MARCH 15, 2015 — Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. says that its Celebrity Cruises brand plans to acquire Galápagos Islands tour operator Ocean Adventures and its two ships, the 48-guest M/V Eclipse and the 16-guest catamaran M/C Athala II. The move expands Celebrity's guest capacity in the Galápagos by 65 percent.
Ocean Adventures' 64 permits will grow the Galápagos fleet capacity for Celebrity, which has operated the 100-guest Celebrity Xpedition for more than a decade.
Celebrity says that the expanded lineup means modern luxury travelers looking to experience the Galápagos Islands will be able to choose a ship whose size and intimacy suits their personal preference.
"Our guests use the most amazing words to describe their journeys to the Galapágos Islands, said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & 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 program with these two intimate ships. We want to make more lifetime memories."
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 drydocking, the ships will continue to offer the Ocean Adventures experience. After emerging from the shipyard, the ships will sail as part of Celebrity Cruises' fleet, providing Celebrity's signature luxury elements. All existing Ocean Adventures' bookings and reservation commitments will remain unchanged, both before and after the drydocking.
Ben Dod, President of Ocean Adventures, said, "After 16 years of building Ocean Adventures into the 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 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."
As part of RCL's global commitment to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans and the destinations its ships visit, Celebrity has had a longtime commitment to conservation work to help preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources in the Galápagos Islands. Past and current projects include a reforestation effort in Galápagos National Park, programs to give residents access to medical care, agricultural development, and support for local fishing families.
The acquisition of Ocean Adventures is subject to customary closing conditions.