With new ships, itineraries, and environmental excursions, this cruise-of-a-lifetime is making its way to the top of bucket lists everywhere.
The Galapagos are a study in the beauty and wonder of Mother Nature. A remote archipelago 600 miles west of Ecuador, the cluster of islands is a near-perfect habitat for a unique cauldron of about 1,900 species found nowhere else on Earth. Beautiful, fragile, and delightfully mysterious, this timeless realm of biological riches is where Charles Darwin, in 1835, began to formulate the theory of natural selection that would subsequently revolutionize our view of the world. And while the island today looks much like it did when Darwin visited, the ships you’ll arrive on are much more advanced than his.
Celebrity Cruises, one of the major cruise lines that sails in the region, started doing so more than a decade ago with Celebrity Xpedition, a state-of-the-art 100-passenger ship. In late Spring 2016, the cruise line proudly announced that two new additions, Celebrity Xperience and Celebrity Xploration, would expand the Galapagos fleet. Each ship saw multimillion dollar refreshes that brought about signature modern luxury enhancements. The first sailings are set for March 2017 and together the three offer six unique itineraries, 15 islands, and more than 30 ports of call.MEET THE FLEET
Celebrity Xploration, the smallest of the three, is a 16-person catamaran with eight luxuriously cozy staterooms, each with a window or veranda to Darwin’s world. The intimate ship is perfect for family get-togethers, getaways with friends, and small groups who want to explore together. It’s also the best way for guests who thrive on traveling with like-minded vacationers to dive into the mysterious wonders of the Galapagos Islands.
Celebrity Xperience, the newly refurbished, mid-sized ship, offers an ocean view from each of its 24 staterooms. Experience the power of true cultural immersion on a four-night, post-cruise adventure on Santa Cruz Island. Guests will participate in conservation efforts and get to know the people who live in this richly diverse region of the world.
Celebrity Xpedition—the largest, the leader, the veteran of the Galapagos fleet—is filled with indulgences like room service, in-suite dining, and massage services. On this ship, the cruise line launched immersive, breathtaking excursions that range from dining on authentic cuisine to contributing to the protected islands by giving new life to a native tree species.
All three ships are outfitted with deluxe accommodations, and all vacations feature award-winning shore excursions led by expert naturalists and specially crafted meals made with fresh regional seafood by a Michelin-starred chef.
Celebrity Cruises has a passionate environmental focus, proven in small part by a proud new partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Together they’re focusing on the world’s oceans, conserving everything from coral reefs to coastal wildlife.
The cruise line also works in collaboration with the Galapagos Conservancy raising funds to support the long-term ecological integrity of the archipelago and its extraordinary marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Since 2006, Celebrity and its supporters have contributed over $1.5 million to this fund and other projects on the islands.
In fact, in the Galapagos the cruise line has done so much to leave the area virtually untouched that Ecuador’s Secretary of Tourism holds Celebrity Xpedition as the standard of excellence for carbon footprint reduction. From the nightly-turndown chocolate (they’re purchased from an eco-friendly, local chocolate company that donates part of its proceeds to Galapagos conservation efforts) to the ship’s hull (it’s painted with silicone to move her through the pristine waters more efficiently, which uses less fuel and further reduces her carbon footprint), Celebrity Cruises makes every effort to leave the unbelievable living time capsule of the Galapagos undisturbed.
On land, Celebrity supports a scholarship program for local high school students to attend college, a bicycle program that provides residents with affordable, environmentally responsible transportation, and the fishing co-op where fishermen can clean, store, and more easily sell their catch to a clinic that offers specialized medical care.
When it comes to the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Cruises is extremely proud of its efforts not only to maintain this area of the world, but to help broaden its existing richness.
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