First look at Celebrity Flora

Get a sneak-peek at this new luxury expedition ship

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First look at Celebrity Flora

I was fortunate to visit the shipyard in the Netherlands for a sneak peek at the new Celebrity Flora expedition ship from Celebrity Cruises. This is the first ship specifically built for sailing in the Galápagos region and the only ship to feature balcony suites and an on-board science lab. Celebrity Cruises have been operating in the Galápagos for over 16 years and are experts in the area.

Join me on a quick ship tour of Celebrity Flora as we saw the areas of the ship that were open for us, plus some that were still under construction. Bear in mind that the ship isn't finished yet and some areas were not 100% complete - however it gave a great indication of what an amazing expedition ship Celebrity Flora will be. All photos below were taken on the day.

Celebrity Flora

Celebrity Flora in the shipyard in the Netherlands

Celebrity Flora in the shipyard in the Netherlands

As the ship was still in the yard, we had to clamber over ropes and supplies to get on board. I was impressed at how finished she looked with the classic Celebrity Cruises blue painted hull and X logo.

Celebrity Flora Aft Deck

Celebrity Flora Aft Deck

We could clearly see the innovative drop down marina at the stern, used for embarking and debarking guests into the specially designed Novurania luxury tenders, and the balconies of the top suites on board looking over the aft decks.

Celebrity Flora Tenders

Celebrity Flora Tenders

This photo clearly shows how the these new tenders lock into position on the marina of Celebrity Flora, enabling a stable embarkation onto them. There are hand rails offering support and are a far cry from the usual bum-shuffle most guests have to do on the older style tender boats! This new locking-in feature allows the tenders to be embarked in a swell of up to 3 feet - where usually it would be unsafe to do so.

Celebrity Flora Tender Embarkation Area

Celebrity Flora Tender Embarkation Area

You can see the space afforded by the drop-down marina and easy embarkation of the tender boats - a real game changer in Galápagos expedition cruising. Remember - the ship accommodates just 100 guests, so plenty of room.

Darwin's Cove

Darwin's Cove on Celebrity Flora

Darwin's Cove on Celebrity Flora

Heading indoors from the Marina is Darwin's Cove.  Darwin’s Cove houses the Guest Relations area where guests will check in before heading to their suite and where guests will also find cold towels, infused waters, and other refreshments when they return from expedition landings and adventures ashore.

Within Darwin’s Cove you’ll also find The Lab—another first in the Galápagos Islands. The Lab is Celebrity Flora’s centre of information and discovery, as it’s an actual functioning research facility. Guests can explore The Lab on their own or join one of the on board Naturalists.

Next to Darwin’s Cove is the Naturalist Center, where Celebrity Flora's  environmental efforts in the Galápagos Islands are displayed. Did you know that since Celebrity Cruises have been sailing in the Galápagos, their guests have planted over 30,000 trees? That's incredible!

There is also a small shop located here.

Discovery Lounge

Discovery Lounge on Celebrity Flora

Discovery Lounge on Celebrity Flora

One deck up is the Discovery Lounge. This social space will be the hub of Celebrity Flora, where guests can enjoy presentations and briefings put on by the on board Naturalists. In fact, there will be 11 Naturalists on board—that’s a 9:1 guest to Naturalist ratio. Guests will also learn about the activities and excursions they will have the opportunity to participate in during their Galápagos cruise.

There is also a full bar, a stage for entertainment, and comfortable seating, including sofas and lounge chairs for relaxing. The walls are almost all glass, so stunning views are a given.  Furniture and design is by Ecuadorian-native Adriana Hoyos, a renowned interior and furniture designer, who uses sustainable materials when crafting a new collection. Her one-of-a kind pieces can be found throughout the Discovery Lounge, Penthouse Suites and the Marina, complementing the ship design with local elements that connect to the destination organically.

The LED screen in the Discovery Lounge

The LED screen in the Discovery Lounge

Celebrity Flora also features the largest LED screen in the area! Perfect for lectures and daily recaps on what the guests have seen and what they can look forward to for the upcoming landings.

Seaside Restaurant

Seaside Restaurant on Celebrity Flora

Seaside Restaurant on Celebrity Flora

Moving forward from the Discovery Lounge is the Seaside Restaurant, which is large enough to accommodate all guests at one sitting. In the Galápagos Islands, Celebrity Flora will feature menus crafted by Celebrity Cruises Michelin-starred chef who is dedicated to creating an authentic dining program by sourcing the freshest, local ingredients and using the highest quality, sustainable seafood available. The Seaside Restaurant is the main restaurant on board and is a spacious, upscale casual dining area that features destination-inspired design and large windows throughout for stunning views whilst you are enjoying your meals.


