CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Friday June 24, 2016
Ships swallowed by giant sea creature
We're a bit sad to announce that the first class, 16 passenger Athala, and the luxury 48 passenger Eclipse were recently acquired by Celebrity cruises. Though for the time being, they will continue to be sold through the local Ocean Adventures company, by the start of 2018, these ships will disappear into the maw of another cruise giant - Celebrity Cruises. They've already been rebranded, the Athala becoming the Celebrity Xploration, and the Eclipse becoming the Celebrity Xperience.
What does this mean for you? It means:
- dealing with a large and impersonal "operations center" completely removed from the Galapagos
- booking with people having little if any direct knowledge about either Galapagos, nor even about Ecuador.
- the "MaDonaldisation" of the cruise experience - with fewer, larger owners applying standardization to on-board experiences across their entire networks.
- Higher prices - the 7 night Christmas cruise on the Eclipse (Xperience), at $8,000 for 2016, currently advertised at $12,600 for 2018.
We consider these as negative developments for those looking to experience Galapagos in a more personal, unique way. Of course, as cruise sellers ourselves, we are concerned over being structurally excluded from selling some ships, reducing the number of ships available to recommend to our clients. Thankfully, there are 69 ships plying Galapagos waters, and this process is happening mostly in the highest end, and largest ship categories. 4-5 ships are so affected at this point - Silversea's 100 passenger "Silver Galapagos" being another.
For those not overly concerned about having a turn down service on board, there are still a great number of very nice ships from which to choose and we continue to be happy and eager to help you find the one the most suits your interests.
Can you find the $4,600 per person difference?
Eclipse last week...
Xperience this week