Last updated: 01:30 PM ET, Tue March 15 2016

Celebrity Cruises to Add Two Ships to Its Galapagos Program

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Celebrity Cruises | Jason Leppert | March 15, 2016

Celebrity Cruises to Add Two Ships to Its Galapagos Program

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Following the success of its Galapagos Islands cruises aboard the Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity Cruises has announced the acquisition of Ocean Adventures and its two small ships — the 48-guest MV Eclipse and 16-guest MC Athala II, marking a 65 percent capacity increase in the region.

"Our guests use the most amazing words to describe their journeys to the Galapagos Islands, said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “They tell us the experience is 'once in a lifetime,' 'awe-inspiring,' even 'life-changing.'  That's why we’ve made Celebrity Xpedition such a special experience, and why we are thrilled to expand our Galapagos program with these two intimate ships. We want to make more lifetime memories."

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Adding to the 100-guest Xpedition, the new vessels will provide a staggered three tiers of passenger complements — 100, 48 or 16 — ranging from expedition to private catamaran size; welcome for individuals, groups and charters alike.

Pending deal finalization, the acquisition is set to occur in the spring of 2016 with the ships going in for refurbishment in January 2017 to offer the line’s signature “Modern Luxury” amenities. Until then, the Ocean Adventures program will remain, and former bookings will still be facilitated once the ships are under the Celebrity banner. Whether or not the ships will be renamed is to be determined.

Ben Dod, President of Ocean Adventures, said, “after 16 years of building Ocean Adventures into the one of the leading operators in the Galapagos Islands, we are proud to have caught the attention of a world-class cruise company like Celebrity and proud to be part of their ambitious plans to expand in the region. The MV Eclipse and MC Athala II are the best vessels in their class and we are delighted that both ships will continue to deliver an unequalled level of service and experience to guests.”

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The regional expansion will allow Celebrity Cruises to offer a broader list of destination experiences, including Puerto Villamil, Darwin Bay, Black Turtle Cove, Chinese Hat Islet, and Wall of Tears; plus new packages featuring the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, Machu Picchu in Peru and also the Amazon.

The news comes as details are still scarce regarding Celebrity’s previously announced pair of Edge-class new-builds set to come online in 2018 and 2020. After speaking with Lutoff-Perlo at Seatrade Cruise Global 2016 this week, she is excited to share more information very soon. In the meantime, the Galapagos is booming for the brand.


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