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Explore the Galapagos Islands on a Cruise

2nd August 2018

As the eyes of the world increasingly turn to environmental concerns, awareness of the astounding range of flora and fauna species grows too. There are a number of regions where the miracle of life on earth is abundant; the safari land in Africa, the river banks of the Amazon, and of course, the incredible Galapagos Islands. This archipelago of Ecuadorean islands is becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, and what better way to explore them than on a cruise.

 

 

Which Cruise Lines Operate in the Galapagos Islands?

 

More and more cruise lines are offering itineraries in this part of the world, often combining a visit to the Galapagos with other destinations in South and Central America. Here are a handful of our favourite options;

Silversea Cruises, Silver Galapagos – This purpose built ship manages the terrain here perfectly. With a capacity of just 100 guests, cruisers will have an intimate experience and will profit from the first-hand expertise of the onboard staff.

Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Flora – Another ship designed for exploring the Galapagos Islands, onboard Celebrity Flora guests will relish in the onboard ambience which perfectly echoes and celebrates the surroundings.

G-Adventures, Yolita – Accommodating just 16 guests – yes 16 – Yolita provides an incredibly personalised experience. Explore the beautiful islands while befriending like-minded people and learning more about the complex eco-system from the experts.

 

 

Why are the Galapagos Islands so Important?

 

Located more than 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the 21 islands that comprise the Galapagos are home to far more species than you might realise. The famous biologist Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and it is said that the discoveries he made here went on to inspire his theory of evolution. This is because many of the species found here cannot be found anywhere else, meaning they have developed in accordance with what the region can supply - which is indicative of the process of natural selection.

 

What species are unique to the Galapagos Islands?

 

 

Among the huge array of animals and plant life here include some very special creatures which do not live anywhere else on earth;

 

  • The Galapagos penguins
  • The Galapagos tortoise
  • Red and Blue-footed booby birds
  • Land and marine iguanas
  • Darwin’s finches
  • Flightless cormorant
  •  

    There is also plenty to see in the way of marine life, such as sea turtles and sea lions, so guests should take advantage of any scuba or snorkelling opportunities during a cruise.

    Take a look at our range of Galapagos Island cruises, and finally tick this stunning place off your bucket list.


    Celebrity Cruises to Transform Entire Fleet

    23rd July 2018

    Updated July 2019

    Following the success of Celebrity Edge’s innovative design, Celebrity Cruises aims to reinvent the way passengers experience cruising. With the help of renowned designers, architects and engineers, Celebrity Cruises will revolutionise the entire fleet from the inside out to introduce redesigned accommodation, dining and venues for a truly unrivalled cruise experience.

     

    Timeline

     

    The fleet-wide redesign began in January 2019, with work continuing until 2023. For a full list of ships and when they’ll be officially part of the Celebrity Revolution, see the table below.

     

    Ship Date
    Celebrity Millennium 02/09/2019
    Celebrity Summit 03/23/2019
    Celebrity Equinox 01/06/2019
    Celebrity Silhouette 01/31/2020
    Celebrity Constellation 05/24/2020
    Celebrity Infinity 11/15/2020
    Celebrity Eclipse 11/24/2020
    Celebrity Solstice 10/29/2021
    Celebrity Reflection 02/03/2023

     

    Celebrity Revolution Timeline

     

     

     

    Accommodation & The Retreat

     

     

    Expert designer Kelly Hoppen MBE’s work from Celebrity Edge will continue fleetwide, where her stamp of excellence will be left in all Suite Class staterooms. From the cashmere mattresses to the airy, spacious ambience, guests will find a home away from home with an extra touch of luxury.

    Suite Class guests can also enjoy exclusive new venues. The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge aim to emulate the atmosphere of a top-class resort, with plenty of opportunity to sit back, enjoy a cocktail and take in the serenity of a lounge that’s been made exclusively for you. As the day moves into the evening, Suite Class guests can then sit down at the private restaurant, Luminae, where they enjoy a unique menu created by a Michelin-starred chef that can’t be found anywhere else.

    The accommodation redesign is not limited to just Suite Class cabins either. All staterooms of all classes will be redesigned and refreshed from top to bottom, featuring a neutral colour palette and clean lines to recreate that luxuriously homely feel.

     

    Bars & Restaurants

     

     

    To enhance the culinary experience Celebrity Cruises are famous for, main restaurants receive a glamorous make-over with many elegant new touches. The Oceanview Café in particular will emulate a spacious marketplace and introduce more international options that are inspired by each destination.

