Cruises rebrands as 'Marella' and announces string of new sailings to Asia". Telegraph.
  8. ^ "Louis Cruises launches a new brand: Celestyal Cruises". Travel Daily News. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Σε Ευρώπη και Κίνα στοχεύει η Celestyal Cruises" (in Greek). Insider.gr. 15 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Greek Island Hopping With Celestyal Cruises – A Great Way To See Ports Large And Small". Trip 101. 12 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Celestyal Cruises Fleet Undergoes Refurbishment". Ships Monthly. 2 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Cruise ship tours: Celestyal Cruises' Celestyal Crystal". USA Today.
  13. ^ Major, Brian (1 October 2017). "A Cuba Cruise Apart". TravelPulse.
  14. ^ Linda Garrison (29 August 2017). "Cuba Cruise on the Celestyal Crystal". Trip Savvy.
  15. ^ "Celestyal Announces 2018 'Idylic Aegean' Cruise Itinerary". GTP. 27 October 2017.
  16. ^ Adam Leposa (24 July 2017). "Aftershocks Hit Kos, Greece; No Cruise Changes Yet". Travel Agent Central.
  17. ^ Tatiana Rokou (9 June 2017). "Celestyal Cruises' Greek Summer Festival begins June 2017". Travel Daily News.
  18. ^ Deborah Stone (4 March 2016). "Celestyal Cruises offers 800 activities and events in its real Greece itineraries". Express. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Celestyal Named 'Best Value Cruise Line of 2016' by Cruise Critic". GTP. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Celestyal Cruises Announces New Season in the Aegean and New Destinations". The Cruise Editor. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  21. ^ James Shillinglaw (30 May 2017). "Insider Cruise Report: Silversea Group Sales, Celestyal's New Website, Carnival's Studios, MSC Cirque Shows, Holland America to Mexico". Insider Travel Report. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  22. ^ "New Celestyal website enhances content, eases bookings". Seatrade Cruise News. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  23. ^ Tom Stieghorst (29 May 2017). "Celestyal Cruises upgrades site". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  24. ^ Phil Davies (12 September 2017). "Hays Travel unveils exclusive Celestyal Cruises partnership". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  25. ^ Gay Nagle Myers (23 January 2017). "Apple Vacations to offer Cuba cruises on Celestyal ship". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  26. ^ Harry Kemble (8 November 2017). "Celestyal Cruises aims for 10,000 more UK passengers in next two years". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  27. ^ "Top Cruise Ships of 2017 Named by Cruise Critic". Markets Insider. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Celestyal Cruises" (in Greek). In.gr. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  29. ^ "2017 Cruisers' Choice Awards". Cruse Critic. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Celestyal Cruises receives top 2017 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards". Ships Ahoy. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Celestyal Cruises Wins Big at the Tourism Awards 2017". GTP. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Celestyal Cruises to Extend 2018 Season with New Ports of Call, Adding Overnights". Cruise Critic. 25 October 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Celestyal Cruises verlängert Ägäis-Saison" (in German). Touristik Aktuell. 19 December 2017.
  34. ^ "Celestyal Cruises announces 2019 Greek islands itineraries". Seatrade Cruise News.
  35. ^ "Celestyal Cruises präsentiert die Ägäis-Saison 2019" (in German). Cruise 4 News.
  36. ^ "Celestyal Focuses on Greek Market, Aims to Offer Year Round Cruises". GTP. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  37. ^ "Le M/V Majesty rejoint la flotte de Celestyal Cruises en Grèce" (in French). Tour Magazine. 20 December 2017.
  38. ^ Vincent Groizeleau (22 December 2017). "Celestyal Cruises va exploiter le Majesty, au moins momentanément" (in French). Mer et Marine.
  39. ^ "Le M/V Majesty rejoint la flotte de Celestyal Cruises sur les croisières en Grèce" (in French). Le Quotidien du Tourisme. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  40. ^ "Celestyal Cruises 'En İyi Hizmet Ödülü'ne layık görüldü" (in German). Deniz Haber Ajansi. 15 December 2017.
  41. ^ "Louis: Πώληση πλοίου από θυγατρική" (in Greek). louisgroup.com. 26 July 2018. Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  42. ^ "Celestyal Cruises to Feature Again in "Cruising with Jane McDonald"". Cruise Critic. 25 October 2017.
  43. ^ "Jane McDonald Cruises Cuba with Celestyal Cruises". World of Cruising Magazine. 22 September 2017.
  44. ^ "Channel 5 Confirms Third Series of 'Cruising with Jane McDonald'". Cruise Critic. 4 October 2017.
  45. ^ "COVID19: Celestyal extends cruise suspension to June 29". FinancialMirror. 16 April 2020.
  46. ^ "Celestyal Cruises voluntarily extends suspension of cruise operations until 2021". Celestyal Cruises. 30 June 2020.
  47. ^ cruise, industrynews (16 July 2020). "Celestyal Purchases Costa neoRomantica".

External links[edit]