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  • Writer's pictureDavid Natale

Galapagos Missed! What Happened??? ...and What Celebrity Did to IMPRESS Us!

Updated: Mar 4

If you've been following me for the past years, you might remember that back in 2022

I expanded my empire from being solely the River Cruise King to also being your Maritime Majesty by joining Oasis Travel Network and returning to my Cruises Only roots and including luxury sea journeys along with my river cruise groups.

My first big foray into leading groups on a sea cruise was scheduled to be the Galapagos in January 2024 on Celebrity's specially built ship, the Flora.

We were super excited and as fate would have it, we even were invited to test the new ship from Explora Journeys on our way to Ecuador. Everything was set and we left Barcelona on January 4th to start our adventure.

As we counted down the days to our eventual departure to Quito, Ecuador for the start of the Celebrity tour, we suddenly received an urgent message from Celebrity.

Something had happened in Ecuador and they needed to change our trip itinerary radically and needed us to get in touch ASAP.

As many of you probably read, there was major prison unrest and one of the leaders of a drug cartel escaped, starting a chain reaction of violence and unrest that eventually affected the cruise line's ability to conduct our trip with confidence.

Although the main conflict was in another region, there was enough concern on Celebrity's part to change our pre-cruise hotel and to ask us all to adjust our flights from arriving 2 and 3 days early to just 1 day early. Plus,we were asked not to leave the hotel once we arrived.

Hardly the vacation we had planned, let alone the trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos we had paid a dear price for.

As it proved next to impossible to change flights without paying exorbitant fees with only 1 week's notice, Celebrity gave us another option, we could cancel and receive a 100% full refund, as well as reschedule (with protected rates) to a later date within 3 years.

After discussing this with my group, every guest decided to cancel and Celebrity agreed to start issuing refunds within 10 days.

Rescheduling to September 2025... Possible to Connect to my Peruvian Amazon trip, too!

As I work 2 years out on my trips, finding a hole to drop a trip as significant as the Galapagos into seemed impossible... but then the clouds parted, the angels sang, and I saw that I could connect Celebrity's September 12th trip could be done in connection with my Peruvian Amazon trip, scheduled for the week before.

To do this, I miss 1 day in Quito... but being able to rescue such a dream trip AND connect it with the rain forest seemed like a nature lover's dream.

So... if you have an inkling for either trip.. now you can do them together!

Check out details at my website or contact me at


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