Cruise International editor Liz Jarvis shares her thoughts on the launch of Celebrity Cruises’ new private jet service Jet Set Sail

I’m a firm believer that your cruise holiday should start the minute you leave your house for the airport, so I was really excited to hear about Celebrity Cruises’ all-new premium charter flight service Jet Set Sail, which will fly guests directly from a private jet terminal at London Stansted to selected Celebrity Equinox sailings in the summer of 2016.

Ever since I experienced Celebrity in the Baltic I’ve been impressed by their brand of luxury cruising with a boutique hotel twist, so private jet transfers seem to me to be the perfect synergy – if you want to experience the new service, then cruise experts Iglu have some great offers.

Cruise International attended the official launch of Jet Set Sail at Stansted Airport’s private terminal, where we were given an exclusive tour of the lounges and Celebrity’s 130-seat Boeing 737 plane.

Guests can go from car park to plane seat via passport control, security and departure lounge in just 60 minutes, all for not much more than the cost of a regular flight from Heathrow. In fact, according to Michael English, Celebrity’s Head of Business Development, on 18 June it was just “an extra £60” per person, and that’s before you take into account the free parking at Stansted’s private jet terminal. It’s a small difference to pay for guaranteed comfort and a fast, stress-free airport experience.

The price also includes luggage allocation of 25kg (23kg for flights departing from Athens), a two-course hot breakfast and drinks on outbound flights plus a two-course lunch and drinks on inbound flights, and transfers to and from arrival airport to cruise terminal.

A seven-night cruise on board award winning cruise ship Celebrity Equinox is priced from £1,598 per person based on two people sharing a balcony stateroom departing on 16 July 2016, including private charter flight. Cruises sail from Athens (Greece), Istanbul (Turkey), Rome (Italy) and Barcelona (Spain).

Upon your return to London, you’ll enjoy an even swifter airport experience. Previous customers at Stansted’s private jet terminal have reported leaving their plane seat, walking through the arrivals lounge via passport control and sitting in their car with their luggage in just six minutes. Surely that’s got to be some kind of a record?

We’re keen to experience Celebrity Cruises’ Jet Set Sail on a cruise holiday first-hand, of course, but from what we’ve seen so far it’s a smart, slick operation – an excellent way to start your holiday.

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