It is 1033 ft long (314 mtrs), 121 ft wide (near 37 mtrs) and there are 27 ft more of it below the water line. But Hobart can handle that with ease.
Celebrity Solstice is the lead ship of the Solstice-class of cruise ships operated by Celebrity Cruises. Built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, she was floated out on August 10, 2008, and christened by ocean scientist Professor Sharon L. Smith at a ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, on November 14, 2008.
The first post-Panamax vessel in the Celebrity fleet, she features innovative interior design and onboard amenities, including an ocean-going live grass lawn, a glassblowing studio, and a 12 deck-high atrium.
The Meyer Werft GmbH & Co. KG is one of the major German shipyards, headquartered in Papenburg at the river Ems. It is a very long way from the sea !
Founded in 1795 and starting with small wooden vessels, today Meyer Werft is one of world's leading builders of luxury passenger ships. Altogether about 700 ships of different types have been built at the yard. Its "Dockhalle 2" is the largest shipbuilding hall and the building with the fifth-largest usable space in the world.
Meyer Werft has been owned and managed by the Meyer family for seven generations. Since 1997, it has been part of the Meyer Neptun Group together with Neptun Werft in Rostock. In 2014 the company added the Turku shipyard in Finland to the group.
The shipyard is an anchor on the European Route of Industrial Heritage.
Five of the ten largest cruise ships in the world have been built at the shipyard in Papenburg
Meyer Werft gained international recognition through the construction of roll on/roll off ferries, passenger ferries, gasoline tankers, container ships, livestock ferries and most recently luxury cruise ships.
Launching is something of a regional affair. Here a 'sister' ship gets the treatment. The Celebrity Silhouette.
Meyer is one of the largest and most modern shipyards in the world with about 3300 employees, and home to the largest roofed dry docks in the world.
The first covered dock was inaugurated in 1987 and was 370 meters long, 101,5 meters wide and 60 meters high. In 1990/91 the dock was extended by an additional 100 meters. In 2004, a second covered dock was built, which is announced to be extended to a full length of 504 meters, a width of 125 meters and height of 75 meters in order to compete with Asian shipyards. Meyer Werft will as a result of this be able to build three cruise ships a year.
Due to its upstream location on the river Ems, the giant ships to be delivered have to make a 36 km voyage to the Dollart bay and which each time attracts thousands of spectators. Up until the completion of the Ems river barrier ("Emssperrwerk") in 2002, the journey was only possible at high tides.
This is akin to building such ships in New Norfolk and floating them down the Derwent River to the sea at Hobart. But they would not fit inder the Bowen and Tasman Bridges, would they !
Externally, Celebrity Solstice looks very different from previous Celebrity Cruises ships. Martin Francis of Francis Design was hired to design her exterior profile. In original exterior renderings, the hull was shown as all-white with powder blue funnels and blue glass upper decks.
In a more recent update, the light blue color had been changed to Celebrity's normal dark blue color and the hull was shown having a resemblance to the current fleet's livery, with the promenade deck painted dark blue.
Similarly, the large dark blue funnel with a white X that had been the trademark of Celebrity thus far has been replaced by two thin funnels, and it was planned to have the X logo of the company visible in the glass balcony railings on the ship's "hump" (The area of superstructure which extends outward farther than the rest of the balconies).
Throughout her fitting out, (The hoity toity get quite large cabins while the hoi poloi get cupboard sized ones, albeit comfie too), sea trials, and launch, it was noted that the glass X, unless seen from certain angles, was not visible. Shortly after, the X was refinished to be darker, but still can be hard to see. An afterthought during the sea trials saw the addition of a white X onto the forward funnel, thus bringing Solstice more closely related to her fleetmates.
OK, this is a big boat, but we have had and will have again this year, possibly the biggest cruise boat ever built - it cannot dock in Melbourne. Hahaha. I shall tell of that one when she arrives.
Calls for a bit of horn blowing.
Meanwhile I had better prepare for an influx of new customers. I think they might like the more intimate (Rustic? No.) restaurant we have.
PS. Some snaps later from my cave, as she left.
On its way
Passing the Old Knight's viewing point.
See you all again soon.