Ocean Adventures, an Ecuadorean tour operator based in Quito, holds a permit to sail in the protected archipelago. The closing of the acquisition by Celebrity's parent, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is under way, a Celebrity spokeswoman said.
Celebrity Xpedition has been sailing year-round in the Galápagos for more than a decade. The two additional vessels will enable more destinations, experiences and packages, including the opportunity to spend a few nights ashore in the islands.
Athala II and Eclipse will expand Celebrity's destinations to include Puerto Villamil, Darwin Bay, Black Turtle Cove, Chinese Hat Islet and Wall of Tears, among others. The line also will be able to provide new, immersive packages. Travelers will be able to stay several nights at a hotel in the Galápagos, giving them the chance to interact with locals and explore more of the islands.
New packages also expand Celebrity's offering to key spots on the the mainland, such as the Andes in Ecuador and additional experiences in Peru, building on Celebrity Xpedition’s longtime Machu Picchu packages.
In January 2017, the two Ocean Adventures vessels will enter drydock to receive signature 'modern luxury' elements that characterize Celebrity. Until the docking, passengers will have the Ocean Adventures on-board experience.
Celebrity said existing Ocean Adventures bookings and block space commitments will be honored and remain unchanged, regardless of the sailing date.