The Celebrity Xpedition represents an entirely different at-sea experience for the Celebrity cruise line. Not a cruise ship, she is instead classified as a ‘mega-yacht’. Launched in 2004, this small vessel spends the entire year exploring the Galapagos Islands, introducing passengers to their beauty and history.
Celebrity Xpedition specs
The Celebrity Xpedition weighs 2,842 tonnes and measures 296 feet in length. She can accommodate a maximum of 98 guests and has an average cruising speed of 15 knots.
Celebrity Xpedition itineraries
The Celebrity Xpedition sails to the magical Galapagos Islands all year round. Each sailing is seven nights, and guests may choose to do an inner or outer loop of the islands. The shore excursions vary slightly between the two loops, but the overall experience is very similar.
Sample itinerary: Inner Loop
Sample itinerary: Outer Loop
Celebrity Xpedition cruise packages
All Celebrity Xpedition adventures begin in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. From here, you will take a short flight to Baltra, where you will board the mega-yacht. If you would like to spend a few nights in Quito, it’s a good idea to opt for a Celebrity Xpedition cruise package. These packages ensure you will have a Celebrity Experience as soon as you step off the plane.
When you arrive in Quito, a Celebrity Cruises representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. The next day, an experienced guide will take you and other Celebrity Xpedition passengers on a private tour of the city. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about this fascinating metropolis. You will be looked after by the Tour Director during your time in Quito; everything has been organised, from shared meals to hotel transfers, so you can sit back and enjoy your holiday.
Other cruise packages are also available. For example, at the end of your cruise, you can choose to fly from Baltra to Peru, and spend a few days exploring Machu Picchu, Lima and the Sacred Valley. Once again, you will be looked after by a Celebrity Cruises representative and taken on exceptionally well-organised private tours. It’s a good idea to explore these cruise packages before you book your ticket; they are an excellent opportunity to explore other famous destinations in South America.
Celebrity Xpedition shore excursions
The shore excursions available on your sailing will depend on whether you decided to take the inner or outer loop. At the heart of the Celebrity Xpedition experience is education; all of the shore excursions are designed to teach you all about the Galapagos Islands, in a fun and inspiring way.
As you would expect, the majority of the excursions take place outdoors. There are opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and hiking; be prepared to be amazed by the beautiful birds and sealife, from seals and sea turtles to cormorants and penguins. At most stops, there is also the option to take a zodiac tour, so you can observe the island’s beauty from the comfort of a small boat. This is a good option for people who would like to avoid too much hiking or walking.
All of the shore excursions offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the chance to feast your eyes on some of the world’s most beautiful natural phenomenons. Whether you explore the islands by foot, boat or a bit of both, the views are sure to take your breath away.
Inside the Celebrity Xpedition
The Celebrity Xpedition is a truly beautiful vessel. For most passengers, this will be the first time they have been on a boat of this size and style. The interior decor is charming and elegant, and the same can be said of the atmosphere on board. Due to the limited number of passengers, the ambience is warm, welcoming and intimate. You will have several opportunities to get to know your fellow guests.
Celebrity Xpedition bars and restaurants
There is one main dining room on board the Celebrity Xpedition. The aptly-named Darwin’s Restaurant is delightful, serving delicious five course meals every night. Most of the food is prepared from locally-grown, organic fruits and vegetables - just one of the many ways the Celebrity Xpedition supports the local economy. If you can, be sure to enjoy fish one night, as this would likely have been caught by Galapagos fishermen.
During the day, the Beagle Grill is the place to go if you’re after a satisfying snack; here you will find a range of tempting burgers, hot dogs and pizzas, the perfect pick-me-up before or after a shore excursion. Those looking for something sweet will be best to swing by the Darwin Buffet, which almost always has a decent array of puddings to choose from.
In the late afternoon, most people gather around in the Discovery Lounge, where staff provide some light refreshments, such as fruit and mini savouries. The Discovery Lounge also doubles as the Celebrity Xpedition’s bar, serving a range of beers, wines and spirits. Most drinks and tips are included in your cruise fare.
All of the cabins on board the Celebrity Xpedition are located outside, so you can wake up to the sight of the beautiful ocean every morning. The rooms range in size, with oceanview staterooms being the smallest, right up to luxuriously spacious Penthouse Suites, which come with not one but two balconies. With accommodation for only 98 guests, there are limited rooms in each category, so if you have your heart sold on a particular type, it’s a good idea to book well in advance.
The rooms all come equipped with basic amenities such as televisions, phones, hair dryers and safes. They are all nicely decorated in creams and blues, and there is adequate storage space.
Dining included in your Celebrity Xpedition ticket:
Things to do on board the Celebrity Xpedition
Most of the activities on board the Celebrity Xpedition revolve around the Galapagos Islands. Several Galapagos National Park-certified naturalists are on the ship to share their knowledge about this beautiful part of the world. There are lectures about wildlife on most days, as well as extensive information about upcoming tours each evening.
There are a few ways you can spend any down time. The Discover Lounge has a piano, as well as a small selection of books and board games. You’ll find most passengers are happy to sit in the lounge and read, or perhaps play a quiet game of cards. There are also a few films available on the television in your cabin.
Pools, spas and fitness facilities on board the Celebrity Xpedition
There are no large pools on board the Celebrity Xpedition, but you can enjoy a soak in the hot tub. Don’t worry - you’ll have the chance to swim in the sea on most shore excursions. Near the hot tub (located on the Sunrise Deck) you’ll also find a sauna, as well as plenty of sun chairs.
If all the hiking and swimming isn’t enough to get your heart rate up, you can make the most of the small gym on board, which has a few cardio machines and some light weights. While there is no spa on board, there is a beauty parlor, which offers a small selection of treatments.
Celebrity Xpedition nightlife
Evenings tend to be a time for relaxing and preparing for the day ahead. After enjoying a delicious meal at Darwin’s Restaurant, most people gravitate towards the Discovery Lounge to enjoy a nightcap. The Blue Finch Bar is also an excellent place to unwind. Located on the Panorama Deck, this cozy bar offers some of the most spectacular views on board.
The atmosphere is a bit more lively on the final night, where there is usually some live music and cultural performances.
The Celebrity Xpedition for families
Families are welcome on board the Celebrity Xpedition, although they will be few and far between. Most guests choose to travel without children, as there are no supervised kids’ programmes available. That said, if your young ones love the idea of swimming, snorkeling and observing sealife, then they will have a blast on this cruise.
Casual Dining Restaurant
Enjoy the same world-class cuisine Celebrity is known for in a more relaxed environment. You'll find yourself going back for more - but remember to save room for dessert. You'll find delectable treats you won't want to miss.
Located on the Marina Deck, Darwin's Restaurant is where you'll discover culinary wonders that are sure to dazzle the palate as well as please the eye. Crisp white linen, fine crystal and exemplary service make dining amongst the islands as special and memorable as the islands themselves.
A great place to relax and soak-in the majesty of the Galapagos Islands is the Blue Finch Bar. Order a favorite cocktail and watch the equatorial sun sink into the vast blue of the Pacific.