Some vacations are life changing. And even though Charles Darwin was working, he described his voyage to the Galapagos Islands aboard the H.M.S. Beagle as “by far the most important event of my life.” For it was among these stunningly beautiful islands Darwin first began his observations and journal entries for what would become the seminal “On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection,” the foundation of his revolutionary theory of evolution.
Evolution should be a settled matter. But when debate rages about your next vacation, be sure to marshal your arguments in favor of cruising the Galapagos aboard Celebrity Cruises’ new all-suite ship, Celebrity Flora, that sets sail this June. There’s a tremendous advantage to booking now through June 5, 2019. The second guest’s cruise fare is half off for seven-day itineraries. For 10 and 11-day itineraries, the second guest is half off and both guests receive free airfare from the U.S. and Canada via Flights by Celebrity. This offer applies to sailing dates from May 26-December 31, 2019.
Here’s why cruising on Celebrity Flora makes sense even if this deal doesn’t work for your schedule: You will gain a heightened understanding of how evolution applies to all endeavors: plants, animals—even cruise ships. This luxury boutique vessel was designed with the Galapagos in mind. From its rear-deck marina, which allows passengers to transfer seamlessly from the ship to the custom-built Novurania Yacht Tenders; to the onboard certified naturalists (many of whom grew up in the Galapagos) who accompany excursions and host informative lectures beforehand; and the all-suite accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows and verandas that provide a constant connection to the natural world–not to mention fine dining menus that source local seafood–the Celebrity Flora epitomizes the next evolutionary step in exploring this exceptional Ecuadorian archipelago.
The “Inner Loop” and “Outer Loop” island itineraries will awaken your inner naturalist. One reason the Galapagos was the ideal location for Darwin to ponder his theory was its untouched environment. There had been no European settlers who brought invasive species and diseases when the Beagle arrived in 1835. And while there has been human development there since, the Ecuadorian government and Galapagos National Park work hard to maintain hospitable surroundings for its singular flora and fauna. Indeed most travelers come to the Galapagos to see the giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flamingos, blue-footed boobies, penguins and the islands’ volcanic landscapes.
All Celebrity Flora cruises include a trip to the Darwin Research Center on Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. It’s a fascinating place where guests can visit the National Park’s tortoise breeding center and walk through the research station. The station is run by the Charles Darwin Foundation whose mission is “to provide knowledge and assistance through scientific research and complementary action to ensure the conservation of the environment and biodiversity in the Galapagos Archipelago.” It’s regarded as a world leader in conservation and restoration of ecosystems.
Another consideration is Celebrity Flora’s ambiance and style of cruising. It’s an intimate vessel (maximum 100 passengers) that’s all-inclusive; so guests need not pay extra for shore excursions, drinks or even gratuities. Every aspect is designed to allow guests to focus on important issues, such as looking for Darwin’s finch varieties (the differences among them from island to island was the foundation for his hypothesis); understanding symbiotic relationships in the wild or deciding whether to dine in, al fresco or perhaps order complimentary room service for a romantic dinner on the veranda.
After experiencing Celebrity Flora, guests probably won’t spend the better part of two decades writing about what they discovered and how it altered their worldview as Darwin did.
But they might still be talking about that cruise to friends and family who casually remark, “I’ve always wanted to see the Galapagos.”
For more information, please see celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-flora or call 800.533.7803.