This Week in Cruise: Celebrity Orders Two New Ships; Virgin Forms Its Own Cruise Line

Celebrity's new ships will draw on the brand's experience with its Solstice and Millennium class vessels, such as the Celebrity Millennium (pictured here).

Celebrity Cruises has signed a letter of intent with French shipbuilder STX France for two ships in a new class of vessels, which will be developed under the name Project EDGE

The new Project EDGE ships will hold 2,900 guests and be 984 feet long, 123 feet wide and 190 feet high. The company expects delivery of the first ship in fall 2018, with the second vessel delivered in the early part of 2020. The order is contingent upon the completion of customary conditions, including financing.

The Virgin Group is making its way into the cruise industry after unveiling Virgin Cruises, which is operating with lead investment partner Bain Capital. Virgin Cruises will be headquartered in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area and plans to design and construct two new cruise ships. At this time, the company has not disclosed when it will start operating for competitive reasons.

Tom McAlpin will join Virgin Cruises as CEO and will head the management team. Tom was most recently president and CEO of The World, Residences at Sea, and also served as president of Disney Cruise Line, having joined as part of the founding management team.

Carnival Cruise Line has added new 10- and 14-day voyages to destinations in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Mexican Riviera for the line's 2015-2016 itineraries. Starting December 5, reservations can be made to depart from one of seven different U.S. homeports on both the East, and the West Coast.

Among the cruise ships to set sail on the 11 itineraries will be the Carnival Miracle, Carnival Dream, Carnival Glory and Carnival Sunshine, which will be stopping at over two dozen tropical locations including ports in Bonaire, Martinique, Dominica, Grenada and, making its Carnival debut, Tobago.

Additionally, those looking to extend their travels have the option of doing so by prolonging a 10- or 11-day cruise into a three-week Caribbean voyage.

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