(4:25 p.m. EST) -- Celebrity Cruises celebrated the ceremonial keel laying of Celebrity Flora, an expedition ship being custom-built for sailing around the Galapagos Islands. The ceremony took place at the shipyard in Tolkamer, the Netherlands.
As a part of the keel laying, a 49.2-ton block was lifted in the air and a lucky coin was placed in the dock before the block was lowered into position.
Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its debut on May 26, 2019. It will alternate between seven-night inner and outer loop itineraries.
Features will include the outdoor Ocean Grill, serving fresh local ingredients and seafood; an upper-deck observatory with cozy seating and a library; The Vista open-air lounge with cocoon-style chairs, private cabanas and a hot tub; a marina stocked with Zodiacs; and environmentally-friendly systems, including anchorless technology that can maintain the ship's position while also protecting the sensitive sea floor.
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor