With all the cruise line stories in the news this year, here is one for the books. Twenty-six pounds (12 kilograms) of frozen lobster has prevented Celebrity Xpedition from entering the protected waters of Galapagos National Park. Authorities have suspended the ship's license when it was discovered that the ship was transporting the frozen lobster out of season. The lobsters were purchased legally during season, but according to a recent change in the laws, should have been consumed within 5 days of the end of the season.
Celebrity Cruises contends that it wasn't aware of the law change and both the cruise line and the authorities did confirm the purchase had been made legally within the season. A $2,000 fine has been levied against the line along with a 45 day suspension. Celebrity is appealing the fine and suspension and at press time it isn't known when this matter could be resolved and sailings continue.
According to the line "Celebrity Cruises is committed to complying with the rules and regulations of the Galapagos, which are put in place to protect and safeguard this unique and pristine environment"
We know this first-hand from our Xpedition cruise. The naturalists onboard explained all the rules and regulations and carefully monitored passengers to be sure all were in compliance.
Booked on a Future Cruise?
Celebrity Cruises is hopeful that the license can be restored sooner, so they are making decisions on a cruise by cruise basis. June 16th passengers should monitor the situation. We'll provide updates here as we have updates.
Celebrity also has a travel alert dedicated to this topic on their site. Consult this for updates.
Booked guests can also contact them directly at 1-888-829-4050 in the U.S. and 1-408-916-9001 internationally.
Passengers are being compensated for the canceled cruises and also being provided with future credit equal to 50% of cruise fare. They will have 2 years to rebook.
We hope that Celebrity Xpedition will soon be sailing again in the Galapagos. This is an amazing voyage - see our series of articles to learn more about visiting the land where Darwin explored.