Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
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Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
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Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
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Celebrity Xploration

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

The Galapagos is a destination meant to be explored on a more intimate scale — ships are limited by law to 100 guests max — but Celebrity Xploration takes the concept to the extreme. It’s not even a cruise ship, but rather a 16-guest catamaran that is several hundred times smaller than Celebrity’s largest and better-known ships (and much smaller than its two other Galapagos vessels, 48-guest Celebrity Xpedition and 100-guest Celebrity Flora). Designed to go off the beaten path, Xploration is ideal for travelers who dislike crowds and the formalities of traditional cruise ships, preferring, well, exploration over tourism. 

What We Love

The Personalized Journey: After naturalist briefings in the Lounge, where wildlife documentaries are also available to view, you’ll set out on hiking, kayaking, or snorkeling journeys with your guide to enjoy Galapagos’ flora and fauna firsthand — from adorable blue-footed boobies to prehistoric-looking marine iguanas. Back aboard Xploration, the catamaran’s 12 crew members will offer personalized attention and you’ll get to know your fellow guests over shared meals and while relaxing on the sun deck. 

Best Known For

Longer Itineraries: While Xploration does offer 7-night sailings for those with limited time, it also has 10- and 11-night itineraries for a deeper dive into the islands and the fascinating native species that live and thrive there. 

Who It's Best For

Low-Key Nature-Lovers: This is a premium cruise experience without any of the fuss of a large cruise ship. There’s just one dining venue, one lounge, and no spa or casino.

Groups of Family or Friends: Celebrity Xploration is small enough that you could book the entire vessel for you and 15 of your family members or close friends for a reunion or birthday celebration — just reserve far enough in advance to snag all eight cabins.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

There’s No Pool: Xploration has a sun deck, but there’s no pool — there is, however, a hot tub. 

Donna Heiderstadt
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger
Cruise Expert