For many northeastern residents, the idea of air travel to a vacation destination has lost some of its luster. The hassle and discomfort associated with airline flights today has turned off many travelers – but there’s a cruiser-friendly solution right in the NY metropolitan area. Celebrity Cruises is sailing from nearby Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda in the spring/summer and New England/Canada in the fall of 2016.
In August the Celebrity Summit launched a new era in naval history by welcoming aboard Captain Kate McCue, the first American female captain ever of a mega-ton cruise ship. In addition to Captain McCue at its helm, the ship is undergoing an $8 million dollar refresh prior to the Bermuda spring season.
Guests on board will cruise in additional luxury to the pink island paradise of Bermuda. Celebrity passengers will enjoy the Summit’s new Rooftop Terrace which is part of the ship’s modern luxury makeover. (The Celebrity Infinity is undergoing a similar make-over.)
Improvements to the Celebrity Summit will include upgraded features and amenities in the existing Suite Class and the addition of one of Celebrity’s signature venues, the popular Italian steakhouse restaurant, Tuscan Grille, which combines the traditional artisinal flair of Italy in a fresh, modern space.
Fun and educational programs with Celebrity’s Bermuda regional destination expert, Marine Scientist and Author Dr. Ellen Prager, will give guests the chance to discover the island’s natural wonders while the ship is docked at bustling Kings Wharf for three days and two nights in this world-famous, semi- tropical destination
The Celebrity Summit, under the expert guidance of Captain McCue will offer a brand new nine-night cruise that visits both New England and Bermuda, as well as special “Signature Event Sailing” to witness one of the world’s most coveted sailing races, where teams go head-to-head for a prestigious trophy.
Destination culture on board will include a Bermudian steel drum band and cuisine inspired by the local flavors of Bermuda and the Caribbean. Special shore excursions will be offered: a night on Bermuda’s award-winning Rising Sun II catamaran for a festive white party; a hike on the historic Railway Trail; and for health-conscious foodies – a tour of Wadson’s Farm, an organic farm that has been operating since 1976.
In addition to Bermuda itineraries, Celebrity is offering a colorful fall season in Canada and New England – and for the first time in the premium brand’s history, vacationers can discover New England and Bermuda on a new combined, nine-night sailing.
There will be an opportunity to experience a new Signature Event Sailing, which welcomes guests to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday overnight in Halifax and the USA’s Independence Day when overnighting in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Uniquely Celebrity” shore excursions will give guests access to an interactive tour through historic Halifax and the sights of Quebec City, Quebec – by way of a walking tour, ending with a cup of tea at the iconic Chateau Frontenac Hotel. Cruises sailing to Canada and New England are featured in Celebrity Summit’s 14-night vacations, which can include visits to Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and two nights in Quebec City – Celebrity’s first double overnight in the guest-favorite destination in the “Paris of North America” in 10 years. For complete details on all Bermuda and Canada/New England Celebrity Summit itineraries and dates, including special event sailings, visit www.celebritycruises.com
To add luster to a cruise on the Celebrity Summit, here’s a bit of history about its new skipper: 37-year old, San Francisco-native Kate McCue has commanded the 91,000-ton, 965-foot upscale ship since August. As Captain, she is responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the on board experience of its 2,158 guests and 952 crew members. Captain McCue has had 15 years of experience and leadership in the maritime industry. During her tenure, McCue has managed ship logistics while sailing worldwide itineraries, including Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and along the Panama Canal. Captain McCue has also served as a maritime leader while sailing several transatlantic and repositioning cruises, and played a notable role in the revitalization of ships in Singapore.
And continuing Celebrity Cruises’ dedication to advancing the role of women in leadership, Kate McCue’s appointment follows that of Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, who was named President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises in December 2014.
“From the first time I met Kate, I looked forward to this moment, when I could extend my congratulations to her for being such a dynamic and highly respected leader who will continue to pave the way for women in the maritime industry,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “…… I am both honored that Kate accepted this position, and proud of the way our team continues to transform the way people think about Celebrity, and about cruising in general.”
A graduate of California State University’s California Maritime Academy, Captain McCue has held a variety of roles in the maritime industry, beginning as a cadet and deck officer, and working up through a series of successively more responsible positions to her most recent role as Master Mariner with Royal Caribbean International. McCue has earned numerous certifications in a variety of areas pertaining to leadership navigation, ship management and security.
“Becoming the first female American captain of a cruise ship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember,” says McCue. “The honor is amplified by being the first at a company like Celebrity Cruises. The cruise industry is ever-evolving, from the ships and the itineraries, to our guests’ expectations for vacation experiences.” Captain McCue continued: “I look forward to working with an amazing team and the exceptional leadership who bring the Celebrity Cruises vision to life every day.”
You can welcome Captain McCue by booking a cruise on board the Celebrity Summit in 2016. It’ll be a great way to celebrate equality and the forward-thinking Celebrity Cruises philosophy of giving guests the best luxury vacation experience possible while on board any one of their 10 exquisite ships.
Don Church and Tony Schillaci, those Out and Travelin’ guys, suggest that for a great trip out of the NY Metro area, you’ll do well to “Sail the Celebrity ocean blue, with a Captain named McCue!”