|Photo by Freeimages.com/Anna Tatti|
Celebrity Cruises just announced a deal that will mark a big expansion in its Galápagos Islands capacity. The cruise line has purchased Galápagos Islands tour operator Ocean Adventures and its two ships, the 48-guest Eclipse and the 16-guest catamaran Athala II, representing a 65 percent increase in capacity for Celebrity in the Galápagos Islands.
Celebrity has also operated the 100-guest Celebrity Xpedition in the Galápagos for more than a decade. The line said the new acquisition would provide its guests the ability to choose from a greater range of ship size and intimacy when sailing in the region.
The two vessels will join the Celebrity Cruises fleet in the spring of 2016, pending the closing of the acquisition deal. Until a January 2017 drydock, the ships will continue to offer the Ocean Adventures experience; after the refresh, the ships will sail as part of Celebrity Cruises’ fleet, with Celebrity's signature brand amenities. All existing Ocean Adventures’ bookings and reservation commitments will remain unchanged, both before and after the drydock.
Celebrity said the ships will make possible new itineraries with an expanded list of destinations for the line, like Puerto Villamil, Darwin Bay, Black Turtle Cove, Chinese Hat Islet, and Wall of Tears. Ashore, guests can take advantage of local hotel stays, encounters with local residents and tours. The fleet expansion will also allow Celebrity guests to take advantage of new packages that offer expanded travel in Ecuador, such as to the Andes Mountains, and in Peru, where Machu Picchu and Amazon packages are available.