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Celestyal Cruises is the new brand name (since late 2014) of Louis Cruises and Louis Cruise Lines. The company is part of Louis plc, a travel and tourism group, that also owns Louis Hotels with 19 properties in Greece and Cyprus. The quite successful cruise division commands more than 60% market share of cruises from Cyprus to Eastern Mediterranean, Greece and the Greek Islands. It has also chartered 2 of its cruise ships which now cruise with Thomson Cruises. Louis Cruise Lines was listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange in August 1999. Currently 7 cruise ships comprise the fleet, 7 of them are owned by the new public company and will be operated by Celestyal Cruises.

The Louis Group was founded back in 1938 by the late Louis Loizou and since then has been committed to fulfilling the needs and wishes of its customers ensuring the best quality for the best price. In the early 80's when it ventured into the cruise market it developed Cyprus into a popular cruise gateway to Egypt, the Holy Land and the Greek Islands. All of it's cruise ships have recently been refurbished, upgraded to outstanding levels of quality and service and equipped with all modern facilities including restaurants, bars, discos, duty free shops, casinos and swimming pools.

Cruise ship and itineraries:

Celestyal Cruises |

Celestyal cruises.

8, Ant. Ampatielou Str. 185 36 Piraeus Greece

Phone: +30 210 4583400

Company Website: Employment Web Page:   Careers at Celestyal

Celestyal Cruises (formerly Louis Cruises) has long been one of the largest operators of Greek cruise ships. Based in Greece, Celestyal Cruises offers itineraries in the Greek Isles, Cyprus and the Mediterranean. Their ships are mainly mid-sized vessels that have been previously owned by other cruise lines. In addition, Celestyal frequently charters ships to UK based Thomson Cruises such as Thomson Spirit, Thomson Celebration. Their passengers tend to be European and their crew is international.

Fleet of Cruise Ships

Celestyl Cristal Entered Service: 1980; Refurbished 2007 (Former Name: NCL Leeward) Tonnage: 25,611 GRT Total Passengers: 1,200 Total Crew: 400

Celestyal Olympia Entered Service: 1982; Refurbished 2005 (Former names: Thomson Destiny, RCL’s Song of America) Tonnage: 37,773 GRT Total Passengers: 1,450 Total Crew: 540

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Celestyal Cruises Cruise Ship Jobs

Based in Cyprus and Greece, Celestyal Cruises operates two older ships offering all-inclusive cruises of the Eastern Mediterranean.

In 2014, Louis Cruises rebranded themselves as Celestyal Cruises. Louis Cruises was established in 1986 when they purchased their first cruise ship, MV Princesa Marissa. Louis Cruises made the news in 2007 when their ship, Sea Diamond ran aground and sank off the coast of Santorini, Greece. They made news again in 2009 when the vessel Louis Majesty was hit by a 30-foot rogue wave.

Currently, Celestyal Cruises operates two older ships, Celestyal Crystal (1980) and Celestyal Olympia (1982) that cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Website: Celestyal Cruises Career Pages: Jobs with Celestyal Cruises Email: [email protected]

Updated: October 30, 2021

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Review: Celestyal Journey

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Reviewed by Rebecca Hall

What is the line? Celestyal Cruises

Name of ship? Journey

Passenger Occupancy? 1,260

Itinerary? Starting and finishing in Athens, the seven-night “Idyllic Aegean” sailing stops at Thessaloniki, Kusadasi (Turkey), Heraklion (Crete), and the Greek islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Milos.

Start out with the big picture–what is this cruise line known for?

If you’re looking for a company that knows its Greek islands and their accompanying cultural heritage inside and out, Celestyal is the cruise line for you. With immersive shore excursions and engaging onboard entertainment, the Greek cruise operator's mid-size ships are an intimate way to explore the Mediterranean.

Tell us about the ship in general:

The Journey is the third vessel in Celestyal's fleet, replacing the Crystal on the Idyllic Aegean route. The ship, previously named the Ryndam, was originally built for Holland America Line in 1994. Celestyal then purchased the vessel, which underwent a $21 million refurbishment in time for its maiden voyage in early September 2023.

