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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Celebrity Drops Australia and New Zealand and Adds Charleston and Baltimore

Celebrity Cruises is making some big changes for 2009 by moving two ships closer to home. The line says it is discontinuing its Australia and New Zealand cruise program, effective in 2009.

The line says the Celebrity Millennium will stay in the Caribbean for the winter of 2009 and sail out of San Juan, Puerto Rico instead of heading to Australia and New Zealand. The Celebrity Mercury, in turn, will head to Baltimore and Charleston, S.C., instead of San Juan.

"Australia and New Zealand are charming and beautiful destinations, and we’re confident we’ll return again as our brand and fleet grows," Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan said in a statement. But "our travel agent partners and guests have repeatedly said they want more options to sail with Celebrity from the Eastern seaboard."

The 2,038-passenger Celebrity Millennium will begin taking over the 1,898-passenger Mercury's itineraries as both ships are winding down their summer 2009 season in Alaska.

The Millennium will sail a 12-night wine-themed cruise departing from Vancouver on Sept. 28, 2009, followed by a 16-night Panama Canal cruise on Oct. 10, 2009, from San Diego to San Juan. The Millennium then will offer 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean cruises round trip from San Juan starting on Oct. 26, 2009.

Passengers with reservations on Celebrity Mercury sailings that are being taken over by the Millennium will be switched the new ship at the same rate.

As for the Celebrity Mercury, it now will sail a 17-night Panama Canal cruise from San Diego to Baltimore on Oct, 23, 2009. It will then remain in Baltimore through February 2010, offering 12-night Eastern Caribbean cruises that call in St. Thomas; St. Kitts; Antigua; St. Maarten and Tortola. The ship also will sail four 9-night cruises that stop in Charleston; Key West, Fla., and Cococay and Nassau, Bahamas.

The Mercury will head to Charleston from February to April 2010, offering 10- and 11-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages. Port calls in the Eastern Caribbean itinerary are St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Tortola; on the Western Caribbean itinerary, Key West; Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico, and Nassau.

For more information on Celebrity's changes, visit us at www.CruiseCafe.com or call 1-800-788-2545.

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