When Celebrity Flora arrives in the Galapagos Islands in just a few weeks, she will become – in the words of her captain – ‘a unique vessel, for a unique destination’. We were lucky enough to be welcomed aboard the diminutive new Celebrity Cruises expedition ship in Rotterdam last month and aside from being absolutely gorgeous on the surface, all natural wood and neutral décor, what really struck us was how much focus has been placed on creating such a sustainable ship that does such a delicate destination justice.
Celebrity Flora in the Galapagos
A cruise to the Galapagos Islands sits at the very top of the wish list for anyone with a real interest in wildlife and the natural world. Celebrity Flora will be totally unique in the way she not only brings the destination to life, but also in the way she respects the ecosystem with technological advancements, eco-friendly touches and special research partnerships that will secure the future of the exceptional archipelago. Celebrity Cruises have created a ship to celebrate the Galapagos and here are some of the ways Celebrity Flora will do so.
No more plastic
Celebrity Flora was designed by Francesca Bucci, the same architect behind many other Celebrity Cruises ships, including Celebrity Edge. One of the things we loved about Edge, aside from its mind-blowing design, was the replacement of plastic water bottles with aluminium versions. This sustainability focus has gone a step further on Celebrity Flora, with all suites (there are 50 on board the ultra-luxury, all-suite ship) featuring a dedicated water refill station right by the door and glass flip-top bottles to fill each day and carry with you ashore. The clever new addition to the beautifully designed suites (which felt like some of the biggest we’ve ever seen thanks to Infinite Verandahs and feature beds that face outwards so you can wake up to the Galapagos’ stunning views) will cut down waste considerably.
Drink up and don’t worry about fresh water running dry while you’re on board; Celebrity Flora has an eco-friendly system in place designed to produce all the clean water she needs and more.
The OceanScope programme
A partnership with Dr Peter Ortner of the University of Miami sees Celebrity Flora become a ‘satellite of the sea’ as part of the OceanScope programme. Commercial ships visiting the Galapagos Islands are able to communicate information on the sea surface temperature and chlorophyll concentration in a way that is impossible by any other method. The Galapagos is known as a ‘global choke point’ meaning that the wellbeing of its ecosystems has a direct impact on the rest of the world. Scientists hadn’t planned to include the region in the OceanScope programme but Celebrity Flora presented too good an opportunity to miss in gathering data and scientists involved are ‘excited beyond belief’ according to Dr Ortner. Guests will even be able to play a part in the OceanScope project as part of hands-on activities in the Darwin’s Cove laboratory onboard.
The Scalesia Reforestation Project
The Galapagos National Park covers 97% of the Islands and within that are hectare upon hectare of endemic Scalesia trees. The Scalesia Reforestation Project was the first collaboration of its kind in the Galapagos Islands, with Celebrity Cruises guests visiting Santa Cruz island having now planted over 30,000 trees in a bid to help offset climate change, reduce carbon footprints and preserve the unique forests. 95% of Celebrity Cruises guests in the Galapagos now participate in the weekly conversation efforts and they will be continued by Celebrity Flora.
Locally sourced and sustainable cuisine
We were lucky enough to dine on board Celebrity Flora at the shipyard in Rotterdam and the food was INCREDIBLE! Not only that, but menus created by Michelin-starred Cornelius Gallagher and his team (who all hold Michelin star experience too) are crafted to work in harmony with the Galapagos region. Local Ecuadorian ingredients bring authentic flavour to dishes but the focus on regional inspirations goes further than that, including:
- The ‘Galapagos Tomato’ – a hybrid tomato grown in greenhouses through organic agriculture initiatives run by Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos. It is served on all Galapagos sailings.
- The ‘Daily Catch’ – a fishing co-op created by Celebrity Cruises to give local fishermen a safe and clean processing plant in which to prepare, store and sell their catch. Their ‘daily catch’ is served on Celebrity ships in the Galapagos.
Even the chocolate placed on your pillow each night is ethically sourced from an eco-friendly local chocolate company that donates part of proceeds to conservation efforts in the Galapagos.
The Galapagos Islands are like nowhere else on earth and Celebrity Flora can show you them like no one else can. Find out more about all-inclusive cruises on Celebrity Flora to the Galapagos Islands here or speak to a Cruise Expert on 01246 819819 to finally make the trip that is as eco-friendly as it is exciting and indulgent.