Today, the ship boasts 630 staterooms, including 120 Junior Suites and 28 Grand Suites. There are seven specialty dining experiences including the private chef’s table, live cooking demonstrations, Asian cuisine at Pink Moon, juice and ice cream stations at Fig and Honey, fresh Mediterranean bites from Smoked Olive, and a Greek Deli. Eight bars and lounges, including a decadent champagne bar and indulgent wine cellar, round off the evening relaxation, while two pools (plus an entire deck dedicated to wellness) caters to daytime relaxation. Vintage 1920s decor is featured throughout the ship, with film star prints of Sophia Loren and the like, retro light fittings, and a grand central staircase.

Who is on board?

Celestyal caters to people of all ages traveling from a wide variety of countries, including the US, Eastern and Central Europe, Australia, and Argentina.

I found the cruise to be popular among groups of friends in their sixties and upwards, as well as mothers and daughters looking to spend quality time together. As a Greek company, Celestyal also attracts local families who are keen to explore their own backyard in an environment where they’re well catered.

Describe the cabins.

There are dozens of various suite categories on the Journey, spread across Decks 9 and 10. The Junior Dream Suites A, B, and C categories all have floor to ceiling sliding doors to their balconies and can sleep up to three people across twin beds and a sofa bed. At 226 square feet, my category B Junior Dream suite on Deck 9 was more than comfortable.

A more affordable option is to opt for the ship's exterior or interior staterooms, both at 204 square feet, which sleep up to 4 people in a mixture of upper, lower, and sofa beds. Exterior staterooms have portholes while the interior rooms have backlit curtains to mimic natural light. Both are perfect for solo travelers.

A step above these is the 377-square-foot Grand Dream Suite on Deck 10 with 2 lower beds, a double sofa bed, a panoramic window, balcony, a spacious bathroom, and a dressing room.

The pièce de résistance is the 947-square-foot Stargazer Exterior Penthouse Suite on Deck 10 with space for up to three guests. Both the Stargazer Suite and Grand Dreams’ have exclusive access to Rays, a secluded sunbathing and relaxation area—plus the Compass Lounge for private drinks.

Tell us about the crew.

The ship's 613 crew members took the time to greet every passenger by name and were always on-hand for any query. The Shore Excursion staff was particularly knowledgeable and helpful, making time to enquire about your interests and passions in order to recommend the best tour at each destination.

The Stargazer Suite and Grand Dreams have their own concierge on board, plus dedicated room stewards for a section of all other Dream Suites and Staterooms.

What food and drink options are available onboard?

For a mid-size ship, Journey has an impressive choice of dining and bar options, albeit no 24-hour room service. Its restaurants range from Mediterranean dining in the Thalassa restaurant to restaurants specifically reserved for those occupying suites; the Smoked Olive and Pink Moon. Both these restaurants offer the same menu choice as Thalassa, with additional options of Mediterranean bites at Smoked Olive and Asian cuisine at the Pink Moon.

A casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet is served on the upper deck at the Taverna. Guests can purchase regional ice creams at the Fig and Honey and Greek fast food such as souvlaki from the Greek Deli.

There’s an impressive seven bars on board, each with unique décor, though still keeping with the 1920s vibe. Choose from a quiet coffee bar, the Blue piano Bar and Lounge, or head to the Fizz Club if you’re a lover of cocktails and champagne. The Grapevine has an impressive selection of wine choices for the connoisseurs among you. The Compass is reserved for occupants of the Grand Dream and Stargazer Suites.

I personally loved finding a quiet hide away (which was never difficult) and sipping my signature cocktail as I watched the sea go by.

Is there a spa on board and is it worth visiting?

The highlight of a cruise on the Journey is a visit to the Sozo Health Spa. Well-trained specialists treat you in one of seven treatment rooms, including a couple's room.

Choose from an impressive range of treatments such as an Ayurveda massage, regular full body massage, reflexology, or Shiatsu. Hot stone massages and Dead Sea exfoliation round up some of the other unique pampering options—just be sure to book in advance.

What about activities and entertainment?

There’s an impressive number of activities to choose from on board the Journey, ranging from Greek dance classes, mini lectures about a variety of regional specialties (for example, the health benefits of Greek herbs), an olive oil presentation, and basic Greek language classes.

Sports enthusiasts will love the morning yoga or Pilates classes (extra charge), and from 8 p.m. the evening entertainment starts to heat up. As well as the aforementioned bars featuring piano or live music, there’s mini-discos for young kids up to 12 years old, seventies-themed parties, and various adult discos.

