Lindblad Expeditions Is Expanding in the Galapagos

Luxury cruise line Lindblad Expeditions is expanding its presence in the Galapagos with plans to buy two ships from fellow cruise line Celebrity Cruises.

Lindblad will purchase both the 48-guest Celebrity Xpedition and the smaller, 16-guest Celebrity Xploration for the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, the company announced Wednesday. Following the sale, which is expected to close in January 2025, both ships will undergo multi-million dollar renovations.

Each ship was purpose-built for the Galapagos.

“We recognize and appreciate the immense privilege our company has to operate and grow our expedition cruise offerings in the Galápagos Islands,” Sven-Olof Lindblad, the founder and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, said in a statement. “By sourcing well-appointed vessels and onboarding the most experienced crew and staff who meet our exacting standards of responsible exploration, we’re able to transport guests from around the world to the iconic archipelago and help them understand the importance of protecting and preserving its wonders and wildlife, as a consequence of their personal experience.”

Travelers will be able to book the two ships later this month when their new names are revealed.

Currently, the Celebrity Xpedition features two dining venues and 24 cabins, including 13 balcony suites. The Celebrity Xploration is an eight-cabin catamaran, which Lindblad said is “perfect for family vacations, affinity groups, and private charters.”

In addition to these ships, Lindblad sails a fleet of 17 other expedition ships across the world from Antarctica to Egypt and beyond.

For its part, Celebrity will now operate just one ship in the Galapagos: the Celebrity Flora. That ship was also specifically built to sail in the Galapagos and features all suites, room for 100 guests, and even the option to glamp under the stars in a cabana on deck.

A spokesperson for Celebrity told Travel + Leisure the company was still committed to sailing in the Galapagos. In addition to the Celebrity Flora, the Royal Caribbean Group will also operate Silversea’s Silver Origin in the Galapagos. 

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