A traditional plaque and key ceremony was held to mark the maiden call of Celebrity Edge as she arrived at the Port of Southampton for her European showcase.
At over 300 metres long, Celebrity Edge can accommodate nearly 3,000 guests onboard. The latest addition to Celebrity Cruises’ fleet is a unique sight at the port thanks to her 90-tonne passenger platform hanging over the side of the ship. Dubbed the ‘Magic Carpet’ this doubles up as both an open-air lounge or a restaurant with stunning views of the sea when positioned along higher decks.
Alastair Welch, ABP Southampton Director extended a warm welcome to Celebrity Edge on her maiden call to the port and thanked Celebrity Cruises’ for choosing the Port of Southampton as the setting for her European showcase event. Harbour Master Captain Phil Buckley, Commercial Manager Rebekah Keeler and General Manager Craig Barbour were also present to welcome the ship on her maiden call.
The plaque and key ceremony is a tradition for all vessels on their maiden call to the port. It has its roots in the medieval history of Southampton, when visiting ships bringing business to the city were given the keys to the city walls. This is where the term ‘plaque and key’ originated from during the 1300s.
Alastair Welch, Port Director at ABP Southampton said: “We are delighted to welcome Celebrity Edge on her maiden call to Southampton. As Europe’s leading cruise turn-around port, it’s a real honour for Celebrity Cruises’ to choose us as the backdrop for their European showcase event.”
Southampton typically welcomes around 2 million cruise passengers each year. Each visit to the port generates around £2 million for the economy.