Yet it’s the twice-nightly performance by resident Canadian artists Cirque Fantastic that takes the cake. Their impressive acrobatic show is typically scheduled for 9 p.m. then repeated at 10:30 p.m. in the ship's awe-inspiring auditorium.

How was the experience for families?

The Journey offers onboard activities for children and teens of all ages. While there's no water slides or go-karting track, Deck 12 is reserved for kids 5 to 12 years old. The Turtle Cave club offers artistic and educational games while the Shark club shows English cartoons and television shows. Kids under the age of three must be accompanied by an adult—currently, no babysitting is offered on board.

Where did it sail and how were the excursions? Did any stand out?

On the Journey's first stop in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, I took an immersive tour that left me yearning to return. An excursion to the Ancient city of Ephesus from the Turkish port of Kusadasi and the Palace of Knossos in Crete are two sites worth reserving a tours of. I opted to explore Santorini and Mykonos on my own, taking in the beautiful views (of the former) and lively shops and nightlife (of the latter).

I'd also recommend booking the group tour of the smaller island of Milos, as it's less suited for solo exploration. Visit Sarakiniko beach, a famed moonscape of pure white stone, the ancient village of Plaka, and the Christian catacombs.

Are there any stand out sustainability or green initiatives about this cruise?

Celestyal as a company works closely with the local Greek community as part of their ethical business practices. For example, the company helps bring interactive exhibits from the Heraklion Museum in Athens to more remote areas of the Greek islands.

Anything we missed?

When eating in the Taverna buffet, you can't help but notice the impressive melon carvings—some of faces, others of various nature or sea scenes. There’s also the occasional ice sculpture in the dessert section. These are created by the onboard sculptor whose creates beautiful sculptures from various materials, a skill passed down through family generations. Check the daily itinerary, left in your room nightly, to watch the art come to life.

Finally, give a sentence or two on why the cruise is worth booking.

Families and groups of friends will love this culturally immersive cruise with world-class wellness offerings.

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Start Your Career with Celestyal

Celestyal Cruises doesn’t want you to apply for a job, we want you to apply for a career, one of the most satisfying imaginable. We’re always looking for great people. Looking to be different and live the authentic with one of the world’s best cruise lines?

Bring your enthusiasm, your skills and your talent and join us!

Why work with us


We pay competitive salaries to attract and retain the best people in the industry both on board our ships and in our offices. We also provide bonuses to employees who distinguish themselves with enthusiastic teamwork of the highest quality. Are you an innovator and a leader, an imaginative problem-solver? Yes? Then you belong at Celestyal.


We are seeking to attract, maintain and develop talented employees to create a family environment at our company one where you’re committed to your own growth and development and in the overall growth and development of Celestyal Cruises. We believe the further you advance in your career with Celestyal, the more you’ll contribute to the growth of our company. As such, we provide you with the best performance management in the industry and with specific, measurable objectives to help you develop and progress in your role with us. We want to see you succeed!

Recognizing and appraising the engagement, commitment and hard work is one of Celestyal Cruises’ fundamental priorities and core to the positive employee experience we provide. We have therefore established an award process wherein our staff members are rewarded for their outstanding performance.

Working at Celestyal is a Pleasure!

We provide the vacation of a lifetime to people of more than 140 nationalities who are looking to be different and live the authentic in each of the magical regions in which we sail. Our guests feel like royalty when they sail with us and this is because everyone who works for us loves what he or she does and treats each and every guest as a personal guest. To achieve this, we want you to enjoy being on our ships as much as our guests do: the positive employee experience we create results, in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our guests.

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The Celestyal Cruises Internship Program provides you with a unique opportunity to get ready to do business in the real world.

The objective of the program is to recognize talent while empowering interns to develop and hone both their business and their soft skills-if you’re a highly-motivated university student, you should apply. The program is a great chance for you to work with the best professionals in the cruise industry and garner real experience at one of the industry’s best organizations, one where the core competencies and values our people possess are as important as their qualifications.

We are looking for energetic and talented internship students who share our passion!

For more information, please contact [email protected] .

Employment On Board

A sea of opportunities awaits you when you sail with Celestyal Cruises. Our positive employee experience comprises spectacular destinations, the opportunity to work with a stellar group of people from a variety of cultures who love what they do, management recognition and support and the chance to build your career with us. Why wait? Set sail with Celestyal!

