She explained, ‘They have given so much to the Celebrity family over the years that we are like a second family.
‘Seeing their emotional reaction to this appointment and understanding what it means to share this pinnacle of their career together was something I didn’t expect and will never forget.’
The brothers will alternate their time on Celebrity Ascent in a three months' on-and-off rotation.
The fourth in Celebrity’s Edge series, the ship will make its debut in December. British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE, American designer Nate Berkus and Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud are among those whose creative skills will help shape the vessel.
Dimitrios Kafetzis has spent his entire maritime career, spanning more than three decades, with Celebrity Cruises where he started as an apprentice officer onboard Celebrity’s first vessel, Horizon, in 1990.
Born in Piraeus, he graduated from the Merchant Maritime Academy of Syros-Athens at the top of his class, and has held his master’s license since 2001.
The captain has sailed aboard every class of ship in Celebrity’s fleet, and also was part of the start up teams for Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Apex. He was the take out captain for the latter.
‘Today is a momentous day,’ he said. ‘I am proud that after a more than 30-year career working exclusively with Celebrity Cruises, I can play a part in their history by captaining this fourth in the series - yet, one of a kind - Edge Series ship.’
He went on to add that ‘Nearly 35 years after Celebrity Cruises was founded in Greece, they will have not one, but two Greek captains taking the helm of their newest vessel in 2023 and I am honoured for my brother and I to take this role, together…’
Tasos Kafetzis was inspired by watching his older brother making a career working on cruise ships, and likewise graduated from the Merchant Marine College before joining Celebrity in 1998. He has been with the brand for more than 20 years and was involved in the launch of Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Reflection. Most recently, he served as captain of Celebrity Edge, the first of Edge-class ship, which launched in 2018.
‘Receiving this distinction with my brother, and as part of the Celebrity Cruises family, is an incredible honour for me and an emotional one, too,’ he remarked. ‘Together, my brother and I share a love of the ocean… To share a special moment together like this is something I could have only dreamed of. I can’t wait to sail away on this incredible ship with our guests onboard and my brother in my heart.’
A monumental milestone
Lutoff-Perlo described the appointments as ‘a monumental milestone’ for Celebrity, taking its ‘innovative outward-facing design further than ever.’
She added: ‘I am so proud to leave her in the hands of these expert mariners.'