Celebrity Cruises Eclipse makes inaugural call to St. Maarten

POSTED: 11/24/10 10:19 PM

St. Maarten – It would take eleven male African elephants standing head to tail to match the width of the Celebrity Eclipse which is 121 feet wide (36.8 meters) and more than nine fully grown blue whales to match its length which is 1,033 feet (315 meters), twice the length of her name sake, the ‘Eclipse’ and sailing in a class of her own.

St. Maarten Deputy Prime Minister Theo Heyliger and Chairman of the St Maarten Harbor Group of Companies Mark Mingo were among the distinguished guests that boarded the Celebrity Eclipse yesterday – and what a visit that turned out to be.

The Celebrity Eclipse is the third of five in the Celebrity Cruises stylish, 3.7 billion Soltice Class fleet and has been making waves since she left the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

There was a lot to talk about prior to the plaque exchange ceremony, a chance to taste some eye popping finger foods chased by a cold beverage in one of the more spacious rooms on the fifth floor.

“St Maarten has been a great partner of Celebrity Cruises for many years and we are honored to have you on board,” said Panayiotis Skylogiannis, the captain of the ship.

Mingo took the opportunity to welcome captain Skylogiannis, his crew and passengers to the island. “As you know, we have invested in the past year in the port and you are using one of our second ports,” Mingo pointed out.

The Celebrity Cruise line will bring 235,000 tourists per year to the island and that is something the business community and the government will be looking forward to in the coming years.

Before handing over the plaque to Captain Skylogiannis, Heyliger extended a warm welcome to the visitors. “This morning while taking my children to school, I saw the Eclipse arriving and it was a beautiful sight,” Heyliger said.

Heyliger described the arrival of yet another world class vessel as a new beginning for Country St Maarten. “This gives us an opportunity to do the things we want and I am proud to have this new ship here,” he said.

Heyliger went on to stress the importance of the service the taxis provide, tour operators and merchants and urged Captain Skylogiannis to make the necessary reports when things are not to his satisfaction. After the exchange of pleasantries, the two high ranking officials exchanged plaques before they were invited to lunch which was followed by a brief tour of the boat which has some peculiar features.

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