The 100-passenger ship was built at De Hoop in the Netherlands.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain hosted the on-board ceremony for company executives and more than 70 crew, many Ecuadorians.
Luxurious but energy-efficient
'Designing a new ship specifically for the Galápagos Islands was an exciting challenge and we think Celebrity Flora succeeded beautifully,' Fain said. 'It is, of course, luxurious — but it’s also the most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, which further demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and protecting the vital ecosystem of this unique place.'
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo acknowledged the hard work of hundreds of architects, artisans, engineers and others, adding that Celebrity Flora will change the way travelers experience the Galápagos thanks to the 'largest and most luxurious all-suite accommodations' in the archipelago.
Sky Suites with infinite verandas
Flora reflects Celebrity's outward-facing design concept to give 360-degree views of the islands. Half the accommodations are Sky Suites with infinite verandas. An upper-deck glamping experience, stargazing platform and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders are other features.
According to Celebrity, Flora will have a high 1:9 ratio of Galápagos National Park-certified naturalists per passenger.
Celebrity Flora is equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment known as Oceanscopein a program that builds on the company's more than 20-year relationship with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. This benefits from a consistent itinerary to create a 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. The findings gathered will become open source data that can be globally accessed for research. In another first, travelers will be able to view the data through compelling real-time visualizations on board.
Year-round from Baltra
Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its initial cruise on June 30.