With Ships Poised For Sale, Celebrity Cruises Details Rebooking Options

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On the heels of its decision to sell two of its ships serving the Galapagos Islands market, Celebrity Cruises has cancelled all 2025 voyages scheduled to operate on the vessels and announced options for guests booked for departure after the sale is completed.

Lindblad Expeditions, a well-known adventure and expedition cruise line, revealed on June 12, 2024 that it will acquire the two ships — the 48-guest Celebrity Xpedition and the 16-guest Celebrity Xploration. Financial terms were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to close in January 2025.

New Linblad Vessel
New Linblad Vessel

The acquisition will leave Celebrity Cruises with just one ship operating in the destination, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora

In a communication to guests booked on Celebrity Xpedition and Celebrity Xploration sailings after January 2025, the cruise line explained: 

On December 28, 2024, Celebrity Xploration and Celebrity Xpedition will set sail from Baltra for their final time as part of the Celebrity Cruises fleet. We remain committed to the Galapagos Islands, offering sailings on Celebrity Flora, a ship built to sail in the archipelago year-round.

Baltra Island is the starting point for cruises to the Galapagos, an island chain roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador and best known as the destination where naturalist Charles Darwin recorded observations of its many endemic animal species.

Celebrity Cruises is offering two options. In the first, booked guests can select a new departure aboard their ship before the end of 2024. Those who choose this option will have their booking transferred to a similar or better stateroom category with the fare protected. If the current cruise fare for the new cabin is lower, the guest will receive the lower rate.

Any guests who booked their air fare through Celebrity Cruises will be automatically rebooked for the new cruise, and the line will reimburse up to $400 per guest for any non-refundable charges incurred, such as for flights, rental cars, and trains.

Under option two, guests who were booked on a 2025 voyage can switch their reservation to a 2025 departure onboard Celebrity Flora, an all-suite ship, at the cruise fare they originally paid for the cancelled sailing. However, holiday sailings are excluded from the option.

For these guests, the line is offering “a complimentary transfer to a similar or upgraded cabin category with your price protected on Celebrity Flora sailings departing on a like weekend, or one week before or after your original departure date.”

Read Also: Who Owns Celebrity Cruises?

New Linblad Vessel
New Linblad Vessel

As with the first option, all air transportation booked through Celebrity Cruises will automatically be rebooked to accommodate the new departure date, and the $400 per guest reimbursement for non-refundable travel arrangements is valid as well. Any refunds will be processed within 14 days and will be made to the original form of payment.

Celebrity Cruises has not detailed any alternative that allows for a refund of cruise and air fares for guests who do not wish to choose either option one or two.

Ships Will Join Two Lindblad Vessels in the Galapagos

Lindblad Expeditions, which operates its Galapagos Islands expedition cruise series in partnership with National Geographic, plans to renovate both Celebrity Cruises ships before they join two Lindblad vessels already operating in the region.

Celebrity Xpedition, which entered service in 2001, has two restaurants, 13 balcony cabins, and 24 outside cabins. Celebrity Xploration, launched in 2007, is an 8-cabin catamaran designed for small groups and private charters.

The Celebrity Cruises ships will be renamed, and bookings are expected to open under the Lindblad Expedition brand in a few weeks. 

Lindblad currently operates the 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour II and the 48-guest National Geographic Islander II year-round in the Galapagos.

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