Good Afternoon, evening, morning (whatever time zone you’re in) cruisers and welcome to my new series of blogs about the history of the industries much loved cruises lines.
Today’s brief history is.. Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity cruises as we know them today can trace their origin back to 1966 when the Chandris brothers started offering relocation voyages from Greece to Australia. Their first ship the patris (built in Belfast in 1950 as the Bloemfontain Castle) started the lucrative Athens to Australia route.
In the mid 1970’s the Jet age had taken its effect on the line and a drastic restructure and a new identity was needed to re-energise the line. The booming cruise industry proved to be the saviour of Chandris.
Fast forward to 1988 and we start to see the line we know today. In 1988 the Chandris brothers noticed a boom in the Caribbean / Bahaman cruises and were keen to cash in on the boom.
They set up a subsidiary brand to cash in on the market and Celebrity Cruises was born.
Keeping the White X logo the first voyage for the new Celebrity cruises operated in 1988 onboard the “Galileo” – and business was good (very good) so good in fact that they ordered brand new ships. In the early 1990’s Celebrity was more profitable than Chandris. In 1996 the decision was made to close Chandris. With Celebrity continuing and prospering – business was good on board the current fleet Meridian, Horizon & Zenith and they had three brand new ships on order Century, Galaxy and Mercury
1997 the success of Celebrity cruises peaked the interests of the rival cruise lines and bids were coming in to take over operations, the rest as they say is history!
The letter X in the Greek alphabet is pronounced “chi” – Chadris adopted this as their logo and its still carried by the celebrity ships today.
Hope you found that interesting and you now have some interesting conversation starters for the next time you cruise with Celebrity.
Tarar for now and happy sailing.
- The Cap’n
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