Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Galapagos First Cruise Ship

While Celebrity has been gliding through the wildlife-rich archipelago sitting roughly 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador since 2004 with its Xpedition ship, the spacious Flora will debut as the largest vessel in the destination.

Celebrity Cruises is putting the final touches on Celebrity Flora, the first ship in the world built to sail to the Galapagos.

Flora found design inspiration in the sleek, modern look of Edge, which joined the Celebrity fleet in 2018. Notably, Flora adopted Edge’s Infinite Veranda, which means that in a number of the cabins, the balcony is incorporated into the interior: the press of a button allows you to open a window and transform it into an indoor-outdoor space.

BG Studio did the ship design and Ecuador native Adriana Hoyos infused a sense of place with the interiors and furniture. The designer, who splits her time between Ecuador and Miami, added sustainable, local elements like sculptural birdcage chairs to the penthouse suites, marina and the Discovery Lounge, which is the ship’s main gathering hub.

Flora’s aim is to get you out there experiencing the Galapagos. One way to do that is to take part in the world’s first glamping-at-sea offering. For an upcharge, you can reserve Flora’s teak-slatted pair of cabanas on the top deck for an evening. One cabana comes with a double bed, and the other holds a lounging and dining area.

The two daily excursions will be more accommodating to young and elderly passengers along with those with mobility issues. A marina lowers from the back of the ship and allows you to easily walk onto the custom-designed tenders. This makes the notoriously cumbersome process on other ships seamless here. The marina also will be equipped with lockers and showers.

Aboard the ship itself, there is a stargazing platform, a one-treatment-room spa, an outdoor Jacuzzi and plunge pool, a research lab helmed by the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and an observatory with 180-degree views. Planned activities include a silent disco, movie nights, live guitar performances, and wine and Ecuadorean chocolate tastings.

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