Celebrity Cancels Xpedition's June 2 Cruise; Galapagos Permit Revoked

galapagos islandsLobster can be "oh, so savory." But it's also a bad thing if kept - out of season - onboard a ship within the Galapagos National Park, as Celebrity Cruises (www.cruisingpower.com) learned this week.

The line said in a statement that "Galapagos National Park has cited Celebrity Xpedition for transportation and storage of 12 kilograms of frozen lobster tails in the Galapagos while out of season."

Because of that situation, Celebrity Xpedition's license, which is needed to enter the Galapagos National Park, has been temporarily suspended by the local authority.

Celebrity said: "Unfortunately, it is necessary to cancel the June 2 sailing of Celebrity Xpedition."

Ecuadorian and park officials are extremely strict in assuring that any cruise ships entering the fragile Galapagos ecosystem abide by rules for use of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and other foods; the regulations require local sourcing in many cases. 

While the lobsters reportedly were from the Galapagos, they were out of season, due to a recent change in the rules.

Celebrity said it's "truly sorry for this unexpected impact on our guests' vacation." The line also said it's committed to complying with the rules and regulations necessary to protect the Galapagos eco-system.

"While we anticipate that our license to sail in the Galapagos will be restored shortly, the situation is still fluid," the line's statement said.

Celebrity said guests on the June 9 cruise of Celebrity Xpedition will be contacted by the line to provide them with the most updated information or they may monitor any updates at the line's www.celebritycruises.com Web site.