Your Galapagos Islands sightseeing priority, of course, should be the wildlife. But once you’ve tracked giant tortoises, wobbled across rocky shorelines with blue-footed boobies, and splashed through the surf with sea lions, you’ll want to come back to a cruise ship with an aesthetic that’s as engaging as the natural surroundings.
While there are plenty of workaday ships sailing the Galapagos, there are just a few that deliver the comforts of big-ship cruising along with exemplary design. Enter the 100-passenger, all-suite Celebrity Flora, Celebrity Cruises’ first ship purpose-built for the Galapagos, which launched in May. Celebrity is no stranger to the concept of high-wattage style; its new Edge-class ships, with vibrantly colored tile, greenery galore, and light streaming in through double-height windows at every turn, are among the most smartly styled at sea.
For this project, Celebrity has engaged Ecuadorian furniture designer Adriana Hoyos to outfit Flora's suites, and to set the scene for one very out-of-the-ordinary onboard amenity. Guests can now book a “glamping” experience that lets them sleep and dine under the stars on the ship’s top deck in special cabanas designed by Hoyos. Dinner, a sunrise breakfast, specially curated wines and cocktails, and campfire-inspired fare like s’mores will be served, and a naturalist will be available to help glampers discern the array of stars in the night sky.
On the rest of the ship, the vibe is residential modern. Think curved wicker loungers, oversize pillows, and expansive, outward-facing spaces to maximize views of the sea and the green Galapagos islands. Cruises range from $8,000-$17,000 per person for 7-, 10-, 11-, and 16-night itineraries. The glamping experience is available for four guests per night, per cruise, and costs an additional $299 per suite.