Celebrity Cruises Celebrates Major Construction Milestone For Next Ship

Celebrity Cruises celebrated the keel laying ceremony of its newest upcoming ship, Celebrity Xcel, today.

celebrity xcel keep laying france shipyard

Celebrity Cruises is celebrating a major construction milestone for its next Edge-class ship. Today at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France, a ceremony was held for the keel laying — one of the first milestones as a ship is built.

celebrity xcel keep laying france shipyard
(Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

At the ceremony, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group Jason Liberty, president of Celebrity Cruises Laura Hodges Bethge, and General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique Laurent Castaing lowered the first 739-ton steel block for the new ship in the dry dock. As part of the longstanding maritime tradition, executives from the cruise company and shipyard placed newly-minted coins on the first piece of steel to bestow good luck on the ship during both the construction process and future sailings.

celebrity xcel coin ceremony
(Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

“Today, we not only mark the start of construction, but we are laying the foundation on which countless memories will be created,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “Each new ship also represents an opportunity to advance our journey to net zero, and with Xcel, we are building our first methanol capable ship, which helps advance our transition to the energy platform of the future.”

Pushing the boundaries of leisure travel, Celebrity Xcel will advance Royal Caribbean Group’s decades-long commitment to sustaining the planet with the first tri-fuel capable engine. The new engine will provide unmatched fuel flexibility with the ability to use three types of fuel, including methanol — a first for the company. This type of engine represents an important stepping stone on Royal Caribbean Group’s journey to Destination Net Zero, its vision for net-zero emissions by 2050.

celebrity xcel keel laying ceremony france
(Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

Celebrity Xcel will make her debut in November 2025 in the Caribbean. Her inaugural season will be out of Fort Lauderdale, from where she will operate seven-night itineraries alternating between the Bahamas, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. The sailings are now open for booking.


Have you ever taken a cruise on one of Celebrity’s Edge-class ships? Are you looking forward to the debut of Celebrity Xcel? Drop us an anchor below and let us know!

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Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015, and in that time has taken a dozen cruises and counting. Her favorite onboard activities include trying the casual dining options, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Sarah Bretz, Contributor
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