The 90,228gt Millennium was delivered to Celebrity Cruises by builder Chantiers de l’Atlantique in June 2000. Millennium is the first cruiseship to have in-suite internet access and to incorporate gas turbine technology. Millennium flies the Liberian flag and has Lloyd’s Register and Det Norske Veritas classification.
Millennium sailed five varied European itineraries between July and October 2000, before being redeployed in the Western Caribbean from November 2000.
Millennium incorporates new and traditional Celebrity features in its design. Gourmet dining has always been an integral part of Celebrity Cruises and Millennium contains Celebrity’s first speciality restaurant, the olympic, and a wine cellar created under the direction of master chef Michel Roux.
The origin of the room’s design by Birch Coffey Design Associates of New York stems from wood panelling that once graced the à la carte dining room of the Olympic, sister ship to Titanic and withdrawn from service in 1935. Each of the five dining spaces on board has its own galley.
The passenger cabins, many of which have been designed by AMK and prefabricated by Ateliers Montoir, are located on five decks over the whole length of the ship, with a choice of eight categories. Of a total of 975 staterooms, 80% have ocean views and 74% have verandahs. The vessel also has the industry’s largest penthouse suites, the largest spa at sea at 7,620m² designed by the Syntax Group of the UK and the largest designer boutique afloat at 4,267m² designed by Designteam of the UK.
Millennium is the first cruiseship to have glass-enclosed elevators with panoramic ocean views to transport passengers through the decks and provide a focal point for orientation in the grand foyer.
Wilson Butler Lodge (WBL) of Boston designed the space, the centre piece of which is a backlit, translucent onyx staircase.
The public areas are located on four decks.
Entertainment comes in the form of fortunes casino, which has been designed by Pereira & Associates of California, along nineteenth-century Belle Epoch lines. The double columns in this space act as support for the decks above and have been turned into an asset by Pereira, which had statues sculptured to stand in the recesses. Millennium’s three-deck theatre, a first for Celebrity, has been designed by WBL, with entertainment systems (including stage rigging) being provided by HMS France.
The suites contain a foyer, separate living and dining rooms, a bedroom, a baby grand piano, a powder room with shower, an entertainment system and a veranda with whirlpool, wet bar and lounge seating, depending on the suite class.
The verandah staterooms feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors, two convertible lower beds and a sitting area.
Millennium is equipped with a pair of GE Marine Engines’ LM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbines and a single steam turbine instead of the traditional four or five diesel engines on a cruise ship. These three prime movers each drive an AC electric generator. This system, the GE combined cycle gas turbines and steam turbine integrated Electric Propulsion System (COGES), supplies power to two electrically driven podded propulsion units, Mermaids.
These have been developed by Cegelic-Kamewa and each one comprises a speed-controlled AC synchronous propulsion motor located in an azimuthing pod and driving a FP propeller. As each pod can be rotated horizontally through 360° if required, the need for rudder shaft lines, stern thrusters, steering gear bossing and brackets is eliminated.
A steam turbine recovers heat from the exhaust, providing energy for heating water and for other electrical needs. According to Celebrity, the gas turbines that burn clean distillate fuel significantly reduce exhaust emissions.
The engine technology used has been a factor in Millennium being the first ship built to Det Norske Veritas’ voluntary class notation, Clean Design. Celebrity was also awarded ISO14001 certification in February 2000 after a fleetwide environmental audit.