Cuisine on Celebrity Flora

Cuisine on Celebrity Flora

The food on Celebrity Flora was so delicious! There was a choice of traditional Celebrity Cruises favourites such as Escargot, Beef Tournedos and Chocolate Palet, or you could select the local Ecuadorian inspired menu. I went for the Ecuadorian and dined on Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche, Galápagos Style Lobster Tail and Chiquita Napolean. I have to say it was utterly delicious and must be the best dining experience in the Galápagos!

Vista Deck

Vista Deck on Celebrity Flora

Vista Deck on Celebrity Flora

Moving up to the open decks, this is Vista Deck on Celebrity Flora, with an innovative floor covering designed to resemble stone. This open-air hideaway will be the ultimate place for unwinding and will feature a hot tub, cocoon-style loungers and private cabanas to enjoy cocktails and to soak in the view. I was impressed again with how much space there is on board and kept having to remind myself that this yacht carries just 100 travellers.

Cabanas on Celebrity Flora

Cabanas on Celebrity Flora

These luxury cabanas can be used during the day, or can be booked for $299 for a sleeping under the stars experience. Celebrity Flora's guests will be able to book the Galápagos Glamping experience that includes two luxury cabanas, one featuring a double bed, and the other for enjoying an alfresco meal, whilst a naturalist will be on hand to point out the stars and constellations visible from this region. There is minimal light pollution in the Galápagos so the night skies will put on a brilliant show. Exclusive culinary offerings including cocktails, wines and s’mores will be specially prepared, followed by an exclusive dinner served as part of the Galápagos Glamping evening. Campers will also welcome the spectacular sunrise with a full bed-side breakfast. WOW! I would so do this!

Hot tub on Celebrity Flora

Hot tub on Celebrity Flora

Aft on the Vista Deck is this hot tub Jacuzzi for relaxing in whilst watching the scenery.

Ocean Grill

Ocean Grill Restaurant on Vista Deck, Celebrity Flora

Ocean Grill Restaurant on Vista Deck, Celebrity Flora

Forward on Vista Deck is the Ocean Grill restaurant. The Ocean Grill is an outdoor casual restaurant that will offer panoramic views during the day and starlit skies at night. Here, there’s every opportunity to enjoy both the destination and Celebrity Cruises culinary expertise. From grilling up the highest quality, local sustainable seafood for lunch, to Dinner Under the Stars, Ocean Grill on Celebrity Flora will be the envy of all the ships in the Galápagos!

Suites on Celebrity Flora

Sky Suite on Celebrity Flora

Sky Suite on Celebrity Flora

The suites on Celebrity Flora are all outward facing and feature either an Infinite Veranda or a traditional balcony. The majority of accommodation onboard are the 'Sky Suites with Balcony' on Deck 5 or the 'Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda' on Deck 6. All beds face the verandas so you can be assured of stunning views from the comfort of you bed!

The Sky Suite with Infinite Veranda offers the unique ability to create an open-air room with the touch of a button for a greater connection to the sea and the islands. They feature a modern layout with an etched glass divider separating the bedroom and bathroom and a king-sized bed from Celebrity Cruises Cashmere Bedding Collection.

In suite fresh water tap

In suite fresh water tap

All suites feature a fresh water tap. The water is made on board via reverse osmosis, allowing guests to re-fill their glass water bottles so that plastic bottles are eliminated.


Celebrity Flora Summary

I had a great time visiting Celebrity Flora (see how happy I am!) and know that she is going to be a game-changer in luxury Galápagos cruises. There is just so much space on board this specifically designed ship I know guests are going to love her. I was very impressed with the eco-credentials of the ship, from the dynamic positioning system that eliminates the use of a coral-damaging anchor, to the almost zero emissions from the funnel. The OceanScope science lab is going to be a winner too as Celebrity Flora will be the first Galápagos ship equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment.

Celebrity Flora Itineraries

The ship will offer two alternating seven-night routes in the Galápagos, the Outer Loop and and the Inner Loop - why not combine them for a 14-day Galápagos immersion? You can also enjoy a 10-night itinerary that includes a stay in Quito or a 16-night tour that also takes in Machu Picchu. View Celebrity Flora cruise itineraries.

See below for further details about this extraordinary ship.

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