Celestyal Cruises is looking for suitable candidates for the following positions:

DJ/Assistant Sound and Light Technician aboard Celestyal Cruise Vessels

The DJ/Assistant Sound and Light Technician role is part of the Entertainment Staff. The required skills and knowledge for the position are: You are responsible for engaging our guests and creating a fun and entertaining environment. You should have a diverse musical knowledge to satisfy the nationalities and cultures of the guests onboard. You must have a high quality level of spoken English. You should have a good knowledge of Sound and Light equipment and also to be able to assist the Sound and Light Technician for the repair and maintenance of the Equipment onboard. You must have a very good knowledge of computer hardware and software. You are expected to be an energetic individual, good communicator with good microphone skills, able to read the public wishes in music and willing to give your best for passenger’s satisfaction.

Successful candidates will require to have valid STCWs, and Seaman’s book.

Fit to work medical certificate will be asked.

Fluency in English is essential.

To apply please send your CV in English language only to [email protected]

Assistant Guest Relations Manager

We are looking for an Assistant Guest Relations Manager to lead a team of seven multilingual staff

Minimum 3 years of experience in a 4 stars Hotel.

Fluent in English and another European language is required. Computers skills in Excel and word is essential.

Training will be provided.

Successful candidate will be relieving the Guest Relation Managers during their vacation.

Joining date 3rd week of February.

For our latest offshore opportunities please feel free to contact us at: [email protected]

We are looking for suitable international hosts/hostesses , for the following positions

  • Bulgarian Host/ess
  • Greek Host/ess
  • Greek Receptionists

Among other duties, successful candidates should be in the position to provide language assistances of his/her Nationals, to make translations, to make announcements, and be part of entertainment team.

Fluent in English is essential.

Joining date 3rd week of February

Employment On Shore

We have stellar land-based opportunities at our offices in Piraeus, Greece, the birthplace of the Greek cruise industry. Our enthusiastic, imaginative and motivated on-shore team works tirelessly to build our brand and burnish our reputation. If your expertise is Marine, Shipping, Technical, Marketing, Sales, MIS, HR we have a place for you in one of the best work environments in Europe.

To apply please send your CV in English language only to [email protected]


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8 Things to Know About Celestyal Cruises

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Travel Market Report recently spent a week onboard Celestyal Cruises' Celestyal Crystal on a one-week "Idyllic Aegean" cruise around Greece. The port intensive sailing visited seven stops, including one stop in Turkey, and one surprise bonus stop when high winds delayed our arrival into Mykonos.

For advisors who have never sailed with Celestyal, here are a few things to know before recommending the line to clients.

1. Destination Focus/Port Intensive Probably the most important thing to know about Celestyal is that the focus is always on the destination, not its ships.

Few itineraries include a sea day. On week-long sailings, port calls are typically long, with most starting at 7:30 or 8 in the morning and ending at 7 or 8 in the evening. At marquis ports, like Santorini and Mykonos, port calls often last until late into the night. On sailings that visit Egypt and Israel, itineraries might include full overnights, as well.

On seven-day sailings you'll likely visit six ports; on shorter sailings, you might still visit five or six ports, hitting more than one port a day.

To keep the focus tight, the line only sails to a limited number of countries, visiting ports primarily in the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, Cyprus), with select itineraries also stopping in Egypt, Israel, and Montenegro. In Greece, Celestyal itineraries visit 15 cities or islands. In Turkey, the line visits up to five cities depending on the itinerary.

Because the focus is on the destination, there isn't much to do on the ships during the day. Only days with late arrivals (or the rare sea day) feature morning activities. Most onboard events start in the mid to late afternoon and include such options as trivia, arts and crafts, language lessons, and dance classes.

The line's ships are small – less than 2,000 people each – and have no bells or whistles to keep people onboard. But again, that's the point, and why cruisers choose the line, because they're in Greece or the Holy Lands, to see the destinations, not to hang out on the ship.

"I like that Celestyal's ships are a little bit smaller, with longer times in ports" said Suzanne Upton, owner of Travel with Suzanne, who led a group of 40 clients on the seven-day cruise.

You don't choose Celestyal for its ships, you choose it for the itineraries, she added.

"We're going to see the archeology, we're going to see the beaches, we're going to see the landscape, we're going for the food, we're going for the culture and Celestyal 100% delivers on all of that."

