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Celestyal Cruises charters Gemini and extends Turkish homporting for 2016-2017

Celestyal Nefeli to join the fleet next February
Celestyal Cruises is extending its homeporting operation in Turkey for another two years and deploying a newly chartered ship from February 2016.

Celestyal Nefeli (ex Gemini), which can accommodate 1,074 cruisers, was originally built in 1992 by Union Naval de Levante SA in Valencia, Spain.

She will be delivered to Celestyal in February and refurbished prior to the commencement of the 2016 cruise season.

Of her 400 cabins (277 outside and 123 inside), 12 are executive suites and 31 are junior suites: most of the executive suites have private balconies, and the junior suites have extra storage space.

The cruise line’s Celestyal Odyssey started embarking guests from Turkish ports of Istanbul, Izmir and Kusadasi this year.

Celestyal Nefeli will replace Celestyal Odyssey, whose charter agreement will be concluded at the end of October. 420-cabin Celestyal Odyssey was originally the innovative Olympic Explorer and built for Royal Olympic Cruises.

The name, Nefeli, comes from Greek mythology – Nefeli was a goddess of hospitality and a nymph of the clouds.

Celestyal Nefeli is of a size perfect for docking in the smaller harbours throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, a key part of the cruise operator's strategy. Since 2014, Celestyal has added 15 new destinations which include Milos, Ios, Kos, Samos, Symi, Chios, Cesme and Syros.

In 2016, Celestyal will increase the number of themed events on its cruises, which focus on Greek culture, gastronomy, history and wine.

19,000gt Gemini's current status is under Denmark’s Clipper Group management and the ship is berthed at Scalloway Harbour on Shetland island being used as an accommodation unit. It operated as SuperStar Gemini from 1995-2008, then sailed for Happy Cruises before the Spanish operator's collapse and also provided dockside housing for the Summer Olympic Games in London.