Royal Caribbean subsidiary Celebrity Cruises has reportedly had its Galapagos Islands permit revoked because of 12kg of frozen lobster tails.
The discovery, which was made onboard a routine inspection on the Celebrity Xpedition forced the line to cancel its 2 June sailing.
USA Today has reported that the line’s permit has been initially suspended for at least 45 days with a penalty of US$2,000 also coming into force.
A spokeswoman for the cruise line told the news operator that the problem with the tails was that they were out of season. She also insisted that the tails were bought through the appropriate, local channels.
“It was purchased in the Galapagos from authorised sellers during the lobster season,” said Cynthia Martinez. “We have all the paperwork to prove that. The issue was that we were in possession of frozen lobster tails out of season.”
Guests who were due to sail on the 2 June cruise have been given a full refund and 50% off their next cruise. They have also been reimbursed for any airfare expenditure.
“Celebrity Cruises is truly sorry for this unexpected impact on our guests’ vacation. We understand their excitement and anticipation for exploring the Galapagos Islands onboard Celebrity Xpedition,” the firm said. “Celebrity Cruises is committed to complying with the rules and regulations of the Galapagos, which are put in place to protect and safeguard this unique and pristine environment.”