 (A note on the fleet: As of the writing of this article, the line's two-ship fleet comprises Celestyal Olympia and Celestyal Crystal, built in 1981 and 1980, respectively. In September, Celestyal Journey, built in 1994, will replace Celestyal Crystal.)

2. Mediterranean Flavor As part of the line's destination focus, the onboard experience emphasizes a Mediterranean vibe, from the colors in the public spaces and staterooms to live Greek music every day to a Mediterranean-inspired dining room menu.

On the aforementioned Idyllic Aegean sailing, the house band, El Greco, headlined every sailaway party and played twice every evening. Dining room menus always featured a "Greek favorite" as an entrée, and baklava for dessert. The always-include house beer is Greek (Mythos) and Greek wines are plentiful. A Mediterranean-style Blue Zone dish, curated by celebrity chef Diane Kochilas, is also always on the menu.

In the only specialty restaurant onboard Celestyal Crystal (which is leaving the fleet in September), the six-course menu is Mediterranean through and through from the first course's Cretan octopus to the sixth course's selection of Greek cheeses.

3. International Crowd English is the official language onboard Celestyal ships, but it might not be the predominant language. Cruisers come from all over the globe and your clients will hear lots of Spanish, French, Turkish, and Greek, among many other languages.

(We love the fact that Celestyal has dinner menus available in almost every language spoken. If you've got Spanish- or French-speaking clients, you can arrange for them to receive menus – and daily programs – in their own language.)

English speakers come from North America, as well as the U.K. and Australia.

TV channels are also in a variety of languages, with only two English-language channels on offer.

For cruisers who enjoy meeting people from other places, a Celestyal cruise is a great opportunity to mix and mingle.

On the flip side, cruisers who prefer being among people who are like themselves, a Celestyal cruise can feel overwhelming, especially on sailings where English speakers might be in the minority. Not everyone around the world follows the same rules of etiquette, and patience is often required. This is especially true during the safety drill when instructions are recited in several languages, leaving everyone standing around for longer. Introductions to shows also take longer, with information repeated in four or five languages before the show gets started.

4. Somewhat Inclusive Celestyal Cruises offers one of the best values in the Mediterranean, with base cruise fares including port fees and gratuities, house alcoholic drinks and soft drinks at meals, and an $80 shore excursion credit.

Alternatively, you clients can choose to "enhance" their fare, which ups the shore excursion credit to $160, and expands the beverage inclusions to premium hot and cold coffees, cocktails and mocktails (up to €7 each), sodas and juices at restaurants and bars, wine (red, white, rose, and sparkling up to €6 each), and spirits (vodka, rum, gin, whiskey up to €6 each).

The enhanced are also includes a 25% discount on the specialty restaurant and one hour of Wi-Fi access.

Regardless of which fare your clients choose, almost all of the dining onboard is included, with four dishes offered each night at dinner for an upcharge. These include beef tenderloin (€29.95), surf and turf (€49.95), ribeye (€95.95), and wagyu steak (€49.95).

There's also one specialty dining option – a six-course Mediterranean tasting menu – which costs around €60 per person.

One surprising extra is ice cream, which is available throughout the day at a small station by the swimming pool and costs €2.30 for the first scoop and €1.95 for each additional scoop.

(Dining options – and what is and is not included – might change when Celestyal Journey joins the fleet in September 2023. The ship has six restaurants and the line might decide to charge extra for some of these.)

5. Not for Luxury Cruisers Celestyal Cruises is a value brand. That's not to say the experience isn't good or that service is lacking. But it's not a white glove, fine wine and dining, luxury brand.

The line's two-ship fleet is old. Celestyal Olympia was built in 1981 and the line's newest ship, Celestyal Journey, which joins the fleet in September 2023, was built in 1994.

Again, that is not to see the ships aren't well taken care of; they are. In some aspects, the age of the ships is beneficial to clients – standard cabins are larger than what you often find on newer ships, and there's more open deck space.

With the addition of Celestyal Journey, the line will finally have a larger number of balcony cabins, as well as more suites for cruisers who prefer larger accommodations. The higher suite categories even come with butler service.

Crew work hard and are friendly, the dining room staff will often pass special requests onto the chef, and bartenders are quick to learn your name and favorite drink. But clients that prefer high-touch service, luxe accoutrements, and Michelin-style cuisine will not find that on Celestyal.

