EarthEcho International partnership
A partnership was announced with EarthEcho International, a nonprofit organization founded by Philippe Cousteau Jr., to inspire young people to act now for a sustainable future.
'Every once in a while, a unique ship comes along in the industry and changes things, and Celebrity Flora is that ship,' said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. 'The Galapágos is a truly unique destination and deserved a ship with sustainability at its core.'
Fain added: '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.'
'Our guests have never seen a destination quite like the beautiful Galápagos Islands, and the islands have never seen a ship quite like Celebrity Flora, perfectly blending intimate luxury with sustainability,' added Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. 'The ship is designed to showcase this amazing destination, giving our guests incredible memories — and underscoring the critical importance of protecting our planet’s fragile ecosystems.'
The traditional bottle-breaking was triggered by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting that used a hand-crafted ribbon made from green banana core by a collective of local women artisans known as Manos Magicas. In addition, schoolchildren sang the Ecuadorian national anthem.
'Being here in the beautiful Galápagos 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,"' Kakabadse said. '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.'
The new partnership between EarthEcho International and Celebrity 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 Galápagos and aboard Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Xpedition.
The program will include youth-focused, environmental sustainability projects in the Galápagos and activities for youth as part of Celebrity’s on-board program.
Naming ceremony guests also took part in a panel on sustainability held in the ship’s Discovery Lounge. Host Ellen Prager, world-renowned marine scientist and regional destination expert, discussed topics with Cousteau; Peter B. Ortner, research professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; and Kakabadse.
Oceanscope for research
Celebrity Flora is equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment known as Oceanscope in a program that builds on a more than 20-year relationship with the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science that benefits from a cruise ship’s 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. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open source data, globally accessible to research.
Celebrity Flora is one of the most energy-efficient ships of its kind, with a 15% reduction of fuel consumption resulting in lower air emissions, thanks to an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines. Flora also has dynamic positioning and zero speed stabilizers. In-room water filtration stations and the ability to reuse air conditioning condensation to provide water to the shipboard laundry facilities are other features.
Reverse osmosis equipment can process sea water into fresh water to supply 100% of the ship's needs. Plus, any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be part of a strict waste management system.
Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its first revenue voyage on June 30.