The number of cruise ships that can operate in the Galapagos is restricted by the government of Ecuador. The size is limited to 100 passengers, so prices tend to be high. A 7-night Galapagos cruises on Celebrity Xpedition starts at US$4,399 per person.
The new cruise ship, named Celebrity Flora, is to be built in a Dutch shipyard and scheduled to debut in May 2019.
The Celebrity Flora newbuild will take over itineraries offered onboard the 100-passenger Xpedition, which on its turn will take on itineraries of 2 smaller ships, the 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration and the 48-passenger Celebrity Xperience. The two small ships will probably be sold.
Celebrity Flora will carry the same number of cruisers, but will be twice the size of Xpedition, which allows for more features.
Flora will boast a small pool, 2 restaurants and 2 lounges. It will have more crew space and 1 naturalist for every 12 passengers, up from the 1:16 ratio on Celebrity Xpedition.
The new ship will feature storage space in the hull for 3 Zodiac boats (stored on deck onboard Xpedition). Flora's pair of 1,288 ft2 (nearly 120 m2) Penthouse suites will be the biggest in the Galapagos.
Ship's design will be consistent with Celebrity Edge and other bigger Celebrity Cruises ships, but with an emphasis on the natural and organic. Suites, restaurants and lounges will feature floor-to-ceiling windows in order to facilitate wildlife viewing.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in the Seaside Restaurant. The alfresco Ocean Grill will be a casual dining space with an option to dine under the stars.
Approx 50% of the accommodations will have virtual balconies that will debut on Celebrity Edge. Line's emphasis on facing out to the ocean will be reflected in all Flora's beds being positioned to face the windows.
The top deck will have 4 stick-style cabanas available for day rental and sleeping out under the stars.
Celebrity Flora will offer year-round cruises from Baltra Island. Her first sailing begins on May 26, 2019.