Lobsters force cruise cancellation

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xpedition.jpgThere can’t be many places on the planet where travel is more strictly regulated than the Galapágos Islands. Even so, it comes as a surprise to discover that a ship has been forced to cancel two cruises as punishment for carrying frozen lobster tails on board.
Celebrity Xpedition fell foul of the national park authority’s strict rules during a regular inspection. Park wardens who came on board in March found 12 kilograms of lobster tails and some octopus stored on the ship at a time when the fishing season for these species was closed.
Celebrity says the lobsters “were purchased legally during the season from local fishermen certified by the Park, and that no purchases of lobsters were made out of season.” This was verified by park officials. However, a change to the regulations demands that all lobsters must be consumed within five days of the end of season. The inspection took place on March 11; the revised regulation was not published until April 22
The penalty includes a $2,000 fine and a revocation of the ship’s licence to visit the park for up to 45 days. Celebrity, which operates the 90-passenger ship on seven-day cruises year-round among the islands, kept sailing while appeals were heard, but the June 2 and June 9 departures have been cancelled.
In a statement, Celebrity said it is committed to complying with the Galápagos rules and regulations, “which are put in place to protect and safeguard this unique and pristine environment.
“While we anticipate that our license to sail in the Galápagos will be restored shortly, the situation is still fluid,'”the company said. It will be getting in touch with passengers booked on the June 16 cruise when it has more information.
Passengers booked on the June 9 voyage will receive a full refund and a 25 per cent credit towards a future sailing on Xpedition, which carries about 90 guests and 64 crew.

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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