Celebrity Cruises is to buy the Galapagos Islands specialist tour operator Ocean Adventures, in a deal that includes the company’s two vessels.
The move will increase Celebrity’s presence in the Galapagos by 65 per cent.
“Our guests use the most amazing words to describe their journeys to the Galapágos Islands, said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and 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 Galápagos programme with these two intimate ships. We want to make more lifetime memories.”
Ocean Adventures comprises the 48-guest ship M/V Eclipse and the 16-guest catamaran M/C Athala II.
The vessels will join the Celebrity Cruises fleet in the spring, with the closing of the deal. The ships will continue to offer the Ocean Adventures experience until a January 2017 drydock, upon which they will be part of the Celebrity fleet proper.
“Our unique Galapagos fleet will offer an up-close look at the region’s breathtaking natural beauty, paired with Celebrity Cruises’ highly intuitive service and award-winning cuisine,” Ms Lutoff-Perlo said.
Ben Dod, president of Ocean Adventures, said, “After 16 years of building Ocean Adventures into 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 Cruises 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.”
“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. Permits to sail these waters are carefully rationed, and we are committed to doing our part to protect these islands for future generations.”