    Excitingly, Le Petit Chef, a hugely popular virtual dining experience, will be coming to all Celebrity ships at the onboard restaurant, Qsine. Marvel at the animated chef who prepares your chosen dish before your very eyes, before it’s presented to you in delicious reality.

     

    Onboard Venues

     

    Social spaces across the fleet will have a new and improved look, from the bars to the spas to the boutique shopping. With more than 40 crafts beers on offer, the expanded Gastrobar makes a great place to find a new favourite. Thanks to Revolution, whether you’re in the mood to catch up with new friends, or simply looking for a place to get stuck into your favourite book, you’ll find redesigned areas perfect for you.

    As well as this, in collaboration with Canyon Ranch, spas and fitness centres will be expended upon to offer a range of new and improved features. In addition, more AquaClass staterooms will be inspired by that serene spa aesthetic and situated just a few feet from the spa and fitness centres. From fabulous new treatments and massages, to fun fitness classes, Celebrity Cruises have created the ultimate cruise fleet with your wellbeing in mind.

    Finally, for those who love to treat loved ones (and themselves!), you’ll be delighted to know the boutique shopping has expanded to welcome new, high-end brands with plenty of designer names, as well as a digital photo gallery where you can browse all your favourite holiday snaps.

     

    Envrionmental Responsibility

     

    Celebrity Cruises have also worked hard to reduce their environmental impact, by looking even at the smallest of details on their ships. With the aim of increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions fleetwide, this cruise line will not only allow cruisers to experience the world in a new way, but also protect it at the same time.

     

    See our range of upcoming Celebrity Cruises holidays for you and yours to experience a piece of the luxury!


    Cruising for Wine Lovers

    7th February 2018

    Cruising and wine are two interests that make a perfect pairing. Not only can most cruise lines transport you to notable wine districts all over the world, but many also bring wine tastings, presentations, and experiences onboard as well. If you consider yourself something of a connoisseur, or even just enjoy a simple glass every now and then but would like to learn more, there are a number of destinations and types of cruises that could be right for you.

    European Cruises

    When it comes to European wines there are an incredible number of places worth exploring. Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Portugal are generally the most popular, but just about every country produces their own blend – not forgetting the UK. Try a punchy local Rioja in southern Spain on a Mediterranean cruise, or a classic Riesling on the Rhine on a German river cruise; wine lovers will not be disappointed in Europe– especially with most cruise lines offering various wine-themed excursions.

     

     

    Celebrity Cruises

    This popular cruise line has partnered up with Channel 5’s The Wine Show, to bring guests some extra special wine-related experiences. Presenters Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer have put together a series of recommended excursions – including vineyard tours and tastings across Europe. They will also often appear onboard to host talks and tastings on the ship. Celebrity Cruises also boast an enviable collection of rare wines at sea, and an expert team of sommeliers.

     

    Australasia Cruises

    Although Australian wine came pretty late into the game considering the history of wine in other regions, its popularity has seen a dramatic rise in recent years. In fact it is now the fourth biggest exporter of wine in the world. There are wine regions all over the vast country, including around Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne. In the Adelaide Hills alone there are around 50 different wineries, and you’ll find cruise excursions taking you to tastings in several of these, with a delicious gourmet lunch included too.

     

     

    Cunard: Queen Mary 2

    Cunard offer a unique cruising opportunity onboard QM2, in that guests can earn themselves a Level 1 or 2 Award in Wines; a recognised qualification in the wine industry. These are gained by spending time learning about oenology with the help of sommeliers, and renowned global winemakers who are brought onboard. You can expect tutored wine tastings, production workshops, fine wine seminars, and more. Port lovers will be especially delighted with the impressive array of 46 vintage ports in the Carinthia Lounge.

    California Cruises

    Around 90% of North American wine is produced in the sunny state of California – another popular cruise destination. A number of round-the-world, America, and even Caribbean cruises include stops in California, and ports like San Francisco are a great place to spend a few extra days on a cruise and stay holiday. Visit the glorious wine regions of Sonoma and Napa Valley for some brilliant wine experiences, either on an excursion or individually. Horse-riding here is a very special and memorable way to explore the vineyards.

     

     

    APT River Cruises

    For those who seek a cruise spent truly immersed in oenology, APT River Cruises’ Wine Series is a fabulous option. The line has collaborated with the winemakers of Australia’s First Families of Wine, in order to provide some wonderful wine-themed experiences on their selection of Wine Series cruises. Wine ambassadors will be onboard to host each river cruise, on which they will give talks about traditional wine-making in Europe, and of course wine tastings and meals with paired wines. These cruises take place in the wine regions of Europe, and include visits to various vineyards.

