Acres of glass walls and a magic carpet gliding up and down the outside of the ship are two elements of Celebrity Edge that promise to turn cruising inside out.
The revolutionary new ship, currently under construction in France, is designed by British architect Tim Wright.
He has given it a steel spine, rather than the usual hard-metal exoskeleton of all cruise ships built to date. This means glass walls galore, giving Edge a close connection with the sea.
The cabins, decorated in boutique-hotel style, will have ‘infinite verandas’: the balcony is incorporated into the sitting area until you touch a button to lower the top half of the glass wall, letting in the breeze and sunshine.
Three decks high, filled with plants, enclosed by 7,000 sq ft of windows and spanning the aft of the ship, the Eden area will change its mood according to the time of day.
In the mornings it’s yoga and coffee; afternoons are for cookery sessions and sitar recitals; in the evenings, Edenists – acrobatic waiters – will climb the 18ft high Plant Library to pluck fresh herbs for cocktails.
Most revolutionary of all, the magic carpet – the size of a tennis court – is a feat of engineering and a first at sea.
Gliding up and down the outside of the ship, it changes its function as it goes. At Deck 16 it is the venue for Dinner On The Edge with views of the moonlit ocean.
When it is parked at Deck 14 it is an extension of the pool area. At Deck 5 it becomes outside seating for lunch.
And at Deck 2 it hovers over the sea to become the boarding platform for boats taking you ashore….
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