Forgoing the traditional Champagne, Celebrity Cruises launched its newest ship by smashing a custom-made 18-liter bottle of Badoit across the ship's Parabolic Ultra Bow.
Last night, at a powerful, emotional naming ceremony on board the Celebrity Edge—Celebrity Cruises' first new ship in more than half a decade and the first in an entirely new ship series in 13 years—CEO Richard Fain, President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Captain Costas Nestoroudis, and the ship's godmother, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, christened the Edge with a giant bottle of... water? Forgoing the traditional Champagne, Celebrity Cruises launched its newest ship by smashing a custom-made 18-liter bottle of Badoit across the ship's Parabolic Ultra Bow—a break from tradition that, perhaps, symbolizes a shift in how the Edge will innovate and evolve the cruise experience moving forward.
With 1,467 staterooms hosting more than 3,000 guests at a time, the Celebrity Edge features an outwardly-focused ship design that enhances the at-sea experience. This includes the addition of the 'Infinite Veranda,' stateroom balconies that blend seamlessly with living quarters—making rooms approximately 26 percent larger—and which feature an open-able motorized floor-to-ceiling window. On board, it's not just the hard product that's undergone a rethink and evolution. Lutoff-Perlo reaffirmed Celebrity Cruises' dedication to improving gender equality in the cruise industry and the workplace at large, announcing at the naming ceremony that the Celebrity Edge crew comprises 30 percent women—a number solidly 50 percent above the industry average. Partnering with Yousafzai's Malala Fund and naming her godmother of the ship goes hand-in-hand with the company's ongoing commitment to justice.
"I'm fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn't create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves," Yousafzai said. "But to continue making progress for girls' education, we need support from leaders in every sector. I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for their generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere."
The naming event was hosted by designer and ship ambassador Nate Berkus, and featured performances by Andra Day and the Saint Andrew's Pipe Band of Miami.
"Malala embodies our commitment to opening the world through education and gender equality," Lutoff-Perlo said. "Seeing her aboard our ship sends a powerful message to our crew who represent over 70 diverse nationalities, and our guests who we sail all over the world. The ceremony was both touching and symbolic of what Celebrity Cruises stands for. I am grateful to Malala, her family and Malala Fund for embracing today’s events and look forward to continuing our work together around the world."