Arrivals & Departures Stargazing and sustainability: Celebrity's new purpose-built Galapagos cruise ship

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

An open-air stargazing platform, eco-friendly innovations and the largest cruise ship suites in the region will be some of the features aboard Celebrity Cruises' Galapagos Islands ship Celebrity Flora.

Set to launch in May 2019, the 100-guest ship is the first Celebrity has designed for a specific destination. It's being purpose built for the Galapagos, where the company has been cruising since 2004.

The ship's design aims to immerse passengers in the destination, with an "outward-facing" ethos and a focus on glass and windows. 

All of the suites, for example, have floor-to-ceiling windows, while the Sky Suites have Celebrity's "Infinite Verandas", which open to the outdoors at the push of a button. 

Then there are the Penthouse Suites, billed as the biggest cruising the Galapagos, with up to 120sqm of space including separate indoor and outdoor living areas and a telescope for stargazing and wildlife spotting. 

Meanwhile, public spaces will include the Vista (pictured at top), an open deck with 360-degree views, a hot tub and sunloungers, and the Observatory, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The Discovery Lounge will be the ship's "living room" and the venue for naturalist presentations, while the Stargazing Platform will host guided astronomy tours.

Passengers will access the ship via an area known as the Marina, which will accommodate up to three Zodiacs simultaneously, reducing transport time when going ashore. 

Celebrity president and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said that the company had allowed "the destination and its environment to influence every decision we’ve made" in regards to the ship's design.

"From the luxurious all-suite accommodations to industry-first, eco-friendly innovations, we created a ship that brings a new level of luxury, sustainability and natural exploration to the region," she said.

According to Celebrity, Flora will be one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, using 15 per cent less fuel than the company's Xpedition class ships, which also operate in the Galapagos. 

It will also have a positioning system to allow it to stay put without the need for a physical anchor, avoiding damage to the sea floor. 

Other eco-friendly features will include in-room water filtration stations and systems to convert sea water and air-conditioning condensation into fresh water. 

There will also be a strict waste management system to recycle, reuse or donate as many materials as possible.  

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