Celebrity Flora Launched
Celebrity Cruises has officially launched Celebrity Flora, a 100-guest, all-suites mega yacht designed specifically to sail the Galapagos Islands.
Celebrity Flora is also one of the most energy-efficient ships in hers class, with a 15 percent reduction of fuel consumption thanks to the introduction of an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines. Celebrity Flora's dynamic positioning system is a first in the Galapagos and will be used instead of anchors to protect the sea floor, with zero speed stabilizers for smooth sailing.
Celebrity Flora will have in-room water filtration stations and the ability to reuse air conditioning condensation to provide water to the shipboard laundry facilities. Reverse osmosis equipment will be used, so the ship can process sea water into fresh water to supply 100 percent of her needs. Plus, any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be as part of a strict waste management system.
Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders.
"Every once in a while, a unique ship comes along in the industry and changes things, and Celebrity Flora is that ship," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The Galapagos is a truly unique destination and deserved a ship with sustainability at its core. Today was an incredibly special day, with a very special Godmother. Yolanda Kakabadse has been a moral force for sustainability, in Ecuador and around the world, and we are honored to have her inspiration as Celebrity Flora sets sail."
Kakabadse is an environmental advocate and former World Wildlife Fund International President. "Being here in the beautiful Galapagos Islands on board Celebrity Flora has reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Charles Darwin: 'In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed,'" said Kakabadse. "Darwin was right; this is the time to collaborate with all sectors of society, and permanently innovate to seek new ways to address development challenges. Tourism can be at the center and Celebrity Flora is at the forefront."
In a unique nod to sustainability and the uniqueness of the vessel, the traditional bottle-breaking was triggered by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting that used a hand-crafted ribbon made from green banana core crafted by a collective of local female artisans known as Manos Magicas. In addition, the Ecuadorian national anthem was sung by two schoolchildren from Ecuador.
During the event, a partnership was revealed with EarthEcho International. Celebrity and the team at the non-profit will work together to introduce a comprehensive and customized youth strategy, designed to empower a new generation of environmental advocates both in the local communities of the Galapagos, as well as aboard Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Xpedition in the region. The program will include youth focused, environmental sustainability projects in the Galapagos Islands and activities for youth as part of Celebrity's onboard program.
By training, engaging and investing in youth and the local community, Celebrity and EarthEcho International will work to inspire champions for the protection of the Galapagos Islands. Over time, the goal is to explore opportunities to expand this partnership to other regions around the world. Philippe Cousteau Jr., Co-Founder, EarthEcho International, said: "The launch of Celebrity Flora presents an incredible opportunity for EarthEcho International and Celebrity to jointly develop a meaningful and impactful initiative that will engage and empower young environmental leaders both on board and in the communities of the Galapagos Islands."
With the launch of their newest ship, Celebrity had the opportunity to blend exploration and research by making Celebrity Flora the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment, known as Oceanscope. The program builds on a more than 20-year relationship with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science that benefits from a cruise ship's consistent itinerary to create a perfect and cost-effective way for scientists to gather and measure ocean circulation dynamics.
The system will track and map the region while measuring sea-surface temperatures and gathering data critical to research prediction of El Niño and La Niña. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open source data – globally accessible to research.
Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its first sailing on June 30, 2019.