Nor will they find exclusive land-side touring options. Celestyal doesn't offer private concerts at Ephesus or before-the-museum-opens private tours.

For those clients the luxury lines like Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea Cruises remain a better choice in the Eastern Mediterranean.

But don't discount Celestyal for all of your higher worth clients. As Upton pointed out to Travel Market Report, she had clients among her group who spent upwards of $30,000 to fly Delta One who were perfectly satisfied with their junior suite Celestyal Cruises experience.

6. Not for Small Children Because Celestyal Cruises is so destination focused, and cruisers choose the line to be able to spend time ashore exploring the destinations, there is not a lot of focus onboard activities, including activities for kids. None of the line's ships have kid's clubs. There is no babysitting, no evening pajama parties, and no kids' only dinners so mom and dad can have a meal alone.

On the Idyllic Aegean sailing, there were kids' activities (sometimes with cookies or ice cream) for 3 to 12 year olds from 4 to 6 most evenings, and there was a teens-only disco most nights at 10:30. And that was it.

Families that want to spend all their time together and have kids that can occupy themselves while onboard are a perfect fit for Celestyal. Those that want someone else to occupy their kids or need attractions like a splash pool or a waterslide are not.

7. Trusted by Tour Groups Celestyal Cruises might not be as well known among travel advisors as other cruise brands, but tour operators that advisors often use are familiar with the line.

On the Idyllic Aegean sailing mentioned above, there were both Gate 1 and Insight Vacations groups onboard. While the presence of such groups won't affect your clients, you can be reassured that these companies trust Celestyal with their clients.

8. Considering Preparing Experienced Cruisers Advisors putting past cruise clients on Celestyal Cruises might want to prepare them ahead of time, particularly if they've been on a cruise in the past two years.

Stepping onto a Celestyal ship is a little like taking a step backwards in time. Safety drills are still done in person – lifejacket around your neck, standing in rows (men at the back, women up front) while the cruise director reads from a script over the PA system. Onboard Internet is slow, priced per hour and expensive. There's only one main option for entertainment at night (one somewhat hokey show performed twice each night).

Another thing worth mentioning to past cruisers is the prevalence of other languages, which translates into a long safety drill (all instructions are read in three to four languages), longer intros to shows, and longer overhead PA announcements.

As mentioned earlier, different nationalities have different etiquette rules, with some nationalities not as good about waiting on lines or waiting their turn.

Additionally, though Celestyal, as a brand, has been around since 2014, there may be times crew seem to struggle with how to run things efficiently. On the Idyllic Aegean sailing Travel Market Report was on, shore ex staff didn't bother to let people know when excursions were cancelled. The shore ex brochure didn't list departure times or how long tours were (making it hard, for example, to know when a good time to book a spa appointment was). An onboard expense statement that the cruise director said everyone would get half way through the sailing never appeared.

Pack your patience, and be proactive if you're confused are two good bits of advice to give clients.

"We're in Europe. We're on island time. You're not always going to know all the details. You may have to go ask a question at shore ex," Upton told us she mentioned to her clients ahead of time.

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There are several reasons why villas and families fit perfectly together to make unforgettable vacation memories.

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Carnival Corp. to Add Pier Space to As-Yet-Unfinished Celebration Key

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Distribution Outlook 2024

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Moscow-City: 7 surprising facts about the Russian capital’s business center

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1. Guinness World Record in highlining

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The record was set in 2019 by a team of seven athletes from Russia, Germany, France and Canada. They did it on September 8, on which the ‘Moscow-City Day’ is celebrated. The cord was stretched at the height of 350 m between the ‘OKO’ (“Eye”) and ‘Neva Towers’ skyscrapers. The distance between them is 245 m. The first of the athletes to cross was Friede Kuhne from Germany. The athletes didn't just walk, but also performed some daredevil tricks. Their record is 103 meters higher than the previous one set in Mexico City in December 2016.

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2. Domination of Europe's top-10 highest skyscrapers

7 out of 10 Europe’s highest skyscrapers are located in Moscow-City. Earlier, the  ‘Federation Tower’ complex’s ‘Vostok’ (“East”) skyscraper was the considered the tallest in Europe.

