June 18, 2013
(5:30 a.m. EDT) -- Celebrity Cruises has had its license reinstated by the Galapagos National Park authorities -- but will be forced to cancel one more cruise, on June 23. Passengers booked on Sunday's cruise will get a full refund as well as a 25 percent credit for a future cruise on Celebrity Xpedition in the next two years. Passengers who booked plane tickets through Celebrity will get a full refund; those who booked separately will get a refund of the cost of the change fees.
(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Celebrity Cruises has been forced to cancel a third Xpedition sailing while it works with authorities at the Galapagos National Park to gets its license reinstated.
According to a press release, Celebrity is offering all passengers on the June 16 sailing a full refund, along with a 25 percent cruise credit (based on amount paid for the June 16 sailing) for another Celebrity Xpedition cruise. The line also is reimbursing passengers for airfares bought through Celebrity, and it will reimburse change fees for those who bought air independently.
Local authorities issued the 45-day suspension late last month after discovering 12 kilograms of frozen, out-of-season lobster tails onboard the ship. Although it was purchased legally during the season, the dispute between the cruise line and authorities lies in a new rule that requires all lobster to be consumed within five days of the end of the season -- a regulation enacted March 11 but not communicated to cruise ship operators until April 22.
The line has now canceled sailings on June 2, June 9 and June 16.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor