Celebrity Cruises will expand its Celebrity Xpedition brand in the Galápagos Islands with the planned acquisition of award-winning Galápagos Islands tour operator Ocean Adventures.
Founded in 1999, Ocean Adventures has two vessels: the 48-guest ship M/V Eclipse and the 16-guest catamaran M/C Athala II.
The expansion gives Celebrity up to 65% more capacity in the Galápagos, where the government requires ships to carry 100 passengers or less.
Celebrity has sailed in the Galápagos since 2004 with the 100-passenger Celebrity Xpedition, its only ship in the Galápagos until now.
The expanded lineup means travelers looking to experience the Galápagos Islands will be able to choose a ship whose size and intimacy suits their personal preference.
“Our unique Galápagos fleet will offer an up-close look at the region’s breathtaking natural beauty, paired with Celebrity’s highly intuitive service and award-winning cuisine,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises.
The two vessels will join the Celebrity Cruises fleet in the spring of 2016, pending the closing of the acquisition deal. After the acquisition, the two ships will continue to offer their current onboard experience until a scheduled drydock in January 2017. After that, they will offer Celebrity’s service, food and amenities.
All existing Ocean Adventures bookings will be honored and will remain unchanged, regardless of the date of sailing, Celebrity said.
Preserving the Galápagos Islands
As part of its commitment to the Galápagos Islands, Celebrity rigorously follows guidelines set by local authorities to protect the assets of the Ecuadorian archipelago, including the flora and fauna found there, like giant tortoises, prehistoric iguanas and blue-footed boobies.
“The most extraordinary part of a Galápagos journey is truly the destination, which is one of the most important environmental places in the world,” Lutoff-Perlo said. “It is our obligation to protect this sensitive and beautiful place, and to educate our guests about its amazing qualities.”
Source: Celebrity Cruises press release