RCG-Royal Caribbean Group sold 2 cruise ships sailing under the Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises brands. These are small expedition ships sailing exclusively to the Galapagos that were put on sale in January 2020.
The two vessels - Celebrity Xperience (1998-built) and Silver Galapagos (1990-built) found a buyer - Celebrity Xperience went to Emerald Blue Cruises (Panama) in December 2020 and was renamed "Emerald Dream".
The buyer of Silver Galapagos remains unknown.
Celebrity and Silversea have new ships designed for year-round deployments in the Galapagos Islands in 2019 and 2020 respectively: Celebrity Flora and Silver Origin.
Since Ecuador strictly limits the number of passengers on the Galapagos Islands, new cruise ships can only be used in case the total number of guests in the license for the respective company is not exceeded. Since both Celebrity and Silversea had already reached the capacity limit, previous vessels had to be sold.
Celebrity reduced the passenger capacity of Celebrity Xpedition from 100 to 48 and had the vessel newly certified for Galapagos voyages. Xpedition replaced the 48-passenger Celebrity Xperience, while Celebrity Flora took over the 100-passenger boat Celebrity Xpedition. The 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration continues to operate.
In 2020 Silversea took over the newbuilt Silver Origin from the Netherlands' De Hoop shipyard and transferred the ship to Ecuador, but has not been able to use it due to the pandemic. Silver Origin was initially planned as a sistership to Celebrity Flora and was to be named Celebrity Origin. However, after Royal Caribbean Group took over Silversea Cruises, the vessel was assigned to Silversea.