New liner to be named in Hamburg

Celebrity Cruises has announced that the naming ceremony for its new ship Silhouette will be held in the booming German port of Hamburg.

The ceremony, which is scheduled for July 21, is the first time that one of Celebrity's 122,000 ton Solstice-class ships has been named outside of the United States or United Kingdom and reflects the European character of Silhouette.

As well as being made in Germany by the Meyer Werft shipyard, Celebrity Silhouette will sail its summer and autumn seasons from Europe, offering 12- and 13-night Holy Land sailing from Rome.

In a statement January 26, Royal Caribbean's Tom Fecke said that the selection of Hamburg was a "clear commitment to the German cruise market."

Celebrity Cruises' decision comes in the wake of a record 2010 for the Port of Hamburg, which saw 104 ships dock last year, up from 87 in 2009 and the first time ever that more than 100 ships have made a port call in a year.

That 18 percent growth in ships was somewhat dwarfed, however, by the surge in passenger numbers - which were up nearly 85 percent in a single year.

Port authorities attributed this to the growth in capacity of cruise ships, with the largest ship to dock at Hamburg, the Queen Mary 2, able to hold over 3,000 passengers, and the second largest, the Celebrity Eclipse, able to hold 2,852 passengers.

Celebrity Silhouette, which is the same class of ship as the Celebrity Eclipse, will be able to carry 2,886 guests.

http://www.celebritycruises.com

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