Celebrity Cruises will now be offering Halal meals on-board all ships in its fleet, according to Lakshmi Durai, CEO of Travel Matrix, which represents Celebrity Cruises Middle East.
“In true recognition of the cultural needs of Middle Eastern guests, the luxury cruise line has made special efforts to introduce Halal meals in the main dining room. It can be pre-ordered for any sailings on all Celebrity cruise ships,” says Durai.
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Celebrity Cruises is not the first cruise line to offer Halal food on-board, Royal Caribbean International (owned by the same company as Celebrity) offers select Halal items on its lunch and dinner buffets, while Costa Cruises’ Costa Victoria has been Halal certified since October 2016.
However, Celebrity Cruises is the first cruise line to offer a broad selection of Halal dishes across its fleet and addresses one of the major concerns that hold more Muslim travellers back from booking cruise vacations.
The move to introduce Halal food for Muslim cruise passengers comes as Celebrity Cruises embarks on a major fleet expansion that aims to take into account the growing clout of Middle East cruisers as a source market.
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“The affluent Middle Eastern guests always look for premium holiday options and Celebrity Cruises serves to be the perfect fit for them,” says Natalya Bentas, Sales Manager International Representatives, Europe, Middle East & Africa for Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Cruises recently launched their new class of ship Celebrity Edge, whose dramatically expanded staterooms, ship-climbing Magic Carpet platform and stunning suites set a new standard for ship design.
Designed completely in 3-D and featuring the work of A-list global architects and designers, the 2,918-guest Celebrity Edge aims to make discerning global travellers redefine how they experience the world and how intimate a vacation can be.
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“We are pleased to see the increasing interest for Celebrity Cruises in this market and it is a pleasure to thank all our partners and especially Travel Matrix, our representative in the Middle East of Celebrity Cruises for their dedicated contribution to our success,” Natalya Bentas added.
Celebrity Edge will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, FL., making her first sailing on December 16, 2018. Bookings are now open for the ship’s two 7-night itineraries – Eastern and Western Caribbean. Celebrity Edge will be joined by three sister ships in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
It is understood that at least one of them will be deployed in the Mediterranean for the summer season, which is the favourite time of year and preferred destination of most Middle Eastern cruise passengers.