Eden Will Bring Gardens with Ocean Views to Celebrity Cruises
Imagine a wondrous paradise, a glass temple of sights, sounds and experiences. Part indulgence, part enchantment with elements of surprise, greenery galore, and ocean views. This place is Eden— a dynamic new venue with dining options and entertainment aboard Celebrity Cruises soon-to-launch Celebrity Edge.
Bright and airy, the soaring space– which is three decks high– is encased in an impressive 7,000 square feet of glass that reimagines the famous garden from Genesis. It’s even dubbed the “largest window into the world,” one that happens to peer onto cresting ocean waves and a changing tableau of shores.
Nature is the biggest inspiration for Eden, starting with the shape of the room– a Fibonacci spiral with a seaside ramp that flows downward along a continuous path; along the way, guests are lured into pods of seating where they can stop for contemplation or to soak in the views. “Whether looking inward at the organically shaped space, or outward at the ocean there is a direct and powerful connection to nature,” says Eden architect Scott Butler.
A “library” of plants is suspended right above a bar. Bartenders shimmy up on ladders to clip herbs such as mint, sage, or lemongrass to garnish handcrafted cocktails.
Eden wouldn’t be Eden without any gardens. Guests are greeted at the entrance with an animated botanic art installation that “blooms” throughout the day– a creation by artist Kate Scott, whose other commissions include work for Pernod Ricard and Publicis. On top of that, a “Tree of Life” has been adopted for Edge– a Celebrity Cruises tradition that started with the Solstice class. Here, it takes the form of a sculpture whose trunks and branches sustain living plants through irrigation and drainage. “It will be clad with mosses, orchids, and ferns and lend itself to seasonality by way of changing out the type of plants,” explains Kelly Gonzalez, Vice President of Architectural Design at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, which operates Celebrity Cruises. Plus, there are pillars of hanging botanicals and a “library” of plants that is suspended right above a bar– and it’s not just decorative. Bartenders shimmy up on ladders to clip herbs such as mint, sage, or lemongrass to garnish handcrafted cocktails. It’s all part of the show.
The Celebrity team enlisted Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola to add layers to the natural design features. Wood clads the pillars and balcony fronts. Stone flooring and marble podiums with curvilinear edges provide displays for art installations. “Every detail of the space reflects the themes of Eden and provides elements that appeal to all the senses,” says Butler. That includes some signature pieces from Urquiola that are woven throughout (a recurrent theme in her aesthetic is the dialogue between the natural and the artificial): plush chairs reminiscent of the crowns of trees, stitched with leaves; armchairs that resemble buds in bloom; barstools that mimic broken seashells smoothed by the waves.
The soaring space is encased in an impressive 7,000 square feet of glass that reimagines the garden from Genesis. It’s dubbed the “largest window into the world”– one that happens to peer out onto cresting ocean waves and a changing tableau of shores.
The best part about Eden is that it’s a dynamic space that unveils different features according to the time of day. It’s never quite the same place twice, which makes it so magical and intriguing. In the mornings, light cascades through the windows, and Eden cultivates a tranquility, ideal for relaxation, practicing yoga poses, or reading. In the afternoon, things starts to stir; you may hear the sounds of cocktail shakers (classes are underway); or digaradoo music that’s both “soulful and downbeat”; or you can witness other pop-up performances– most of them unannounced. There’s no boundary between the performers and the audience; the entire space is a stage.
Evenings at Eden are eye-opening, as there are so many activities vying for guests’ attention, whether it be an aerial acrobatic performance or singing duets. Sure to be a showstopper? Dinner from chef Cornelius Gallagher, who’s previously worked at El Bulli and Daniel. Though the menu is still underway, we can expect dishes such as sea urchin and fluke, with shisho leaf and spicy melon, and aged prime beef with a carrot emulsion, red wine, and snail caviar. The five courses are to be presented with a grand flourish timed to a choreography of musical interludes, pageants, and tableside illusions. With its combo of sensory delights and abundance of greenery, Butler points out: “Eden is the ultimate intersection of Man with Nature in its most elemental form.”
Celebrity Edge is debuting in 2018.