Left to right: the lower of the ‘Neva Towers’ (296 m), Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt (300 m), Gorod Stolits (“City of Capitals”) Moscow tower (302 m), Eurasia tower (309 m), The Shard’ skyscraper in London (310 m), Mercury City Tower (339 m), Neva Towers (345 m).

Left to right: the lower of the ‘Neva Towers’ (296 m), Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt (300 m), Gorod Stolits (“City of Capitals”) Moscow tower (302 m), Eurasia tower (309 m), The Shard’ skyscraper in London (310 m), Mercury City Tower (339 m), Neva Towers (345 m).

However, in 2018, the construction of the 462 meter tall ‘Lakhta Center’ in Saint-Petersburg was completed, pushing ‘Vostok’ (374 m) into 2nd place. The 3rd place is taken by OKO’s southern tower (354 m).

3. The unrealized ‘Rossiya’ tower

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If all the building plans of Moscow-City were realized, the ‘Lakhta Center’ in St. Petersburg wouldn't have a chance to be Europe's highest skyscraper. Boris Tkhor, the architect who designed the concept of Moscow-City, had planned for the ‘Rossiya’ tower to be the tallest. In his project, it was a 600 meter tall golden cylindrical skyscraper ending with a spire that was inspired by traditional Russian bell towers. Then, the project was reinvented by famous British architect Sir Norman Foster. He had designed ‘Rossiya’ as a pyramid ending with a spire. The skyscraper itself would have been 612 meters tall, and the height including the spire would have reached 744,5 meters (for comparison, the ‘Burj Khalifa’ in Dubai, UAE, would have been just 83,5 meters taller). Unfortunately, the investors faced a lot of economic problems, due to the 2008 financial crisis, so the ‘Rossiya’ skyscraper was never built. A shopping mall and the ‘Neva Towers’ complex was constructed at its place in 2019.

4. Changed appearance of ‘Federation Tower’

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In its first project, the ‘Federation Tower’ was designed to resemble a ship with a mast and two sails. The mast was to be represented by a tall glass spire with passages between the towers. It was planned to make a high-speed lift in it. The top of the spire was going to be turned into an observation deck. But the ship lost its mast in the middle of its construction. Experts at the Moscow-city Museum based in the ‘Imperia’ (“Empire”) tower say, that the construction of the spire was stopped, firstly, due to fire safety reasons and secondly, because it posed a threat to helicopter flights – the flickering glass of the spire could potentially blind the pilots. So, the half-built construction was disassembled. However, an observation deck was opened in the ‘Vostok’ tower.

5. Open windows of ‘Federation Tower’

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We all know that the windows of the upper floors in different buildings don’t usually open. Experts say that it’s not actually for people’s safety. Falling from a big height is likely to be fatal in any building. The actual reason is the ventilation system. In a skyscraper, it’s managed with a mechanical system, and the building has its own climate. But in the ‘Zapad’ (“West”) tower of the ‘Federation Tower’ complex, the windows can open. The 62nd and last floor of the tower are taken up by a restaurant called ‘Sixty’. There, the windows are equipped with a special hydraulic system. They open for a short period of time accompanied by classical music, so the guests can take breathtaking photos of Moscow.

6. Broken glass units of ‘Federation Tower’

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The guests of the ‘Sixty’ restaurant at the top of the ‘Zapad’ tower can be surprised to see cracked glass window panes. It is particularly strange, if we take into consideration the special type of this glass. It is extremely solid and can’t be broken once installed. For example, during experiments people threw all sorts of heavy items at the windows, but the glass wouldn’t break. The broken glass units of ‘Zapad’ were already damaged during shipment . As each of them is curved in its own way to make the tower’s curvature smooth, making a new set of window panes and bringing them to Russia was deemed too expensive . Moreover, the investors had financial problems (again, due to the 2008 financial crisis), so the ‘Vostok’ tower even stood unfinished for several years. Eventually, the cracked window panes were installed in their place.

7. The highest restaurant in Europe

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‘Birds’, another restaurant in Moscow-City, is remarkable for its location. It was opened at the end of 2019 on the 84th floor of the ‘OKO’ complex’s southern tower. Guests at the restaurant can enjoy an amazing panoramic view at a height of 336 meters. On January 28, the experts of ‘Kniga Recordov Rossii’ (“Russian Records Book”) declared ‘Birds’ the highest restaurant in Europe, a step toward an application for a Guinness World Record.

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