The Celebrity Apex - J. Urbach / 20 Minutes
- The construction of the huge ocean liner, started in 2018, is complete.
- Large cabins, eleven restaurants, “magic carpet” ... 20 Minutes was able to discover it before it left the construction sites.
There is still a lot of paint to finish. And under our feet, a plastic film covers the soft light gray carpet, just laid. Until the end of March, this is the final stretch for the workers of the Celebrity Apex in Saint-Nazaire. If the hull of the huge ocean liner, made up of 43 blocks to be assembled "like legos", is now complete, the cruise ship is being finished at the shipyards. A very important step since it is not the largest (306 m long anyway!) It is presented by its American shipowner, Celebrity Cruises, as one of the most "luxurious in the world" .
Even on site and in the rain, it is not that difficult to project yourself. From the outside, you can imagine having a drink on the "Magic carpet", this large orange platform installed on the side of the boat, which can be moved to different floors and serve as an extension to some of the eleven restaurants on board. An originality specific to this ocean liner, which presents itself as the floating “equivalent of a five star” and wants to seduce “premium, cosmopolitan customers, lovers of design and gastronomy”, says Emmanuel Joly, commercial director of the Royal Carribean group .
A suite at 40,000 euros per week
As soon as we are on board, we are in the atrium, where a huge chandelier made up of thousands of LEDs reacts to music. A little further on, there are several restaurants, under the leadership of French and Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud, very famous in New York. "There is also Le Petit chef where a light animation is projected on the table before the dish is served," smiles Nicolas Leblanc, of Celebrity Cruises. Here the attention is on all the details. All the furniture has been specially designed for the boat, by renowned designers. For example, we expect a curtain made by hand by a Chanel subsidiary. There is no shortage of superlatives to talk about the spa, shows or "tenders", these small boats "also very classy" which transport passengers to the dock, during certain stops.
Arriving in one of the two Iconic Suites, the most luxurious of cabins with two bathrooms and a huge dressing room, it becomes more difficult to imagine splashing around in the private jacuzzi offered by each balcony. Because spending a week in one of these suites, with privileged access to certain restaurants, private spaces, and butler, at a price: 40,000 euros per week! “Our 1,477 cabins are on average larger than what is done on a cruise, wants to temper Emmanuel Joly. And 80% of them have a balcony. »So count at least 1,200 euros per week (leaving out of season and booking in advance) to be part of the trip…
Three more ships
Like its twin brother delivered in 2018, the Celebrity Edge , the Apex (total cost: nearly one billion euros) will sail in the Mediterranean this summer and will join the Caribbean in winter. While the cruise has more than ever the wind in its sails, the yards are already working on the third ship in the series, the first sheet of which was symbolically cut out on Tuesday. "The" Celebrity Beyond "will be extended by 20 meters and will offer 180 more cabins," says Gildas Bonamy, project manager at Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The ocean liner will be delivered in the fall of 2021, before the next two scheduled for 2022 and 2024.
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- Saint Nazaire