Celebrity Equinox to do Caribbean cruises year-round

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Guests and travel partners had been asking for a year-round Celebrity presence in the Caribbean for years, said president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
Guests and travel partners had been asking for a year-round Celebrity presence in the Caribbean for years, said president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

Celebrity Cruises will sail the Equinox full-time in the Caribbean, starting in the spring of 2017. 

The move comes a full year before Celebrity is scheduled to take delivery of a new ship, the first 2,900-passenger Edge-class vessel due in 2018.

It means that Celebrity will have one fewer ship in Europe next summer.

The move in part reflects declining demand by North Americans for cruises in Europe, particularly the Mediterranean, where the Equinox is sailing this summer. Events such as the truck massacre in Nice and the failed coup attempt in Turkey have left some skeptical of the area’s safety.

Celebrity recently canceled all calls to Istanbul, replacing them with stops in Athens instead.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity’s president, emphasized that guests and travel partners had been asking for a year-round Celebrity presence in the Caribbean for years. Cruise lines say they have more continuity in sales when they are consistently sailing in a region.

Equinox will make 24 alternating eastern and western Caribbean sailings from Miami in 2017, along with seven one-off itineraries. 

Other cruise lines with year-round ships in the Caribbean are Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC and Princess.

Bookings made from July 19 through Aug. 31 for next summer qualify for four free amenities. Rates start at $1,399 per person for Veranda cabins, Celebrity said.

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