Published on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Celebrity passengers evacuated after ship runs aground

Passengers on a week-long luxury Galapagos cruise had to be evacuated after a Celebrity ship ran aground.

All 46 guests and 58 crew members were taken off the Celebrity Xpedition, said parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises.

"We are unaware of any environmental impact at this point but we will continue to check closely," it added.

Some essential crew members remained aboard as guests were picked up by sister ship Celebrity Flora 'as a precautionary measure'.

An update on the ship's condition will be disclosed soon.

According to the Ecuadoran newspaper El Universo, the ship ran aground at Vicente Roca Point, north of Isabela Island.

Responding to an alert sent by the ship at 5.40pm, members of the Ecuadoran armed forces and officials of Galapagos National Park arrived to find the ship partially stranded on a sandbar.

Passengers will sail on the Flora to Baltra, where hotels and return flights are being provided.

The Xpedition's hull was not damaged, and the ship was refloated with the help of three service boats, El Universo said.

It will be towed to the Italbaca Canal, located between the Baltra and Santa Cruz islands, the newspaper reported.

Celebrity Cruises runs seven-night Galapagos cruises aboard three of its ships, the Xpedition, Flora and Xploration.

All of the evacuated passengers will receive full refunds and full credits for future Celebrity cruises, Royal Caribbean said.

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