Celebrity Cruises has said it has no plans for further expansion in the expedition market, despite launching Celebrity Flora, its first expedition ship built specifically to sail the Galapagos Islands, writes Sara Macefield.
Speaking as the line unveiled the 100-passenger all-suite vessel to trade and media guests at Shipyard De Hoop in the Netherlands, president and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo told TTG there were no plans to follow this with similar ships elsewhere.
“Our strategy has not changed,” she said. “Expedition has never been in any plans for Celebrity beyond the Galapagos.”
The advent of Celebrity Flora, which will join the line’s 100-passenger Galapagos-based ship Celebrity Xpedition, will give Celebrity the largest presence of any company in the remote archipelago, where it has sailed since 2003.
The ship aims to take standards to new heights with suite-only accommodation and spacious surroundings, as well as solar panels and anchorless technology.
“Celebrity Flora has been designed for the eco-system of the Galapagos,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “The style has been influenced by Celebrity Edge, with 50% of the suites having Infinite Verandas. There are more public spaces as this ship carries the same number of guests as Xpedition, but is twice its size.”
Outward-facing accommodation, an observatory-style lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, an open-air stargazing platform and on-deck cabanas that can be used for overnight glamping also feature.
Lutoff-Perlo said the ship had been “unbelievably successful” and attracted excellent sales, despite its higher price point of around £6,000 per week. A current UK promotion is offering 25% savings on bookings made by 5 June.
Celebrity Flora’s first sailing is on 30 June. It will leave the Rotterdam shipyard within the next few weeks to sail to the Galapagos, where it will be named by Ecuadorian conservationist and former World Wildlife Fund president Yolanda Kakabadse.