It may have been launched with the lamest of puns, but Celebrity’s new Edge series vessel Beyond really is something special, if the plans, and renderings revealed yesterday are anything to go by.
The big-ship line has already staked a claim to being “luxury” and “all inclusive” this year, with the classy Edge series marking it out as different. Now, it has a vessel that really takes the case up to well-known luxury carriers.
Beyond is bigger and taller than her two Edge series sisters. But the level of design detail, stepped decks and gorgeous interiors, restaurants and bars are truly…well… beyond.
Add the trade-mark Magic Carpet – a deck that literally moves up and down the side of the ship and transforms from day-time outdoors venue to sophisticated night-time eatery and bar – Chef Daniel Boulud’s first restaurant at sea, some delightful design elements and movie star and Goop CEO Gwyneth Paltrow as “wellbeing adviser”, and Celebrity has a strong package designed to chip away at the high-end luxury market.
Few big ship lines can match this offering, including those with ships-within-ships like MSC’s Yacht Class and Norwegian’s Enclave.
And Celebrity appears remarkable value.
Asked by Cruise Passenger whether prices would reflect the more luxurious offering, President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo suggested they would. But a check of the Celebrity website shows the Beyond’s 2022 itineraries in Europe are running at around $245 a day, about average for the line’s other vessels – and certainly a long way from ultra-luxe lines like Silversea, which can average $1,000 a day for Silver Spirit in the Med next year.
For the technically minded, Beyond carries 3,260 passengers and weighs in at 140,600 tonnes. Set to make its debut April 27, 2022 with a sailing from Southampton, England, the 1,073-foot-long vessel has 1,646 staterooms. The main deck is expanded by 40% in comparison to the Beyond’s sister ships in the Edge Series..
She packs in a lot of features, thanks to a team of modern “lifestyle designers”.
The Retreat, exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a new two-storey sundeck
Accommodation from modern two-storey villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas
An expanded Rooftop Garden and Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools
A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar redefining the ship’s aft
A first-ever Daniel Boulud fine-dining restaurant at sea
A boldly redesigned Grand Plaza spanning three decks, creating an airy and open indoor space
The return of the Magic Carpet, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.
“We have challenged the status quo with a vessel that goes beyond expectations, beyond imagination,” said Ms Lutoff-Perlo. “Celebrity Beyond shatters any and every preconceived notion of the cruising experience.”
Here’s how Celebrity Cruises tells it:
One of the most sought-after interior designers in the world, Kelly Hoppen CBE, has reimagined aspects of the design for The Retreat, the unrivalled and exclusive resort space for suite guests, including all new suites, and brought her globally renowned style to outdoor venues such as the Rooftop Garden and the main pool area on the Resort Deck.
The new, two-storey Retreat Sundeck will offer more unadulterated outdoor bliss and ways to rejuvenate in the fresh ocean air with secluded cabanas, chic new seating areas, additional water features and the exclusive Retreat Bar. The warm and inviting Retreat Lounge is a newly stylish space to unwind; while Hoppen’s new take on the adjacent private restaurant Luminae, now at the front of the ship, becomes a space where every corner provides a new experience with each visit, in keeping with the daily changing menu.
An array of contemporary suite accommodations featuring fresh colour palettes and design details by Hoppen await guests of The Retreat, including the redesigned two-storey Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, and Celebrity’s famous Iconic Suites, the largest in the fleet, offering better views than the captain’s quarters.
Nowhere is more rejuvenating than the open sea, and Celebrity Beyond ensures guests are able to take full advantage of both the luxurious design of the ship while soaking in the world around them.
Perhaps best known for designing the world-famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, lead architect Tom Wright of WKK has expanded the exterior spaces on Celebrity Beyond, transforming them into serene outward-facing sanctuaries leveraging endless ocean vistas and breath-taking panoramas of the extraordinary places the ship will visit. His design both lengthens the ship by 20 metres and raises the ship to 17 decks tall, allowing for the reimagination of The Retreat, the Resort Deck, and the Rooftop Garden – outdoor spaces increasingly important to today’s traveller.
The main open deck, 40 per cent larger than on previous Edge Series ships, features an enormous living Rooftop Garden designed by Hoppen and includes increased seating offering new private nooks and more spaces for movie watching, enjoying live music and outdoor dining at the expanded Rooftop Grill. A highlight of this area is Wright’s incorporation of two spectacular floating pools cantilevered six and a half feet over the side of the ship, taking guests beyond the water’s edge.
On the Resort Deck, guests will enjoy a stunning asymmetrical space with a 25-yard lap pool surrounded by a terraced pool deck and new sunken seating areas designed by Hoppen.
