Updates from around the fleet and World Wildlife Fund at Sea.
Introducing Celebrity Flora
In June 2019, Celebrity Cruises introduced one of the most energy-efficient ships of its size to the diverse archipelago of the Galapagos. Designed with the destination in mind, Celebrity Flora is a revolutionary approach to marine exploration.
The 100-guest, all-suites ship’s environmental considerations include anchorless technology, in-room water filtration stations, a strict waste-management program, open-air stargazing platform, and expert-led ecological seminars. The outward-facing design is complemented with interior and furniture designs by Ecuadorian native Adriana Hoyos. Her one-of-a kind pieces incorporate local elements that connect to the destination, and can be found throughout the Discovery Lounge, Penthouse Suites, and the Marina.
Celebrity Flora is not just a cruise ship meant for the life of leisure. She is a research vessel as well—the first in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment known as Oceanscope. As the cruise line explained, “[t]he system will track and map the region while measuring sea-surface temperatures and gathering data critical to research predictions of El Niño and La Niña. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open-source data—globally accessible to research—a first for scientists around the world and anyone with a passion for this information.”
Considering Flora’s environmental missions, it was a naturally perfect fit to name Yolanda Kakabadse as the ship’s godmother. Kakabadse is the former president of the World Wildlife Fund International, former president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and former Minister of Environment for the Republic of Ecuador. “I am proud to partner with a company that is committed to sustainability in the Galapagos and showing leadership on an issue critical to sustain this beautiful ecosystem—food waste,” she said.
At the sustainability-focused christening ceremony, Celebrity Cruises also announced a new partnership with EarthEcho International, a nonprofit founded by Philippe Cousteau. Jr., to inspire young people to act now for a sustainable future.
“The launch of Celebrity Flora presents an incredible opportunity for EarthEcho International and Celebrity to jointly develop a meaningful and impactful initiative that will engage and empower young environmental leaders both on board and in the communities of the Galapagos Islands,” Cousteau, Jr. said.
The Revolution Continues
The Celebrity Revolution kicked off in 2019 with Celebrity Millennium being the first in the fleet to receive its major modernization as part of the $500 million renovation project for all Celebrity ships. Celebrity Summit followed with a bow-to-stern transformation that presents guests with completely redesigned staterooms and suites. The renovations also included the addition of The Retreat for suite guests, reimagined restaurants and bars, and a redesigned spa and casino.
And Celebrity Equinox was also part of the 2019 Revolution. The guest favorite and most awarded ship in the fleet stuns with The Retreat for suite guests, which includes The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club), staterooms and suites featuring Celebrity’s exclusive eXhale bedding collection with luxurious cashmere mattresses; STEM, art, culinary, and fun activities for young cruisers; digital enhancements such as RFID technology and Xcelerate Wi-Fi. When it comes to innovative onboard dining, Qsine presents both Le Petit Chef and Friends as well as the original Le Petit Chef where an animated 3-D chef appears tabletop to prepare each course.
Look for 2020 Revolution modernizations to Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Constellation, and Celebrity Infinity.
Welcome Back Home(port)
Celebrity Cruises will sail into Port Tampa Bay in the summer of 2020 and welcome Celebrity Constellation, the fifth ship to undergo a major makeover. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, explained that it’s fitting for this revolutionized ship to sail into and call Port Tampa Bay home because the bay area is also experiencing some renovations of its own, such as the Water Street project, a $3 billion investment to transform the district.
Guests looking to sail out of Port Tampa Bay on the revamped Celebrity Constellation choose from three itineraries: a 10-night Eastern Caribbean escape, an 11-night Southern Caribbean trek, and the new 11-night “Touch Canal” itinerary.
World Wildlife At Sea
In 2016, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Celebrity Cruises’ parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), officially teamed up to protect the long-term health of the sea. WWF, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, holds a vision of humans living in harmony with nature, and this partnership shares Celebrity’s love of adventure, respect for nature, and determination to care for the oceans and their ecosystems. From focusing on emissions reduction to sourcing sustainable seafood, Celebrity’s dynamic partnership with WWF transforms the brand’s business practices and reinforces its environmental consciousness with measurable goals to reduce Celebrity’s environmental footprint.
Water Rescues with WWF
In the Fall issue of World Wildlife magazine, author Lauren Spurrier details many more ways that WWF is teaming up across the oceans in order to save them. “So much hinges on collaboration, because these [aquatic] ecosystems, like the world’s dwindling fish stocks, are shared resources that require collective solutions,” she writes. Here are a few of the partnerships she dives into.
Common Oceans: Sixty-two percent of the world’s oceans are considered Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, meaning no one entity controls them. WWF partnered with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Environment Facility, and several conservation groups to work with governments and businesses on aquatic projects in the areas. Example: Tuna Think Tank. Spurrier explains it as a, “commodity [where] experts worked together to develop incentives for more eco-friendly practices in the tuna fishing industry.”
Global Mangrove Alliance: In the past 50 years, 50 percent of the world’s mangroves have disappeared. So, WWF, along with Conservation International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and Wetlands International took action and formed the Global Mangrove Alliance. Together, they are partnering with stakeholders and governments around the world to increase mangrove habitats by 20 percent by 2030.
We Are Still In: WWF joined what Spurrier describes as “an unprecedented coalition of American businesses, cities, states, and other subnational actors dedicated to fulfilling the climate commitments that the US made under the Paris Agreement.”
ReSource: She also details how last spring WWF launched the global activation hub to empower businesses like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and others to stop the flow of plastic into nature by 2030. “It’s a bold goal, but if history tells us anything, it’s that people are capable of amazing things,” she writes. “The same ingenuity that led to the invention of plastics can surely find a way to keep them out of our oceans. The intrepid spirit that drove us to explore the surface of Mars can also achieve a healthy balance between people and nature—right here on Earth.”
Wildlife Conservation Society: WWF has collaborated with the Wildlife Conservation Society to focus on innovation. Take the Marine Ecological Research and Monitoring AID (MERMAID). “[It’s] a web-based tool they developed to streamline data collection on the health of coral reefs, enabling scientists and policy-makers to respond more rapidly to their loss.”
From financing large-scale marine protections to outfitting fishing nets with LED lights that prevent turtle entanglement to working with Toyota to develop a waste management system that recycles more than 50 percent of its overall waste in the Galapagos Islands, WWF partnerships are the oceans’ lifeguards.
A Small Straw, A Big Impact
In June 2018, Celebrity Cruises’ parent company, RCCL, announced that all 50 ships across the fleet would ring in 2019 free of plastic straws. Additionally it is working on a comprehensive plastics-elimination program across all brands, including single-use items such as condiment packets, cups, and bags.
As a recent issue of World Wildlife magazine explained, “Many marine animals mistake these and other plastic items for food. Plastic has been found in an estimated 90 percent of all seabirds and in all sea turtle species. Within the next decade there could be a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the ocean.”
Moving forward, guests of Celebrity Cruises will receive paper straws, Forrest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers, and bamboo garnish picks as part of RCCL’s plastic-reduction strategy.
“Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO. “For over 25 years, our Save the Waves program has guided us to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can. Eliminating single-use plastics is another
step in that program.”
A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by this year.
Be the Change
Celebrity Cruises is proud to support WWF through the sale of items available on select cruises. One hundred percent of the net proceeds of your purchase will help support WWF’s global ocean conservation work, and you take home a fun reminder of your cruise and support. Purchase a clownfish or panda plush, or a commemorative WWF T-shirt. And, coming soon, enjoy a specialty cocktail in a commemorative glass.
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