    South Africa Cruises

    A cruise in Africa is a fantastic and exhilarating opportunity to experience some of the most wonderful and unique aspects of our world. As well as new scenery, food, and of course culture, if your cruise includes a stop in South Africa, you’re in for a treat where wine is concerned as well. With 17th century European settlers came wine-making, and so viticulture here is in fact older than you might expect. Many cruise lines offer some brilliant wine-themed excursions, including tastings, tours of famous wine estates, and of course the chance to buy some exquisite bottles.

     

     

    Please remember to drink responsibily when enjoying wine or other alcoholic beverages.


    We cruise on Celebrity Reflection

    16th November 2016

    Updated July 2019

     

    Sharon from our Concierge Team enjoyed an 11 night cruise onboard Celebrity Reflection. If you're thinking of cruising with Celebrity Cruises, be sure to read all about her experience below before you go!

     

     

    Pre-Embarkation

    We travelled one day earlier than the cruise departure date and stayed in Civitavecchia - the main cruise port for Rome where many cruises begin or end. We stayed in a local 4* B&B which had a great location, just three minutes’ walk from the train station and 5-10 minutes’ walk to port. We got the train from Rome airport and changed at Trastevere which was all very straight forward. It took us about 90 mins and cost just €11 pp. Having said this, I wouldn’t recommend the train back to the airport if your flight is before 14:00, or you are pushed for time.

     

     

    Civitavecchia

    Civitavecchia is a quaint little town where a wander down the back streets finds a few little hidden gems. We went to 80 FAME, a highly rated restaurant, and enjoyed an amazing meal with wine for around €25 each. I definitely recommend eating here. When it was time to head to the ship we were quoted €20 for a taxi, but found we could easily walk along the seafront and enjoy the view.

    Celebrity Reflection

    Check-in was seamless with lots of staff to welcome us; we were on the ship within ten minutes of arriving.

    Once onboard my first impression was - WOW this ship is beautiful! Our balcony cabin was nice and spacious - balcony 2B on Deck 6, forward (very forward). I also got to look at 2C with a partially obstructed view on Deck 6, which in my opinion was fine with a good mid-ship position. They are just above life boats but the view to sea looked great.

    Drinks Prices and Packages

    When we arrived we were offered an upgrade on our free drinks package for just $10 per person, per day, which was actually cheaper than what I was quoted prior to sailing. The Basic Drinks Package is fine, giving you a range of choice of beers, wines, and cocktails, but if like me you like to sample every cocktail at every bar, then you need the upgraded package - as a lot of cocktails are $13 and free drinks include just cocktails up to $6. The World Bar (formerly known as Molecular Bar) and Martini Bar cocktails are $13-15 so the Classic Drinks Package means you can’t drink there, as you’d need to pay the full price of each drink as a supplement, or the difference above $13 if on Premium. If you upgrade to Premium you can have drinks including premium sake and port etc in the restaurants which we did and loved. Definitely worth upgrading especially if you have free spend or onboard credit.

    Cruise Passengers

    There were lots of friendly Americans and Canadians onboard who were very sociable. In fact I found everyone onboard to be friendly, and the crew were great. We were relatively young at mid-40s, but I’d say the average age for this cruise was about 50. I didn’t see any kids other than a couple of teenagers. There didn’t seem like there would be a lot for them to do, but, if they are like my kids who are real foodies and like to chill, then it’s not a problem to bring them along.

    Cuisine and Dining

    Our dining package was $149pp, and enabled us to visit the below speciality restaurants, which were worth every cent.

    Murano was my favourite speciality restaurant, we paid extra so that we could enjoy it twice! We had Silver Service with table side flambéed chateaubriand, lobster, dover sole, and more. The service was impeccable and the food was to die for. The cheese from the cheese trolley was the best I’ve ever tasted, the best quality on the ship. In my opinion this was the best restaurant I have ever visited and even better than some Michelin Star restaurants. The usual cost to dine here is $55 but 1 visit is included in dining packages at $149pp.

    Sushi on 5 has amazing sushi and a relaxed informal atmosphere. Usually you pay per item here but because we were on the dining package they brought us all sorts just because they can! The sake was amazing, we easily finished off a few mini carafes.

    Qsine - We had a fantastic experience in Qsine, you can pick from the iPad as many tasting courses as you like. They do everything and it comes out all weird and wonderful with little tubes of sauces. The dessert menu is presented on a Rubix Cube, and they also bring you chocolate covered strawberries in a grass box! Overall it was a bizarre yet fabulous experience and a close 2nd to Murano. Usually there is a supplement to eat here at $35pp.

