Celebrity Mercury docked at Canada Place, Vancouver.
Photo © Aaron Saunders

Yesterday, Celebrity Cruises confirmed what many had suspected for the past half-year: the 1997-built Celebrity Mercury will depart the fleet in February, 2011 and will join TUI Cruises as Mein Schiff 2, catering to the German-speaking cruise market.

 The line stated in a press release that the vessel’s last sailing for Celebrity would take place on February 14, 2011, and that guests who had booked later dates may either cancel without penalty, or rebook one of Celebrity Mercury’s fall and winter 2010 departures from Baltimore.  For this inconvenience, guests will receive an onboard credit of $75 per stateroom for insides and outsides, and $100 per stateroom for veranda or Concierge Class, and $200 per stateroom for suites.

TUI, which is owned by Celebrity’s parent company, Royal Caribbean International, says it plans to refurbish Mercury in the same fashion it did when it acquired Galaxy in 2009: adding additional balcony staterooms, refurbishing public areas, and expanding the spa, fitness center, and teen areas, along with a host of design changes designed to appeal and cater to the German cruise market.

While many will be sad to see this venerable ship leave the Celebrity fleet, her transfer makes absolute sense: both Mercury and Galaxy were near-identical sister ships, except for their interior design, while at Celebrity Cruises, and it only makes sense for TUI to have two such sisters sailing for them, and allowing them to build their brand and grow exponentially.

Now, only one ship in the trio of Century-class ships remains with Celebrity: Celebrity Century.  Shorter than her sisters, and carrying less passengers, Century was heavily refitted in 2006 – a multi-million dollar refurbishment that is still regarded as one of the most successful in the industry.  Don’t expect to see her transferred anytime soon.

We hope to be able to bring you a photo-tour of Celebrity Mercury before she leaves the fleet.  For more information on her remaining sailings, be sure to visit Celebrity’s website, and book your cruise on one of the line’s most trendsetting ships.


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