(10:00 a.m. EDT) -- Celebrity Cruises has chosen a former president of the World Wildlife Fund Yolanda Kakabadse as the godmother to its new expedition ship, Celebrity Flora.
The leading Ecuadorian naturalist will name Flora on June 30, 2019, in the Galapagos; the ship is scheduled to depart from the shipyard in Holland on May 15.
"The Galapagos Islands are an ecological treasure and I am excited to showcase its one of a kind biodiversity through Flora," Kakabadse said.
Celebrity has also revealed new partnerships with the University of Miami to conduct research onboard Celebrity Flora, known as Oceanscope; and a design partnership with renowned Ecuadorian designer Adriana Hoyos.
Speaking about the partnerships at a shipyard visit to see Flora, Celebrity's CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: "We are thrilled to announce three one-of-a-kind partnerships, which help underscore our passion for protecting this beautiful archipelago.
"Each of these new partners are helping shape a better tomorrow for our planet in one way or another -- whether it's through the research, sustainable material sourcing or conservation -- and we couldn't be prouder to be part of this sea change."
Oceanscope will be led by Dr. Peter Ortner, a research professor at the University of Miami.
Said Ortner: "Celebrity Flora's repeated navigations of the Galapagos Archipelago will not only yield data essential to understanding the physical system that has created and maintains the unique Galapagos ecosystem, but will be an invaluable contribution to understanding the effects of global weather and climate upon eastern equatorial Pacific circulation and regional ocean acidification."
Flora is the first-ever purpose-built ship for the Galapagos, and will join the line's other expedition ship, Celebrity Xpedition, also based in the islands. As well as two dining areas, a marina and an observation lounge, the 100-passenger ship will have a research lab for Oceanscope, in which guests can participate. Following the naming ceremony, the ship will begin sailing seven-night inner- and outer-loop sailings around the islands.