(4:40 p.m. EDT) -- Silversea has announced a restart in the Galapagos Islands, following Celebrity Cruises, Lindblad and UnCruise Adventures. The charter company Tauck followed suit on May 19.
Silversea will restart operations on June 19 -- the first international line to do so -- with its newest ship, purpose-built for the islands -- the 100-passenger Silver Origin.
Celebrity meanehile announced it would resume operations on July 4, 2021 on its new purpose-built Galapagos ship Celebrity Flora, followed by Celebrity Xpedition on July 24 and Celebrity Xploration on September 18. Both Silversea and Celebrity ships will sail with fully vaccinated crew and will require all adults over 18 to have been fully vaccinated and children to show a negative PCR test.
UnCruise restarted last month with a series of charter cruises with Metropolitan Touring, and Tauck will begin its charter cruises on Metropolitan Touring's ship Santa Cruz II on July 3. Lindblad is set to restart on June 4, 2021.
Cruising in the Galapagos did in fact restart in August last year, but not for international passengers. These sailings will be the first from international lines.
Ecuadorian-based Metropolitan Touring resumed its first post-shutdown operations aboard the 48-passenger La Pinta on August 2, 2020 and has committed to operating every sailing -- even if only one passenger is onboard.
"We were pretty much the only ones," Klaus Fielsch, product manager with Metropolitan Touring, told Cruise Critic at the time. "We only took six guests on a ship that is designed for 48."
Lindblad will require all passengers over the age of 16 be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to travelling and undergo two negative COVID-19 tests -- a PCR test taken before leaving home and a second rapid antigen test administered by their staff prior to boarding.
UnCruise will also require vaccination for all adults and a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken in the four days prior.
Guests on Tauck are required to either be vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken within five days of departure.
Celebrity Flora will operate inner and outer loop itineraries; Celebrity Xpedition and Celebrity Xploration will operate Northern and Southern Loop itineraries.
For a limited time, Celebrity is also including airfare in the purchase of a Galapagos vacation package. The offer is valid for roundtrip economy or business class airfares departing from US or Canadian gateways and valued at up to $750 per person including air taxes and fees on applicable vacation packages on sail dates departing between July 3, 2021 -- December 31, 2023. Flights must be booked via Flights by Celebrity by June 30, 2021.