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New 100-passenger Celebrity Flora will explore Galápagos Islands on weeklong itineraries

New 100-passenger Celebrity Flora will explore Galápagos Islands on weeklong itineraries
A rendering of the Celebrity Flora, a custom-built 100-passenger ship that will debut in Ecuador's Galápagos Islands in 2019. (Celebrity Cruises)

The Galápagos Islands in Ecuador give visitors a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness animals found nowhere else on the planet. Now Celebrity Cruises has announced it is designing a ship expressly for touring those dazzling shores.

The Celebrity Flora, a 100-passenger ship, will begin sailing out of Baltra Island in the Galápagos in May 2019, on alternating seven-night inner and outer loop itineraries.

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Fares start at $4,399 per person, double occupancy.

The 333-foot, all-suite ship is being designed to be energy-efficient, and includes technology that will allow it to maintain a position without anchors, thus protecting the ocean floor.

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The Galápagos Islands, known for their giant tortoises, lava lizards and swooping frigate birds, are about 1,000 miles from Ecuador's mainland. Animals that thrive there have few predators, leading to a vast number of endemic species.

In addition to design advances, the Flora will offer educational, research-based programming that will give travelers an opportunity to learn about the wildlife-rich islands.

Other new features of the ship include:

— a boarding area that can accommodate up to three Zodiac boats at once, reducing transport time to and from land

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— an open-air viewing area that that has 360-degree views

— an observatory with floor-to-ceiling windows and stargazing platform

The ship will have an advanced propulsion system and specially designed diesel engines that will make it more energy-efficient, according to Celebrity.

Info: Celebrity Cruises, (888) 751-7804, or contact a travel agent

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Twitter: @latimestravel

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