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Celebrity Xpedition Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
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Celebrity Xpedition Ratings

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Why Choose Celebrity Xpedition?
  • Pro: Offers nature exploration in more comfort than many expedition lines
  • Con: Not the right ship for the latest Celebrity offerings or high-speed internet
  • Bottom Line: Soft-adventure ship sails the Galapagos all year with fantastic results

Celebrity Xpedition Overview

Celebrity Cruises' owner Royal Caribbean acquired Sun Bay 1, a small luxury vessel, built in 2001, and launched it in June 2004. In an innovative move, Celebrity's Xpedition sub-brand, created a new strata of up-market, premium-priced cruises and shore excursions offering travelers unusual cruise experiences in exotic destinations.

The start-up of the venture marked the arrival of the first mainstream cruise company to operate around the Galapagos Islands year-round. This option opened up Galapagos cruises, formerly the province of backpacking (or high-end) "adventure travelers." In essence, Xpedition combines the exotica of this type of adventure on a small vessel with some of the amenities and features -- high level of service and cuisine, for instance -- that Celebrity is known for.

And indeed, the joy of the Galapagos operation is that it combines Celebrity stylishness with local, "small ship" ambience. Crewmembers -- almost entirely Ecuadorian from the captain down -- are sunny, charming and tirelessly obliging. Destination-oriented features are incorporated into the onboard experience, such as a performance of Ecuadorian folklorique preceded by a highly personalized slide show featuring pictures of passengers meeting wildlife during the course of the trip (guests are presented as a complimentary CD to take home).

Better still, all drinks (except for certain premium brands) and tips are included in the price, so the atmosphere is more relaxed and sociable than that on the big Celebrity ships, where passengers are more reluctant to mingle because of potential embarrassment over who buys drinks for whom!

Celebrity Xpedition Fellow Passengers

Apart from a couple of Canadian ex-pats, we were the only Britons on the inaugural cruise and, apart from the Latino family group the vast majority of our fellow passengers were cheerful, eco-oriented, middle-class Americans.

Celebrity Xpedition Dress Code

On a ship with such an outdoors-based itinerary, casual is obviously the order of the day, but guests seemed to enjoy changing out of their daytime swimmers and shorts and dressing fairly smartly for dinner.

Celebrity Xpedition Gratuity

Gratuities are included in the cruise fare on Celebrity Xpedition.

Next:  Celebrity Xpedition Cabins

152 Celebrity Xpedition Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Member Since 2007
6 reviews
151 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Booked this while onboard another Celebrity cruise 2 years ago as one of our bucket list destinations. We booked the 2 day pre and post cruise with Celebrity in Quito. The week previous we did our own tour to Machu Picchu and arranged ... Read more
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed March 2017
Our trip to the Galápagos Islands was outstanding. The ship was wonderful in every respect. With only 96 passengers there is lots of individual attention. This is not a fancy dress up cruise but one for those who love nature and the ... Read more
Member Since 2014
1 review
62 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Quito We arrived 2 days early to acclimatize to the altitude in Quito and also to recover from a day of travel. ( we are from the Toronto area in Ontario. Our observations: 1. Quito was much warmer than we thought it would be and we ... Read more
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