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Apex debuts in Celebrity Cruises' homeland, Greece

Celebrity Apex, whose 'X' on the stack is the Greek letter chi for the founding Chandris family
Celebrity Apex, delivered in March, is at last carrying passengers as the ship set sail today from Piraeus on its maiden voyage.

Celebrity Cruises' return to the Aegean is all the more poignant given the line's Greek heritage. Founded in 1988 by the Chandris family — whose name is represented in the 'X' for the Greek letter chi on the ships' funnels — the company later became a part of the Royal Caribbean Group.

Greek officers fleetwide

Celebrity remains rooted in its heritage, with 70% of its marine officers across the fleet hailing from Greece including more than 40 captains and chief engineers, among them Celebrity Apex Capt. Dimitrios Kafetzis.

'After all this time, what a dream come true for everyone on board this exquisite ship in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions. Her sail-away today is a meaningful moment for our guests, our crew and our company. I think we are all having "pinch me" moments,' Celebrity President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said.

'A special place in our hearts'

'Returning to sailing in the Aegean, where it all began for us, and after such a long time, is also very special for me and for the Celebrity Apex crew,' she continued. 'Greece has always held a special place in our hearts, and, now, even more so, as we sail forward to experience all of its wonder, once again.'

Passengers on Celebrity Apex's Greek Islands and Cyprus itinerary will have the chance to visit Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini and Limassol.

Captain a native of Piraeus

'Today is a very proud day for me and one I will never forget,' Kafetzis said. 'Not only do I return to sea, but I do so in my home country and with an incredible crew. I was born and raised right here in Piraeus, less than a mile from our Athens homeport, and grew up dreaming of sailing this coastline at the helm of a ship. It is truly an honor to captain the newest Celebrity flagship and to welcome our first guests back on board.'

Vaccinated crew and at least 95% of passengers

Celebrity Apex sails with crew vaccinted for COVID-19 and at least 95% vaccinated passengers. While Greece allows travelers to freely explore its islands, a range of tours curated by Celebrity is available at every port, including Private Journeys and Small Group Discovery Tours for those preferring to visit the destinations with just family members or traveling companions.

Celebrity Apex is the sister of 2018's Celebrity Edge.