Passengers:100 Best for: Active passengers looking for an expedition-style voyage with traditional cruising comforts.
Sails: The Galápagos Islands
At a Glance: Darwin’s theory of evolution was born in the Galápagos, and ever since he documented his voyage, this island chain has been on the bucket list of nature lovers everywhere. The first of Celebrity’s expedition vessels, the 100-passenger Xpedition sails the Ecuadorian archipelago year-round, offering plenty of time to seek out only-in-the-Galapagos wildlife like blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and giant tortoises.
Every cabin on this expedition ship has a window and binoculars, the better to see the wild world outside. Kitted out in earth tones with splashes of red, cabins are comfortable, ranging in size from 145-square-feet for an Ocean View Stateroom to 460-square-feet for the Penthouse Suite, where you can check out the scenery from the whirlpool on your front veranda. (There’s another veranda off your bedroom.)
Darwin’s Restaurant, the main dining room, is the only spot open for dinner, and many of the ingredients are regionally sourced, with Galapagos seafood, fruits, and veggies served up nightly. You can also take advantage of the 24-hour room service, and once every cruise, there’s a barbecue on deck, giving you a chance to have dinner under the stars. For lunch, passengers can go to Darwin’s or check out the al fresco Beagle Grill for hamburgers, hot dogs, and sometimes seafood grilled right on the deck.
No need to stress about that bar bill: Unlike on other Celebrity ships, most beverages are covered by your cruise fare, including soft drinks, spirits, coffees and teas, and many wines. Gratuities are also wrapped into your rate, as are all excursions and snorkeling equipment.
As many comforts as you’ll find onboard, this cruise is really about getting off the ship with local guides and checking out the wildlife Darwin made famous: Search for blue-footed boobies on Daphne Island, see sea lions on Santiago Island, snorkel with marine iguanas around Santiago Island, and snap pics of giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
If you’re looking for nightlife, this is not the ship for you. While guests do gather for drinks in the Discovery Lounge after dinner, most get to bed early so they’re well rested for the next day’s activities. In between excursions, passengers can head to the Sun Deck for a soak in the whirlpool on the top deck or a massage at the spa.