Celebrity Xpedition operations permit revoked for 45 days

The Galapagos National Park Service announced on 23 May that the the Celebrity Xpedition was judged to have been in breach of the law when, on 11 March of this year, during a regular inspection, Park wardens discovered lobster tails and octopus in their refrigerators at a time when the fishing season for these species was closed - and no ships were allowed to have them, even frozen.

The penalty includes a fine and a 45 day revocation of its operations permit in the islands, applied immediately. This means that guests booked on the Xpedition will have their travel plans serious disrupted.   CNH Tours advises anyone having any plans to travel on the Xpedition in the next 7 weeks to contact their travel agent immediately. 

The seas around Galapagos are part of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and also a World Heritage site. They are protected against excessive fishing pressures.   For this reason, there are clear fishing seasons and catch limits for different species, and clear regulations regarding what can be consumed at what times of year, including even what can be transported.    

CNH Tours found this post, on TripAdvisor, today, 26 May:

"Booked our Galapagos cruise with Celebrity almost 12 months ago. We're in Quito now; the four of us, just told late tonight by the cruise line that we will not be on the cruise ship tomorrow. Sat in the lobby for a while, then we went into a small room with 80+ people for a briefing - apparently the delay is a result of a sanction on the ship by the Galapagos National Park. After the briefing, sill no answers to "EXACTLY" if or when we'll be able to go on the cruise. They do not have any answers to compensation or guarantee whether this dream trip of ours will ever happen with the time and money that we have committed. It is hard to determine how they can ever make us whole. Given other recent cruise incidents, it will be interesting to see if Celebrity can rise up, or just sink down with the rest of them."

Lobsters on Xpedition

Galapagos National Park Saff discovering lobser tails on the Celebrity Xpedition, 11 March 2013 (courtesy Galapagos National Park Service).