In what may have been a world first, Celebrity Cruises has virtually delivered the new Celebrity Apex through video conferencing with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique officials.

Captain Dimitris Kafetzis ordered the exchange of the French and American flags online, while each country’s national anthem played in the background.

The first sailing of the Apex is still on schedule, with the departure to take place from Barclona on 20 May.

“While the circumstances are quite unique right now, it’s fitting that such an innovative ship as Celebrity Apex would have a digital-age delivery,” Celebrity President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said.

“The day is every bit as meaningful because I know the dedication and commitment from the shipyard team, the on-board crew and our Celebrity shoreside team that went into bringing this ship to life.”

“We had the honor of building the first Edge series ship, Celebrity Edge, and so many wonderful ships throughout our partnership over the years,” said Laurent Castaing, general manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

Celebrity Apex is exceptional, and we know she will be well-received and enjoyed for many years to come.”

The inaugural festivities that were due to be held in Southampton, were cancelled earlier due to public health and safety issues.