Royal Caribbean Group Sells Two Galapagos Expedition Ships

Jan 28, 2021

Royal Caribbean Group sold two more cruise ships sailing under the Silversea Cruises and Celebrity Cruises brands reports Tradewinds.com. These are small expedition cruise ships sailing exclusively to the Galapagos Islands that were put on sale last January. According to the source, the two ships, Silver Galapagos (built in 1990) and Celebrity Xperience (built in 1998) have found a buyer. The Celebrity Xperience went to the Panamanian shipping company Emerald Blue Cruises in December and was renamed Xperience. It is not yet known who the buyer is of the Silver Galapagos. Silversea and Celebrity Cruises have new cruise ship built for the Galapagos Islands in 2020 and 2019 respectively: Silver Origin and Celebrity Flora.

Since Ecuador strictly limits the number of cruise passengers on the Galapagos Islands, new ships can only be used if the total number of passengers in the license for the respective shipping company is not exceeded. Since both Silversea and Celebrity Cruise had already reached this capacity limit, previous ships had to be sold.

Celebrity Cruise reduced the Celebrity Xpedition from 100 to 48 passengers capacity and had the ship newly certified by the authorities for operation on the Galapagos Islands with a reduced number of passengers. It replaced the Celebrity Xperience (48 passengers, only in the Celebrity Cruises fleet since March 2017), while the new Celebrity Flora took over the original capacity of 100 passengers that became available for the Celebrity Xpedition. The small, 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration will continue to operate.

In 2020 Silversea Cruises took over the newly built Silver Origin from the De Hoop shipyard in the Netherlands and transferred the vessel to Ecuador, but has not yet been able to use it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At Silversea Cruises, the previous ship, Silver Galapagos, had to give way to free up passenger capacity for the new Silver Origin. Besides the Silver Galapagos, Silversea Cruises did not operate any other ships on the Galapagos Islands.

The Silver Origin was originally planned as a sister ship to the Celebrity Flora and was to be called Celebrity Origin. However, after the Royal Caribbean Group took over Silversea, the ship was assigned to Silversea.