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This September, the family-run Louis Cruises will dedicate two of its five vessels — the 1,200-passenger Louis Cristal and the 1,575-passenger Louis Olympia — to the new Celestyal Cruises brand. Two of Louis’ other ships are under charter to Thomson Cruises. The company’s fifth ship, Louis Aura, will continue to operate in France and Cyprus under the Louis Cruises brand.
Travel agents have expressed interest in what enhancements will characterize the new brand, as Louis has been known for its short, destination-intensive cruises and older ships. Although details will not be announced until September, there are hints that Celestyal will underline an authentic experience with the culture, history and cuisine of the destination.
As a Greek company, the Louis brand stresses the “Kalimera” (good) experience, providing guests with opportunities for real encounters with local life and culture. This year, the brand offered itineraries to nine new and lesser-known Aegean destinations: Chios, Ios, Kos, Milos, Samos, Symi and Syros in Greece, plus the Turkish Riviera ports of Bodrum and Cesme, Turkey.
Louis’ Kalimera experience promises a commitment to quality Greek food and wine and themed programs that take passengers deeper into the archaeology, gastronomy, history and music of Greece. In 2015, the concept will be expanded to new ports of call in the Ionian and Adriatic seas and along the Dalmatian coast.
“By launching Celestyal, we are expanding the Louis Cruises portfolio, thereby reflecting the divine, real Greek experience that one enjoys when sailing with us,” said Kyriakos Anastassiadis, CEO of Louis Cruises. “We’ve also chosen this name to honor our ancestors, the Ancient Greeks, who were among the first peoples to use celestial navigation.”