Wright also designed the signature Edge SeriesMagic Carpet, a tennis-court sized cantilevered platform that scales the side of the ship and transforms from open-air lounge or restaurant hovering above the ocean along higher decks to a tender platform for going ashore on lower decks. Featured on Celebrity Beyond, it debuted on Celebrity Edge in 2018 and is still considered one of the most unique design innovations ever for a cruise ship.
Celebrity Cruises’ Edge Series Design Ambassador Nate Berkus stepped into the role of designer himself, to imagine one of the most anticipated venues on Celebrity Beyond – the Sunset Bar. Inside this space that is nearly twice as large as previous iterations, Berkus has created a chic, Moroccan-inspired escape that is reminiscent of a modern-day Casablanca.
Guests will enter through a pergola-covered entrance to enjoy one of the hottest spots at sea. With more conversation niches and covered enclaves to allow guests to connect in a more intimate way, the Sunset Bar’s cascading terraces will combine to provide the perfect place to soak in spectacular views and create unforgettable memories.
The core of Celebrity Beyond’s vision of luxury is the Grand Plaza, a transformational place at the centre of the ship designed by Jouin Manku — the team responsible for designing the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower — and offering a different experience with every visit. Inspired by the piazzas of Italy that serve as life centres of towns where architecture and social connection become one, the Grand Plaza spans three decks at the heart of the ship, boldly declaring it is the place to see and be seen.
Larger than Grand Plazas on its sister Edge Series ships, the CelebrityBeyond Grand Plaza has an airier atmosphere with more room for intimate seating. The added space allowed designers to move the Martini Bar into the centre of the venue as a full, circular bar.
Hanging proudly above the new Martini Bar, the Grand Plaza’s iconic chandelier boasts a new, organic shape with hundreds of individual LED lights that cast an inviting glow at all hours—taking centre stage with talented bartenders at night during their exciting and theatrical Flash Flair Fusion performance.
Connected to the Grand Plaza is the top table of culinary excellence at sea, the new, intimate 50-seat restaurant by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Aptly named Le Voyage, travel is the inspiration for the globally inspired flavours within, designed to transport guests to the very places that inspire the Michelin-rated chef. Complementing the menu, world-class sommeliers will pair the perfect wine with every dish from Celebrity Cruises’ “most awarded” wine collection at sea.
Complementing Chef Boulud’s world-class menu is the restaurant’s ambiance, which is also the result of Jouin Manku’s creative talents. Intimate seating cocoons are surrounded by luminous portals highlighting the themes of journey and travel, while graphically lit “glass flutes” provide layers of light and texture to create an enchanting experience.
Providing a sense of occasion and flow, the Le Voyage experience begins with a dedicated entrance and concludes with a customised sweet prepared in Daniel’s own farewell boutique as guests are wished ‘au revoir.’
Luxury didn’t stop at the architectural design and culinary experience, but extended into how Celebrity Cruises thought of wellness on Celebrity Beyond. New to the ship are AquaClass SkySuites, an immersive living experience that helps guests find their centre. From floor-to-ceiling ocean views, private verandas, luxurious bedding and other wellness amenities, Celebrity Beyond has thought of everything to nourish its guests’ mind, body, and spirit on holiday.
Celebrity Beyond also sets sail with a new partnership with actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, serving as the line’s new Wellbeing Advisor. All AquaClass guests across the entire Celebrity Cruises fleet (excluding Galapagos sailings) will be treated to onboard wellness offerings, including fitness kits from Paltrow’s modern lifestyle brand goop, aimed at enhancing self-care and collective wellbeing. Paltrow and her team at goop will also curate onboard wellness programming and participate in the line’s new Women in Wellness initiative.
“At goop, our curiosity leads us to explore different approaches to wellbeing and sends us around the world, reporting on the best places to eat, drink, engage, and unwind. Near the nexus of these interests, we came across Celebrity’s mission to disrupt the traditional notion of being well-travelled. As Celebrity’s new wellbeing advisor, I’ll be working with my team at goop to bring onboard some of our favourite practices and tools for deepening wellbeing and joy,” she says.
Celebrity Beyond will depart on her maiden voyage on 27 April, 2022 from Southampton, England, on a 10-night Western Europe cruise visiting Bordeaux, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain.
She will then offer a variety of Mediterranean journeys including nine-night Italian Riviera and France itineraries and 10-night Greek Isles itineraries through early October, when she then heads to the Caribbean.Voyages are on sale as of 29 April, 2021 For more information on all of Celebrity Beyond’s inaugural 2022-2023 sailings, visit celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-beyond.