For some time it had been planned that Celebrity Century would leave the Celebrity fleet in March 2015 and move within the Royal Caribbean group to Europe, to operate for Croisières de France as a replacement for another former Celebrity ship, Zenith.
The new ship had already been incorporated into CDF’s 2015 summer programme when it was announced that Celebrity Century would instead head for China and be used on a new joint venture with Chinese CTrip. CTrip is a Shanghai-based travel agency founded in 1999 which is now branching out into cruising on its own account in a new joint venture with Royal Caribbean. CTrip have purchased the ship, but the operation of the vessel will be managed by Royal Caribbean.
Century, as she was when built, was delivered by Meyer at Papenburg in 1995 as the first in a series of three ships, although the other two were somewhat larger. In 2006 she had a major refit in Spain, during which a number of balconies were stuck onto the sides of the ship, not improving her appearance. Two years later she was renamed Celebrity Century.
Zenith was due to have returned to sister company Pullmantur, but instead will remain with CDF, leading to speculation that another Royal Caribbean vessel may be transferred to Pullmantur, which currently operates Empress and Sovereign.