A new ‘eco-friendly’ ship designed specifically for the Galapagos islands has been announced by Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Flora’s outward-facing design will give its 100 guests all-round views of the South American archipelago famous for its wildlife. The all-suite ship, to be introduced in May 2019, will also offer new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform and a marina with room for three Zodiac boats at once.
Other features include the Sunset Lounge, open-air hideaway The Vista with private cabanas, and the floor-to-ceiling glass-wrapped Observatory.
Three meals a day will be served in the Seaside Restaurant while the Ocean Grill will offer great views and dinner under the stars.
Two penthouse suites will be the largest in the Galapagos with separate indoor and outdoor living areas, customisable lighting and blinds, and a telescope for looking at the stars or watching wildlife.
Information on the islands will be provided in Darwin’s Cove and the Naturalist Center, while expert speakers will give talks in the Discovery Lounge.
To protect the sea floor, Celebrity Flora will use anchorless technology to maintain its position. It will be one of the most energy efficient ships in its class, lowering fuel consumption and cutting air emissions thanks to an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines.
The need for plastics on board will be cut by in-room water filtration stations and by converting sea water and air conditioning condensation into clean supplies. Any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be.
Celebrity Cruises president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: ‘From the luxurious all-suite accommodations to industry-first, eco-friendly innovations, we’ve created a ship that brings a new level of luxury, sustainability and natural exploration to the region. Guests will feel as though they’re boarding a high-end yacht for a week of unparalleled adventures, and they are!’
The announcement was greeted by Ecuador’s tourism minister, Enrique Ponce de León, who said: ‘We are very pleased with Celebrity Cruises’ decision to build a cruise vessel with cutting-edge technology, designed specifically to operate around our wonderful islands. Celebrity Flora will undoubtedly mark a very important milestone in the tourism development of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, offering high quality and sustainable tourism.’
Walter Bustos, director of Galapagos National Park, added: ‘I think this is a clear example of an intelligent investment, not only because the design was thought with the characteristics of the Galapagos, but because it is based on the best technology available to protect a Natural Heritage of Humanity.’
Celebrity Flora will sail year-round from Baltra island, offering two seven-night itineraries, from May 26, 2019. Either voyage can be complimented with ten, 11 or 15-night packages including pre- and post-cruise tours in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and to Machu Picchu in Peru.
Celebrity currently operates three ships in the Galapagos – Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity Xperience and Celebrity Xploration.