Lindblad doubles Galapagos fleet with two Celebrity Cruises ships

Two former Celebrity Cruises purpose-built Galapagos vessels are to join the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet next year.

Bookings will open later this month and the new names of the two ships will be revealed as the company doubles the size of its Galapagos fleet. 

The first of the two new ships, formerly Celebrity Xpedition, is a 48-passenger configuration and features 24 outward-facing cabins, including 13 balcony suites. 

The second vessel, previously Celebrity Xploration, is an eight-cabin catamaran to be offered for private charters.

The ships will undergo multi-million-dollar refurbishment following the closing of the transaction in January 2025, according to Lindblad.

The company currently operates two ships in the region, the 96-passenger National Geographic Endeavour II and 48-passenger National Geographic Islander II, running 100 departures year-round on six itineraries.

Founder and chief executive Sven-Olof Lindblad said: “We recognise and appreciate the immense privilege our company has to operate and grow our expedition cruise offerings in the Galápagos Islands. 

“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.”

He added: “When my father, Lars-Eric Lindblad, led the first international citizen expedition to the Galapagos nearly 60 years ago, I don’t think he ever could have dreamed it would serve as the foundation for ecotourism in the archipelago and would be the catalyst for meaningful, positively impactful connections. 

“We look forward to not only bringing more Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests to the islands with the growth of our fleet, but also to having a greater positive social impact supporting conservation, education and the creation of livelihoods.”

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