     


    Lawn Club Grill -  This wasn’t my favourite of the dining venues but I can see how some enjoy the grill master experience. Here you can have starter, flat breads like pizzas, a salad buffet, and a wide selection of meats and fish from the BBQ. To dine here it usually costs $55 pp.

    Tuscan Grille - The Tuscan Grille is a great speciality restaurant for anyone looking for traditional Italian/Mediterranean fare. You can enjoy freshly made pizza, pasta, and succulent steaks etc usually for a $45 supplement.

    Buffet Restaurant - The food was fantastic especially on Gala Dinner days, with a gourmet buffet all day including lots of seafood. Afternoon tea was a great hit served every day at the buffet and the chocolate fountain was (unsurprisingly) always popular.

    El Bachio Café is a lot like a highstreet coffee shop, but with the most delicious cakes selection. These are all free with the coffees which are covered in the premium drinks package.

    Entertainment

    Outside of the theatre most of the entertainment happens around the atrium where there are parties, DJ’s, and bands etc. The Martini Bar had a fantastic atmosphere with the bar-staff jumping on the bar and dancing to entertain everyone. It made for a great night. The World Class Bar has some unique cocktails for around $13-20 but doesn’t serve any other drinks like wine or beers so my other half had to bring his own from the other bars.

    The Sunset Bar at the back of the ship is a great place for a cocktail when sailing away but there are lots of other bars dotted around the ship.

     

     

    Lasting Impressions

    I had a wonderful experience onboard Celebrity Reflection. Overall it was a fantastic cruise and a lovely first experience of Celebrity Cruises. I can’t wait to return for a second cruise and take my two teenage daughters.

    Book your cruise on Celebrity Reflection


    Try before you buy at Taste London with Celebrity Cruises

    17th June 2016

    Updated June 2017

     

    Celebrity Cruises are famed for award winning cuisine and extraordinary dining venues. So we were more than pleased to be invited to Celebrity's grand stand at the Taste of London Food Festival for a tasting menu complete with wine pairings this week.


    Bringing modern luxury to London, the Celebrity Cruises stand beckoned us with bright white furnishings and a fresh green picnic lawn. Sitting in the sunshine with a glass of wine, we felt as though we were onboard one of Celebrity Cruises award winning cruise ships at the iconic Lawn Club.

    Representing classic dishes from Celebrity Cruises acclaimed restaurants, the menu presented us with a taster of what can be expected onboard.

     

    Tuscan Grille

    Our delicious two course tasting menu gave us a Taste of Tuscany with sample dishes from Celebrity's specialty Italian restaurant, Tuscan Grille.

    • Creamy Burrata and Marinated Tomato paired with Arneis Blangé, Ceretto Langhe
    • Dry Aged, Grass Fed NY Strip with Pollenta Cube paired with Chianti Classico, Peppoli

    Both mouth watering dishes come highly recommended and left us wanting more.

    During the event Celebrity Cruises shared the news that Celebrity Eclipse will be heading to Dublin whilst Celebrity Silhouette will be returnig to the UK for sailings out of Southampton from April 2018

    Celebrity Cruises offer tasting sessions during the Taste of London festival* for £15pp. We can’t think of a better way to experience a snippet of life onboard a Celebrity Cruises sailing than a gourmet luxury tasting at their stunning pop up lawn club. Catch them this weekend to try before you buy! 

     

    Luninae and Blu

    See also a few snaps from Celebrity Cruises at Taste of London in 2016, with examples of delicious dishes from Celebrity's suite guest restaurant, Luminae.

    The delicious celeriac veloute with black truffle was poured in front of us from a porcelain teapot and complimented with toasted sunflower seeds. This course was perfectly paired with a glass of Viognier, Jean-Luc Colombo, “La Violette”, Languedoc with explanations on the pairing from guest sommelier Kiki Evans.


    Second course was representative of the cuisine available onboard Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity Cruises 100 guest mega yacht sailing the Galapagos. Corvina sea bass with sage brown butter and cavolo nero with asparagus tantalised taste buds around the table as Chef Garcia recalled real life experiences of the fascinating Galapagos Islands. This dish was perfectly paired with a fruity Sauvignon Blanc, Clifford Bay, Marlborough.


    Next came signature pistachio crusted lamb loin with juniper jam from Aqua Class Restaurant – Blu. Aqua Class guests can enjoy serene spa-inspired staterooms and exclusive access to specialty restaurant Blu, serving the finest of clean cuisine. Our lamb loin was complimented by a smooth and velvety Chilean Carmenere.

     

    See more on Celebrity Cruises

    *Taste of London 2017 is at Regents Park 14th-18th June with tickets from £17pp + transaction fee


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