Cruise Guide: Hot glass show to debut aboard Celebrity Solstice

By Mike Coleman

The wow factor aboard cruise ships just got a little more crowded.

Just when we think weve seen it all aboard todays modern vessels bowling alleys, surf parks, rock climbing walls and skating rinks along comes yet another unique enrichment option: Celebrity Cruises will collaborate with the renowned Corning Museum of Glass to bring the captivating art of glassblowing to sea.

The Museums Hot Glass Show debuts on the new Celebrity Solstice one year from now.

Through Celebritys alliance with The Corning Museum of Glass, one of the worlds premier authority on glass and glassmaking history, the Hot Glass Show will provide live demonstrations and a narrated performance of glassblowing, designed to engage, educate and inspire passengers about the art, history and science of glass.

Were confident our guests will be awestruck by what were offering, said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. The museums surveys repeatedly show that live glassmaking demonstrations rank as one of the top reasons more than 340,000 people visit the museum each year. Now, its also a compelling reason to sail on Celebrity Solstice. 

The ship, set to debut in December 2008, will be the lines first in a class of four 2,850-passenger vessels with a range of guest-inspired services and amenities. German shipbuilder Meyer Werft, which constructed the lines Century-class fleet Century, Mercury and Galaxy – is building the 122,000-ton vessel.

Located on the ships upper deck within a custom-designed, outdoor glassmaking studio, the Hot Glass Show will present the history and craft of glassblowing, from its ancient origins to its countless, present-day uses. Three resident gaffers highly skilled glassblowing artists will educate and entertain passengers with live glassmaking shows, lectures and workshops.

Live hot glassmaking demonstrations are central to the experience at The Corning Museum of Glass, located in Corning, New York. The Museum, since 2001, has taken its Hot Glass Show on the road to museums, art fairs and public festivals around the world, including the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and Americas 400th Anniversary Celebration at Jamestown.

The ship will make its maiden voyage Dec. 14, 2008, on a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. The itinerary will be offered on Sundays through April 5, 2009, with an alternating itinerary calling on San Juan, Puerto Rico; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Tortola, B.V.I; and Labadee, Haiti, through April 12, 2009.

Celebrity, which offers an upscale cruise experience, sails in Alaska, Australia, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, New Zealand, Panama Canal and South America.

Look for three additional vessels to join its fleet: Equinox in 2009, Eclipse in 2010, and an-as-yet-named fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011.

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