Celebrity Cruises’ UK and Ireland boss has urged to the trade to keep in touch during this “unprecedented” time and revealed that the line has set up a live chat function to help agents communicate with its sales team.

Jo Rzymowska, vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, addressed agents on the line’s trade Facebook page on Friday.

Celebrity was due to showcase new ship Celebrity Apex to the UK and Ireland trade across two pre-inaugural sailings on March 28 and March 30, but the line was forced to postpone the voyages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In her Facebook message, Rzymowska said: “Thank you for all your support and everything you’re doing. We do know what a difficult time this is for all of us in the travel industry.

“For us to have made the incredible decision we made to suspend our fleet for a period of time is absolutely unprecedented. It is absolutely in the interests of our mutual guests, our crew and all of our staff as soon as we’re ready to set sail believe you me you will be the first to know.”

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A new chat function is now available on the line’s agent platform Celebrity Central.

She added: “Please do make sure you keep in touch. Our sales team will be in touch. We set up live chat up to make sure that you can access the team and again our contact centres are ready and open for you.

“We are devastated at having to postpone our Apex launch because we were so looking forward to that, but Apex will join the fleet as soon as she can.

“Thank you for all you are doing and thank you for all the support and let’s look forward together to sunnier times ahead.”